A U.S Air Force CV-22B Osprey has rendered a British hospital’s helipad inoperable.

Air ambulances are currently unable to land at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, the major trauma centre for the East of England.

The moment was captured by Trailspotter and a link to the video on their YouTube channel is provided.

We do not own this footage and we are not hosting this footage, any requests regarding hosting must be made to the channel we’ve embedded a link to below.

Watch the video on YouTube from Trailspotter here.

Dr Victor Inyang, Medical Director of East Anglian Air Ambulance:

“Due to an incident at the Cambridge University Hospitals helipad involving a military aircraft on Wednesday 21 April the helipad is temporarily unavailable to air ambulances. The next closest helipad is at Cambridge City Airport, where one of the East Anglian Air Ambulance teams is based. It will be possible for the EAAA helipad to be used as an alternative landing site during this time and have patients transferred to Addenbrooke’s from there by land ambulance. Addenbrooke’s is the major trauma centre for the region, therefore quick and efficient transfer of critically ill or injured patients to the hospital is vital. Using the EAAA helipad is the best alternative while the CUH helipad is reinstated.”

Maj Keavy Rake, from the USAF 48th Fighter Wing, said:

“The area was surveyed according to our policies and procedures and some damage did occur. We are taking steps to rectify as soon as possible. Our units are continuously coordinating with our local partners to improve operations. We are greatly appreciative of the relationship and coordination we have with the U.K.”

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Johan
Johan
12 days ago

Some DAMAGE WAS DONE, utter cock you destroyed the bloody. THICK IN THE ED……

go the chuff home

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
12 days ago
Reply to  Johan

And they wernt even dropping off a casualty, just giving someone a lift!

dan
dan
12 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Chill out dude! Stop behaving like a 2 year old. Shit happens. The USAF will fix it to be better than it was before so it can stand up to modern aircraft.

Last edited 12 days ago by dan
Nate m
Nate m
12 days ago
Reply to  dan

u American?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago
Reply to  Nate m

He is.

George Royce
George Royce
12 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

We have a few yanks sneaking about on here, always defending comments critical about USA no matter how true they are.

James M
James M
12 days ago
Reply to  George Royce

TBF, while they did ruin the pad, it looks like it wasn’t much more than some panelling over the grass, probably installed at the cost of millions to the local NHS trust. The yanks can’t really be blamed for this, it’s pretty clear the pad wasn’t up to scratch.

Robert1
Robert1
12 days ago
Reply to  James M

Temporary pad funded by East Anglian Air Ambulance Charity. Pad was up to scratch for the aircraft it was designed for, charity aren’t going to fund extra on chance of an Osprey rather than just their air ambulance.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180220152040/https://www.eaaa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Issue-30-Spring-2013.pdf

Jonny Agar
Jonny Agar
10 days ago
Reply to  dan

Retards couldn’t fix an election

Jack
Jack
12 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Compared to the British military’s performance while “protecting” Camp Bastion, this is a non-event.

Airborne
Airborne
12 days ago
Reply to  Jack

RAF Reg, need I say more……

dave12
dave12
12 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

I heard the Tongans were responsible for that ,sleeping on watch.

Last edited 12 days ago by dave12
John
John
12 days ago
Reply to  Johan

Looks like the yanks did us a favor by tearing up the POS. Now it’ll be easier to put down something proper.

George Royce
George Royce
12 days ago
Reply to  John

You’re an American so you would say that.

Airborne
Airborne
12 days ago

Helipad was obviously a heath Robinson affair, crock of crap and not fit for purpose. Maybe a ,local traveller contract mmmmmmm

Robert1
Robert1
12 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Who doesn’t enjoy random out of thin air racism…

But no it was always designed as temporary pad funded by charity, pending some future permanent pad.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180220152040/https://www.eaaa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Issue-30-Spring-2013.pdf

Airborne
Airborne
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert1

Yes maybe I could have offended and Heath Robinsons of this world and for that I apologise. As for the rest of my post, “traveller” is the accepted term for the travelling community, and “contract” is an agreement between people or organistaions for the payment of a service, is that correct?….And the heli pad was still shit, regardless of wether it was a charity funded effort. Everything to do with “air” requires to be built with a level of safety factor and redundancy. This wasnt, therefore was not safe.

Airborne
Airborne
10 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

“the” Heath Robinsons…oh dear silly fingers I have….

