- A US Air Force tilt-rotor aircraft accidentally damaged a helipad at a UK hospital.
- The incident, which was captured on video, occurred during a training exercise on Wednesday.
- The hospital was forced to temporarily redirect emergency medical flights to a nearby airport.
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A US military aircraft accidentally damaged a helipad at a UK hospital on Wednesday, forcing local emergency medical flights to be temporarily rerouted, British media reported Thursday.
The intense downwash from the rotors of what has been identified as a US Air Force CV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft wrecked the helipad at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge during a training exercise, sending rubber matting and other debris flying.
A video of the incident has surfaced online.
A US Air Force 48th Fighter Wing spokesperson told ITV News that “some damage did occur” and that the service is “taking steps to rectify as soon as possible.”
“Our units are continuously coordinating with our local partners to improve operations,” the spokesperson said. “We are greatly appreciative of the relationship and coordination we have with the UK.”
The Air Force has not yet responded to Insider’s request for comment. No injuries have been reported from the incident.
Dr. Victor Inyang, medical director for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, told the British outlet that the helipad is temporarily unavailable to air ambulances due to an incident involving a military aircraft.
Emergency medical flights were redirected to Cambridge City Airport, where patients could be transferred to a land ambulance for delivery to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, which is a important trauma center, a Cambridge University Hospitals spokesperson told ITV.
Elliot Langran, a bystander, told the outlet that as debris was flying up into the air, the “biggest fear was the helicopter.” Langran said that “the worry was if the debris went above the rotor it could have damaged the aircraft or, even worse, the people.”
The incident and the impact to the hospital were also confirmed by the Cambridge Independent.
The CV-22 is the Air Force special-operations variant of the Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey.
It is a tilt-rotor aircraft for infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply that can takeoff and land vertically like a helicopter but also fly great distances in a turboprop aircraft configuration.
As The Drive noted in its report on the incident, the powerful downwash from the Osprey’s rotors has caused damage before. In 2010, rotor downwash knocked branches off trees at a Memorial Day event in New York City, injuring 10 people.
In an update on the helipad situation Thursday, Cambridge University Hospitals told the Cambridge Independent that the “site is now cleared and safety checks are taking place. Once completed, the usual helipad will reopen.”