'Friendly' ambulance pilot Prince William surprises locals during small-town rescue mission


Prince William was called into action on Thursday, as he flew his air ambulance to a car accident scene in the small town of Braintree, Essex, in England. Local newspaper the Essex Chronicle, which also has video of the Prince taking off in the chopper, reports that the second-in-line to the British throne piloted the large emergency helicopter to a nearby field, before attending the scene of the crash.



Prince William flew his emergency helicopter to a car accident in Essex Photo: Getty Images

Upon hearing that Prince William was the helicopter pilot, employees from the local veterinary practice came out to see if they could spot Prince George's father. Katie Gates, a deputy nurse at the practice told the Chronicle: “[The handyman] went round to have a look at what was going on. The pilot got out to make sure he didn't come too close to the helicopter for safety reasons.

“He said Prince William was so 'normal' and professional that it took him a minute or two to realize where he knew him from – as you can imagine we don't often very often get royalty in Braintree!"


Onlookers who waited to see Prince William were impressed by his 'professional yet friendly' approach Photo: Getty Images

The onlookers were taken aback by the royal's down-to-earth behavior, “[We] were so impressed by how professional yet friendly he was,” Katie concluded.

Prince William returned to his job as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglia air ambulance service in July, after his paternity leave for Princess Charlotte's birth.

The father-of-two works 80 hours per month – or 20 hours per week – as a pilot. He takes part in a four days on, four days off rotation, which averages 8.5 hours per shift. These shifts allow the 33-year-old to fulfill his royal and parental duties.