Rob Emms
Rob Emms
12 days ago

If the helipad can fall apart in that manner it was clearly not fit for purpose in the first place. A more substantial and permanent landing pad constructed of something which includes concrete might be advisable!!

Niall
Niall
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob Emms

I feel you don’t appreciate the sheer power that an osprey puts out. These helipads will be rated to accept all air ambulances including coastguard and probably RAF chinooks but not Ospreys. Their engines are incredibly powerful.

Nic
Nic
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob Emms

It is surprising that it was not constructed with concrete
as most seem to be ,if they not at the top of an hospitial building.

Dern
Dern
11 days ago
Reply to  Nic

Tbh I think the failing here was the Hospital not making it clear that their HLS was not suited to heavy tiltrotor aircraft.
If it’s fine for light air ambulances then that’s okay, but the Hospital is the one who knows their HLS aren’t they?

Meirion X
Meirion X
12 days ago

The MoD will accept responsibility for the damage, because US forces operating in the UK are here by invite of UK Government.

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago

We had a lovely heli pad, full concrete affair with easy access run to the ED and resus. Worked great, nice easy safe transfers. Trouble was one day someone’s plastic garden chair was blown over by one of the air ambulance. They took it all the way and got the helipad shut down. It ended up as a car park, the air ambulances then had to land in a local park, which needed clearing of families and then we had to trolley the poor casualties about 100 yard across a grass field ( not great for traumas) and then run… Read more »

George Royce
George Royce
12 days ago

Not their fault. Who gave them clearance?

Rob
Rob
12 days ago

Classic OOooops incident.

Serious note the down draft from this thing is immense. Now I know some want this as a tanker / transport on the QE carriers, just imagine that down draft gets under the wing of a F35 on the flight line and tips it over the side – potentially a $100 million accident!

Dern
Dern
11 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Serious question then:
How do the Americans prevent that on the (smaller) LHD’s?

Richard
Richard
12 days ago

Addenbrookes is an important hub hospital so I hope gets it fixed soon.

Northumbria wanted to follow the Addenbrookes model and build a regional hub for emergency care.
They found some land in Cramlington (a few miles north of Newcastle) next to the A19 duel carriageway. Great road links.

So the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital was built.
Only snag – it’s built directly under the flight path for Newcastle airport. About 8km distance.
Air ambulances need to stand off until there is a gap in the airline traffic.
D’OH!

heroic
heroic
12 days ago

Is it just me or is this Site becoming a joke ?

George Allison
George
12 days ago
Reply to  heroic

Feel free to stop reading, I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over it.

heroic
heroic
12 days ago
Reply to  George

noted.

heroic
heroic
12 days ago
Reply to  George

To be fair though George, I was referring to the comments on your lovely site. not the site itself. As an outsider looking in, it must look a bit nasty at times, just my thoughts though, feel free to delete me if you so desire.

Jaralodo
Jaralodo
12 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

I for one love the banter that goes on, it actually gives the site a sense of community.

heroic
heroic
12 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

Absolutely no apology required George, as said above I enjoy this site and check in quite often to catch up on the latest events. Not Military personally but have a healthy interest. To be critical of this site of yours, I would say that there are many times when certain people here use the anonymity mask afforded to them, to harangue and abuse other valuable contributors, seemingly just because their views differ. Banter is one thing but abuse is another thing altogether. Your FB site and indeed FB rules forbid the latter, it is only my opinion but it would… Read more »

captain p wash
captain p wash
12 days ago
Reply to  heroic

Here bloody Here mate.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
12 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

George

Generally you are doing a great job.

It **might** be healthy if some of the OT ranty abusive stuff was moderated a little.

It does degrade threads where some knowledgable people are making valid points and then in the middle of it strange personal abusive conversations pop up: that will disincentivise others, who do not know the characters, from reading on.

I don’t agree with heavy moderation of sites as it can get to be too much.

But there are a handful of people who could do with a gentle prod that abusive content is not acceptable.

Cheers!

captain p wash
captain p wash
12 days ago

Yup and it would certainly encourage others to join in rather than get put off by the constant Trolling and abuse from those few individuals.

captain p wash
captain p wash
12 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

Just another thought, what about a Flag for moderation or report abuse option ? Handy when Racist remarks are posted that really don’t belong here.

