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Prince William tells of "sad, dark moments" as air ambulance pilot

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Prince William has spoken candidly about dealing with the "sad, dark moments" of his job as an air ambulance pilot. Sitting in the open side door of his aircraft with Captain James Pusey, the Prince opened up about one of the most difficult jobs he has attended since he began working with the team last summer.

"I think my most challenging one was to do with burns. There's one job in particular that was really quite nasty and I don't know how the medical crew dealt with it either, because they came to the rescue and did everything they (could) and sadly the casualty was beyond help," he said in an interview with BBC Future.

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Prince William, known as Pilot William Wales, with his colleague Captain James Pusey

"Yeah, there are some very sad, dark moments and you know we talk about it a lot. That's the best way of dealing with some of the situations is you talk."

William, of course, juggles his demanding job with his role as future heir-to-the-throne, and as a father – and Saturday, he will travel to Canada with wife Kate and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, for an official eight-day tour.

"He's very good with advice and parenthood – in terms of good tips," colleague James said of the royal, who laughed and replied: "Dishing out parent advice."

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The royal said he wants to be a "valuable member of the team"

It was William himself who insisted on finding a civilian job after he completed his tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot in 2013 – and he clearly relishes working as part of a four-strong helicopter crew. "It's rewarding when I come here to do this job and I really look forward to coming here every day, whether it's at 5.30am or going to bed at two in the morning," he said.

"The shift work is still exciting and challenging for its variety more than anything and the fact that I love working in a team. And that's something that my other job doesn't necessarily do. You're more out there on your own a little bit, but I very much enjoy working with the likes of James and the team and it's good fun."

Asked how patients and passers-by respond to his presence, William replied: "Fortunately they don't really care who turns up as long as they're getting the care and the help that they need. I have to say I was a little bit anxious of some of that when I first started, because I didn't want to bring any chaos or any sort of unhelpfulness to the scene. And actually, it's worked out better than I could possibly have thought.


"I really look forward to coming here every day," William revealed

"...I want to be a valuable member of the team… at the end of the day (I want to) feel like I have made a difference and a contribution to whatever it is I've done that day."

The documentary showing William at work has been released to mark national Air Ambulance Week, and is described as a multi-media portrait of the EAAA and its staff. The project uses a series of interviews, films, editorial pieces and photography to tell the story of the air ambulance, and also offers a "never-before-seen insight into this unique and often life-saving service and the future King's role in delivering emergency care".

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