Yorkshire Air Ambulance, the renowned emergency response charity, made waves on social media this week with a remarkable sight in the skies above Wakefield and York.
Traditionally operating two helicopters, Yorkshire Air Ambulance recently took delivery of their two new state-of-the-art H145 D3 helicopters G-YORX and G-YAAA. They will replace current models G-YOAA and G-YAAC, which are currently in the process of being sold to an undisclosed buyer. During a fleeting cross over period of the arrival of the new helicopters and departure of G-YOAA, which leaves Yorkshire first, a unique, but brief opportunity presented for the team of pilots to capture the rare occasion where all four were in Yorkshire.
Seizing the opportunity, the crew took the four helicopters on a brief flight, incorporating some training & familiarisation for the Pilots & Technical Crew Members (TCM’s), treating onlookers to a unique and rare display.
Chief Pilot Owen McTeggart, who was part of the formation, expressed his excitement about the opportunity, saying, “We have eagerly awaited the arrival of G-YORX, our second D3 helicopter, which will further improve our service in saving lives across Yorkshire. We needed to take the new helicopters out for some brief training and familiarisation so we took the opportunity to capture what may be a one-time occurrence of having a cross-over of four YAA helicopters, before G-YOAA and G-YAAC leave for their new home. Witnessing the community’s overwhelming response and support, and the countless photos shared fills our team with pride and gratitude. We are truly humbled by the generosity and dedication shown by the people we serve.”
The new D3 helicopters boast a whole host of technologically advanced features, most noticeably, a five-bladed ridged main rotor, making the system simpler, lighter, and easier to maintain than the previous rotor. The five-bladed rotor system also significantly reduces felt vibrations, improving ride quality for both patients and the crew.
The flight drew widespread attention from residents in Wakefield, Pontefract, York, and surrounding areas, who spotted the four helicopters flying in formation across, what were picture-perfect clear blue skies. Captivated by this awe-inspiring display, members of the community captured the moment and flooded Yorkshire Air Ambulance’s Facebook post about the flight with over 3,000 likes, 400 comments, and 500 shares, emphasising the profound impact this had on those fortunate enough to witness it.
The overwhelming response serves as a testament to the deep-rooted appreciation for the life-saving services provided by the charity. One person commented ‘Awesome sight to see. I heard them before I saw them. Keep up the great work, Yorkshire Air Ambulance. We’d be lost without you guys’ whilst another remarked, ‘I saw them fly right over my house, it was quite a sight to behold. What a job these guys do…I for one cannot thank the team enough!’.