Cornwall Air Ambulance has revealed they will launch an appeal to bring a second lifesaving helicopter to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The appeal will aim to raise £ 2.85 million over the next year, to enable the charity to purchase a second AW169 aircraft, which will help crews attend more missions by air and save more lives across the South West.  

This will be the first time that Cornwall Air Ambulance has owned two aircraft at the same time, which will put them at the forefront of air ambulance critical care provision in the country.

Falmouth Packet: A second helicopter would benefit both crew members and patients requiring urgent medical treatment A second helicopter would benefit both crew members and patients requiring urgent medical treatment (Image: Cornwall Air Ambulance)As well as launching the second helicopter appeal, Cornwall Air Ambulance has also revealed they will be releasing a brand-new Christmas animation called Jess’ Journey, based on the story of patient Ned and his family.

Lead airbase doctor, Dave Ashton-Clearley explains what a second aircraft would mean for the crew. He said: “The AW169 has provided us with a step-change in the clinical environment, range, and capability we can bring to our patients, but such an advanced and complex aircraft has relatively high maintenance needs.

“Having a second AW169 will mean we consistently have a class-leading clinical space in our aircraft, bringing the capability of a full critical care service to almost every patient who needs it.”

Falmouth Packet: Crew members from Cornwall Air Ambulance Crew members from Cornwall Air Ambulance (Image: Cornwall Air Ambulance)


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For unit chief pilot Adam Smith, a second aircraft will benefit not only the crews but many patients needing treatment quickly. He said: “It has many benefits both in terms of aviation and from a clinical perspective and is the best-suited aircraft for the critical care service that we provide.

“I am very lucky that I get to fly it – but more importantly, this helicopter allows us to provide the very best solution possible for our clinical teams as they provide lifesaving support to those who are critically ill or injured across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“Being able to provide the best possible care and the best possible outcome for the patients is the most important part of our service. The AW169 provides the clinical crew with 360-degree access to the patient and more room to treat them within the helicopter itself. Being a powerful aircraft with high weight limits, it means not only can we carry more fuel, so we can carry out back-to-back missions, but also the ability to carry a cast range of equipment, drugs, and lifesaving tools.

“When we need to airlift a child, it also means that there is space and the weight capacity to take a parent too, which we know can make all the difference.

“And it’s fast flying at around 135 knots (155mph) meaning we can reach the scene or the hospital quickly.”

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