The Big Man
The Big Man
12 days ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Yes defo. There have recently been a number of comments that are clearly from the behind the anonymity of the brave keyboard types. Some discussions have been completely ruined by bickering and deliberate provocative comments.
There is some great stuff on here and to be fair, most comes from knowledgeable posters who enrich thee experience, then suddenly it breaks down into deliberate negativity and destructive comments.
Keep up the good work George.

Jan van der Werk
Jan van der Werk
12 days ago
Reply to  The Big Man

Agreed, there is a lot of racism displayed here and there.

heroic
heroic
11 days ago
Reply to  George Allison

Wow, I must say I was really pleased to see your prompt response George, never really expected that. The Flag Facility you have now provided should be welcomed by all on here and seen as a deterrent to those few who choose to carry on with the abuse of fellow site members. However I do worry that the new Voting feature will be a back door to said abuse as it is on so many other internet sites. The best way to stop these abusive people from carrying on in such a manner is to introduce the fair and open… Read more »

Jonny Agar
Jonny Agar
10 days ago
Reply to  George

Well said. Buttercups out in force.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
12 days ago

It seems the downwash is fairly substantial. Plenty of videos showing troops sliding down ropes and they struggle to stand up once on the ground. Seems old school heli are better for that kind of insertion.
My 2 cents

Lee H
Lee H
12 days ago

Evening all
Whilst the Osprey is a fantastic aircraft this incident does show some of the limitations of such a large aircraft and where it can be utilised.

Accidents happen, it will be fixed. We will all “move on”.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
12 days ago

What’s so special about the grass in Cambridge that helicopters can’t land on it until they build a real helipad to replace the piece of junk that got destroyed?

Jacko
Jacko
12 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

There did seem to be quite a bit of grass there right enough.

Damo
Damo
12 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

With you on this. I don’t understand, especially when school fields etc are designated landing spots for them all over the country before they get taxied to the casualty. Has to be able to land on grass and get a casualty out too?

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
12 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

The grass in Cambridge is famous because a group of British thinkers had a picnic on it over 400 years ago and came to the conclusion that a continent across the Atlantic was in dire need of British ingenuity and influence, so we should colonise it and it would ultimately turn into a super power and work for us for eternity.

The grass in Cambridge should be protected at all costs for that.

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

It may be an access issue pk, you have to remember that even when the grass is and soil is fully dried pushing a hospital trolley is very hard work ( they are heave beasts with O2 cylinder, patient, maybe defibrillator if needed). If it’s wet you are not ever pushing that trolley through any level of soft ground. As for carrying it’s not practical, the trauma patient will have in a couple of lines, oxygen ect, they may be being bagged or resuscitated. If a carried patient arrests they are probably done for as you can’t do CPR while… Read more »

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

If it’s a true emergency than time is critical. The faster a patient is under the care of the trauma team than the better the chances of survival and recovery. I would presume that alternative landing sites are a distance away. How long does it take to replace the helipad? Of course, it appears that the helipad blown away was probably built under contract to someone’s brother-in-law.

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Yes but no, time is critical, but doing it right can be more so ( depends ) The point is to keep safe And stable as possible until you get your casualty to definitive care. Fuck their spinal cord or lose an airway in the middle of a field is doing know-one any good. Purposeful speed over panicked rush if you can is alway the way to go. If your casualty has an open airway, is breathing and you have stabilised circulation, then your golden ( see what I did there) for safe transfer. You do it fast but aways… Read more »

Jonny Agar
Jonny Agar
10 days ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

FOD. Hides in grass. So pad is cleanable. Was a standard temporary strip funded and paid for by the charity. Nob jockey Officer didn’t inspect it was rated for his fat arse osprey.

Jacko
Jacko
12 days ago

Get the RE,s in from Woodbridge to lay a proper LZ!

farouk
farouk
12 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Good point, I spent a lot of time building Harrier hides across Germany which involved anchoring down the landing mats with pickets, that said from the video it appears that wasn’t the case here. But from what I have read the stuff blown away wasn’t for landing on but rather a walk way for hospital trollies

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago

A very good example of why concrete should be used in future and most probably the first time an Osprey has landed at this site.

The V-22 has a maximum rotor downwash speed of over 80 knots (92 mph; 150 km/h), more than the 64-knot (74 mph; 119 km/h) lower limit of a hurricane!!!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Als well that ends well’ish!

“The next closest helipad is at Cambridge City Airport, where one of the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) teams is based.

