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  Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Shelagh Robinson

1st March 2012

We benefited from the eight years of experience that our speaker had of presenting her talks about the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Lucid, detailed and interesting Shelagh Robinsonís talk clearly illustrated the work of this charity. Because of the high cost of running helicopters donations are important and necessary. About five years ago Richard Hammond, a TV personality, had a serious accident on Elvington Airfield. The response of the YAA saved his life and the news of their involvement spread throughout the world. This resulted in donations of over £250,000 from his fans. A large income like this in a short space of time, plus a legacy enabled YAA to fund a second helicopter.

Both the helicopters used are McDonnell Douglas 902 Explorerís with two Pratt & Whitney engines, bought second hand. This Light Twin Utility Helicopter is very popular with Police Forces and as an Air Ambulance, it is in use by sixteen organisations in the UK . The three pilots at YAA can fly them, in daylight, 600hrs per month for 365 days per year. With a despatch time of 2mins and a flying speed of 160mph Yorkshire ís 451miles of motorway and 4 million acres of area can be reached with great speed.

This sort of performance does not come cheap and costs have now leapt to £7,200 per day. This means that donation income is paramount as the only cost not funded by the charity is the provision of the paramedic crews by the Ambulance Service. Even Helicopter maintenance is exorbitant with a replacement gearbox costing £68,000.

Currently one helicopter is based at LBA and the other temporarily at Bagby. By the end of March this latter machine will operate from Topcliffe RAF Base.

Clive Moynes thanked Shelagh for this most enlightening talk as well as suggesting that the NHS should contribute.

Our next meeting is our AGM at Otley Methodist Church at 10-00am on Thursday 15th March.   


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