Who Can Fly a MedFlight911 Air Ambulance?
You may or may not know that Prince William (yes, Kate Middleton's husband) is an experienced pilot and according to a recent article in People, is considering taking to the skies as an air ambulance pilot. Of course, you don't have to be royalty to fly an air ambulance, but you do need to be a special kind of pilot.
So, who can fly air ambulances (other than the Duke of Cambridge)? Well, MedFlight911 is very thorough in our vetting process to ensure that we have only the best pilots transporting our precious cargo – our patients. They must be experienced pilots who are accustomed to flying into different locations, scenarios, and in emergencies. To keep our pilots alert, they typically travel in pairs because they can only fly ten hours in a duty day.
Qualifications for an air ambulance pilot often include the following characteristics:
- Bachelor's Degree in Aviation or related field
- Minimum 6 years' experience as a professional pilot
- Must hold a FAA Airline Transport Pilot certificate
- Multiple hours of experience on a variety of aircraft, often including: PIC time Airplane, aircraft with retractable gear, Turbine hours, turbo prop aircraft, along with hours focused on equipment and specific flying experiences which can include: instrument time, unaided night time experience, operating a PC-12 and successful completion of ground and flight school within last 12 months
- Semi-annual simulator training (FlightSafety, Simuflite) in make and model aircraft being flown Successful FAA checkride in make and model aircraft being flown
- Recent air medical transportation experience and mountain experience preferred
- Current FAA First class flight physical
- Travel by personal or company vehicle throughout service area is required. Must hold a valid driver's license, an automobile in good repair and be able to provide proof of auto insurance
- All candidates are subject to drug screening and background investigation.
Basically, you have to be an experienced pilot (usually with 3,000 or more flight hours) to qualify and get hired. Not all pilots can fly every type of plane. A pilot will be "type rated" for a specific type of aircraft; effectively, the same pilot will not fly helicopters and Cessnas. These positions are very competitive and difficult to come by –although it probably won't be too difficult for Prince William to land a job.
Even though they are aboard an air ambulance, air ambulance pilots are not required to receive any medical training. Their responsibility is to the aircraft and to the safety of everyone involved. There should be no difference in transporting a sick passenger versus a healthy one because the crew is handing the passenger while the pilot is handling the plane.
So, as you can see, MedFlight911 and other air ambulance companies do not take the hiring process lightly. Being an air ambulance pilot is serious business and it takes a highly competent, highly qualified person to do it. If you are looking for air medical transportation, MedFlight911 has a great team of medical professionals and air ambulance pilots to get you, or your loved one, safely to your destination. And, keep in mind, if you ever get injured in the UK, the future King just might be your pilot.
We may not be royalty, but we will treat you like you are! Call us at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.