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Air ambulance used by Wills in near-miss

By Jack Hardy

An air ambulance regularly piloted by the Duke of Cambridge "narrowly avoided" a collision with a remote-controlled drone, according to an official report.

The Eurocopter 145, which the royal was not in at the time, avoided a potentially deadly mid-air crash with the remote-controlled machine "by chance" 1,900ft above north London last August.

Investigators found there had been a "high" risk of the two aircraft coming into contact, "endangering the EC145 and its crew" over a busy area.

A report into the near-miss by the UK Airprox Board, which probes such incidents to improve air safety, suggested the drone was flying above its permitted altitude.

The EC145, which is used by the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA), has been flown repeatedly by William during his work for the service.

An EAAA spokeswoman said: "The Duke of Cambridge was not on shift when the drone incident took place."

The drone pilot was never found, the review said.

In January William said he would be leaving his role as a pilot to spend more time in London, where his children will be schooled.

The narrow miss with the drone had taken place several months before, however, at 7.45pm on August 26.

It had passed within 30 metres of the air ambulance, which was carrying medics at the time, close enough for the crew to see the dark, four-bladed quadcopter, the report said.

In its findings Airprox concluded the incident was the highest category of risk.

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