“It will be possible for the EAAA helipad to be used as an alternative landing site during this time and have patients transferred to Addenbrooke’s from there by land ambulance, with critical care staff on board.”

A spokesperson for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust added that they were still treating patients “as normal”.

https://news.sky.com/story/air-ambulances-unable-to-fly-to-cambridge-hospital-after-us-military-aircraft-damages-helipad-during-training-exercise-12284283

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
12 days ago

Little bit of a FOD hazard….

julian1
julian1
12 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That’s what I was thinking. One of those mats could have blown up and down into the rotors….well perhaps not… but it looked like it from the film. Isn’t the pilot in some way responsible too for landing in an area with hazards on the ground? Seems a lack of failure all round. Surely the Osprey had to get permission to land in the city centre – why was that given?

MarkF
MarkF
12 days ago

Looking at the video, the matting seemed to have been assembled from a lot of smaller sections. I would describe it as using carpet tiles rather that a roll of carpet.
As others have said, between USAF and UK MOD, I think Addenbrooks will end up with a far better and more fit for purpose site than they currently have.

geoff
12 days ago

Good Morning Gents. A freezing 18 degrees C(it’s all relative) 🙂 and raining here in Durban today. Two things-as most of you have said Helipad not fit for purpose even given for the Ospreys heavy footprint. Second, in the discussion regarding a possible airstrip for Tristan da Cunha, the subject of commercial VSTOL’s came up as a future option. Do any of you boffins have any knowledge in this regard or know of work on such an aircraft going forward? I know there are big challenges but it would be a game changer not only for isolated communities but for… Read more »

Daniel
Daniel
12 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Well the AW609 is in the pipeline for small scale commercial VTOL (6-9 passengers) and on a larger scale Leonardo / AgustaWestland are also supposed to be developing the “Next-Generation Civil Tiltrotor” or NGCTR as a technology demonstrator proposed to first fly in 2023. I’m not sure if Bell plans to develop a civil variant of the V-280.

Daniel
Daniel
12 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

Did some further reading, NGCTR is supposed to have 20 passenger capacity, 1,000nm range and a cruising speed of 280kt.

geoff
12 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

Thanks Daniel. A step in the right direction but still way off being commercially viable.

Grant
Grant
12 days ago

One of the challenges of the V22 design is the prop rotors are smaller then a normal rotor, meaning high disk loading, which means it needs more power for a given weight and the down draught is much more powerful….

Spitfire
Spitfire
12 days ago

The pad wasn’t fit for purpose. Needs something more permanent.

Billythefish
Billythefish
12 days ago

Usual 2 penny nonsense infastructure commonly found in the UK. Basically a plastic mat.

AlexS
AlexS
12 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

Seems to have worked with helicopters.

julian1
julian1
12 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

it’s not an airport – hardly fixed infrastructure and never had an Osprey land on it before!

DaveyB
DaveyB
12 days ago

Brilliant, who didn’t pin down the trackway properly? As you can see in the video, the Osprey landed on the grass beside the small helipad. The person doing the project for the helipad should have been working to a spec where they include the heaviest helicopter likely to use the pad, i.e. a Chinook or if in the UK a Sea Stallion. They are then supposed to secure the trackway in accordance with the max weight takeoff downdraught that these helicopters can generate. The Chinook will generate a gusting 70 knot wind either side of the aircraft where the blades… Read more »

Jan van der Werk
Jan van der Werk
12 days ago

Cracks me up that. Moral of this? Lay a proper pad. Daresay a Chinook would have done the same.

Dern
Dern
11 days ago

I wonder how much it could have withstood, would a Merlin have been okay? Who knows.

Nic
Nic
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I wonder if the same would have happened, If had been one of the current Coastguard helicopters .

Dern
Dern
11 days ago

Looks like someone needs to invest in a better HLS…

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 days ago

Just for some context around what it’s worth spending money on. The air ambulance service only use the lighter end of the medium rotor spectrum. Across the whole nation there are only around 70 missions per day. The NHS ambulance trusts respond to around 20,000 calls per day and make around 13,000 transfers to ED departments every day. So why would any sane NHS manger piss away money to create helipads that can be used by a vehicle that not even our own Military have. There is no magic money tree In the NHS and healthcare spending in this country… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by Jonathan
James
James
9 days ago

Is paint the grass with a big white H no longer possible these days?