Hospital Helipad Damaged By US Military Aircraft Repaired

There were no injuries and no damage to any aircraft.


A hospital helipad that was damaged by a US Air Force (USAF) military aircraft during a training exercise has been cleared up, with air ambulances able to land at the site again.

The helipad at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, the East of England's major trauma centre, was damaged in a training exercise on Wednesday.

The damage to the helipad was caused when a United States Air Force CV22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft took off from it, blowing parts of it off the ground.

Patients had to be flown to Cambridge City Airport, three miles from the hospital, and driven for the final part of the journey while the helipad was unavailable for use.

"No-one was injured and there was no damage to any aircraft," said Major Keavy Rake, of USAF's 48th Fighter Wing,

A spokesman for Cambridge University NHS Foundation Trust added: "Air ambulances are now able to land again at Addenbrooke's Hospital, close to the usual helipad site."

The landing site has been cleared of debris, safety checks have been carried out and air ambulances can now land on an area of grass close to the usual helipad.

Work to fully replace the helipad is due to begin shortly.

Watch: A video posted online reportedly shows the incident of the helipad being damaged.

Major Rake said the USAF was "taking steps to rectify as soon as possible".

She said debris in the area was cleared by the USAF and Ministry of Defence (MOD) teams within 24 hours and the "intention is for the pad to be replaced".

The 352d Special Operations Wing, based at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, had been conducting a simulated medical evacuation training scenario at the hospital.

"This was the first time we have conducted operations on the Addenbrooke's Helicopter landing zone," said Major Rake.

"Planners for the exercise assessed the area of execution prior to the exercise and co-ordinated with both, the manufacturer of the landing pad, hospital staff and the Addenbrooke's East Anglian Air Ambulance units.

"We regret any disruption caused to the hospital and the associated emergency services, and truly appreciate their understanding and the long-standing relationship and partnership between the US and UK."