F1 Motor Racing Legend and England Rugby World Cup Winner Fly To The Rescue
Formula One racing legend Nigel Mansell CBE, and former England Captain and Rugby World Cup Winner Mike Tindall MBE, joined forces today to personally hand deliver a £7m state of the art new air ambulance to Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, at Babcock Mission Critical Services in Gloucestershire.
Mike and Nigel who are both ambassadors for the charity, climbed aboard the aircraft to officially launch the delivery to its new home at RAF Cosford.
The purchase of the new helicopter was made possible due to the generous donations of the public.
The new H145 upgraded air ambulance helicopter has entered the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s fleet and is registered with the call sign ‘G-RMAA’. The Airbus helicopter will be operationally in service on 26th February from the charity's RAF Cosford airbase in Shropshire.
The new helicopter will undertake an average of three air ambulance missions every day, and will provide a great number of benefits to patient care within the Midlands. It travels greater distances without the need for refuelling and enables the aircrew to respond even faster due to increased speed capability.
The larger interior means additional aircrew can be flown to major incident scenes, and further medical equipment can be carried on board to treat more complex emergencies.
Racing legend Mansell has 31 Formula One Grand Prix victories to his illustrious career and is the only person in racing history to have held the titles of Formula One and CART champion simultaneously. Mansell is regarded as one of the greatest ever Formula One drivers of all time.
Nigel Mansell CBE said: “I am delighted to have been asked - along with Mike (Tindall) - to help deliver and handover this incredible state of the art lifesaving helicopter to the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which will continue to help save thousands of lives. It is important to also help continue to raise awareness of the lifesaving work of the charity, which has such a close connection to Formula One and motorsport and to every one of us who drives on Britain’s busiest roads and motorway networks each day.
“We only ever appreciate the real value of the air ambulance when we may be unfortunate to either be in a road traffic accident or indeed to witness one. The speed of the air ambulances are critical in these circumstances."
Each year the charity has to raise in excess of £9m to keep its three helicopters airborne 365 days per year. The Midlands Air Ambulance is one of the longest serving air ambulance charities in the UK.
Since its inception in 1991, it has undertaken over 49,000 missions. The charity covers a population in excess of six million people across the counties of Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and the West Midlands making it also one of the busiest in the UK.
Mike Tindall MBE added: “It is a huge honour and a privilege to be here today with Nigel (Mansell) and getting the chance to see first hand how the new helicopter will help save thousands of lives as we are both passionate supporters of the work of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, which is so closely connected to the worlds of horse racing, equestrianism, rugby and motorsport.
“The purchase of this new helicopter has been made with thanks to donations from the public, which is a staggering achievement. The new helicopter will allow the crews to travel further, faster and provide even more lifesaving trauma equipment. It will also allow the charity to continue its amazing lifesaving work for many more years to come.”
Image courtesy of Mike Tindall MBE