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Virtual tribute to NHS traced over the skies of Co Antrim

The initials were visible over north Antrim on flight tracking apps Planefinder and Flightradar just hours before the weekly clap for carers.

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The tribute was made hours before the weekly clap for carers (Michael Cooper/PA)

The tribute was made hours before the weekly clap for carers (Michael Cooper/PA)

The tribute was made hours before the weekly clap for carers (Michael Cooper/PA)

A virtual tribute to the NHS was traced across the skies of North Antrim just hours before the weekly clap for carers.

The Northern Ireland fixed wing Air Ambulance, operated by Woodgate Aviation, were behind the the initials on Thursday.

The route taken by the King Air BE20 aircraft could be seen on flight tracking apps Planefinder and Flightradar as it flew at 15,000ft over Coleraine and Ballymoney.

The Air Ambulance was on a proving flight following maintenance work at the Woodgate hangar at Belfast International Airport.

Pilot Nick Byrne, from Bangor, Co Down, was at the controls during the solo flight.

“Completion of maintenance work on the King Air coincided with the weekly ‘clap for carers’ when people show their appreciation for NHS staff,” he said.

“We decided we would try to write NHS in the skies which could be seen on aircraft tracking apps.

“I’ve never attempted anything like this before and although there was a little wavering, I’m delighted with the outcome.”

Woodgate Aviation operations manager Keith McKay added: “We have a long track record of working with the highly professional and dedicated staff in the NHS, and this was our way of applauding the tireless work they do in our hospitals.

“We all owe frontline staff such an immense debt of gratitude that we felt this would be a fitting and novel way of recognising their efforts on our behalf.”

PA