CORONAVIRUS: Royal Air Force Helicopters ready and on standby to airlift NHS Patients

UK Armed Forces helicopters are on standby to help NHS airlift COVID-19 patients

The ‘Covid Aviation Task Force’ features aircraft and personnel from across the UK’s armed services.


A COVID Aviation Task Force has been set up to transport urgent equipment and personnel anywhere in the country, altogether more than a dozen helicopters are on standby to help NHS medics airlift coronavirus patients in the UK and from the Channel Islands.

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The Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, and the Army Air Corps have all supplied staff and equipment to help during the crisis.

Medical procedures were run practised on Thursday with medics from an air ambulance detachment at an airfield in Hampshire, they learned how each other operates and about how to keep safe while working on the coronavirus frontline.

Commander Chris Knowles is commanding officer of 820 Naval Air Squadron, the helicopter squadron for the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. He has experience of flying medical evacuations during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The commander said his squadron may need to operate their Merlin helicopters differently when flying NHS medics in support of very sick coronavirus patients.




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