Piloting search and rescue missions not easy: Prince Williams

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 17:40

London: Prince William has opened up in a new documentary about his concern in making sure that he takes the right decisions while he is piloting an aircraft on a rescue mission.

The 30-year-old royal also praised his "family" of fellow RAF search and rescue crewmates.

Speaking about the role of captain, he said that a pilot has to analyse all the information they are given and make the best judgment.

"It`s not easy, it makes you feel worried, concerned, you obviously want to make the right call," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.

He said that he has a duty of care for the crew, for the casualty in many cases as well, so he has to think very carefully and overall he has just three other people - a winchman and paramedic, co-pilot and winch operator -whom he can rely on for his decision making.

The first instalment of the BBC Wales series will show William flying a Sea King helicopter to rescue a 15-year-old boy who fell off a railway bridge onto some rocks in the Maenofferen slate quarry in the north Wales town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd.

The Duke of Cambridge and his crewmates are seen trying to pinpoint the casualty - who has damaged his ribs and is drifting in and out of consciousness - but are hampered by bright sunlight which throws dark shadows onto the ground.

In the programme, William is the first to spot the injured boy and lands so that the paramedic can assess the teenager.

However, the helicopter is low on fuel and the royal flies off to refuel, leaving behind winchman and paramedic Master Aircrewman Richard Taylor to look after the 15-year-old.

The teenager is later airlifted to hospital when the Duke returns and makes a full recovery.

William qualified as an operational search and rescue captain last year and works full-time - albeit with time off for royal duties - rescuing stranded climbers and stricken casualties.

The royal has been serving with C Flight, 22 Squadron at RAF Valley on Anglesey since 2010.


First Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 16:00

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