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First day in new job for William

The Duke of Cambridge has officially started work with the company that operates the East Anglian Air Ambulance service - and is expected to begin flying rescue missions in the summer, Kensington Palace has said.

William, a former RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, is from today an employee of Bond Air Services, which runs a number of air ambulance and police aviation operations in the UK.

Kensington Palace said in a short statement: " The Duke of Cambridge has today started work as an employee of Bond Air Services.

"Over the coming months he will undertake job-specific training before he begins piloting missions for East Anglian Air Ambulance during the summer.

"The mandatory training will involve simulator, aircraft and in-flight skills training."

William has begun work a few weeks ahead of the birth of his second child and is likely to take paternity leave, as he did for his first child Prince George, who was born in July 2013.

A spokesman for Bond Air Services would not discuss the length of the leave the Duke could receive but added: "Like other pilots, he will be entitled to paternity leave."

He said: "He has come to do a job as a professional, a pilot, and we're very happy he's going to be a pilot."

The company hit the headlines in November 2013 when a police helicopter it operated crashed into a pub in central Glasgow killing the civilian pilot and two police officers onboard, six people on the ground, with another dying two weeks later from injuries received in the pub.

The Duke is likely to operate out of East Anglian Air Ambulance's base at Cambridge Airport and will take the controls of a new EC145 T2 helicopter which will go into service in April and provide greater speed, endurance and capacity.

William will be the pilot and work with a co-pilot, a specially trained critical care paramedic and a senior medic who is usually a consultant who specialises in intensive care, anaesthesia or trauma.

The air ambulance is a charity and its crews based at Cambridge work 10-hour shifts, either early or late.

William will initially be attending lessons in a ground school but will also have specific training on the aircraft he will eventually fly, with overall training lasting from four to 12 weeks, depending on experience.

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