Prince William 'could return to the skies as air ambulance pilot'

Aides close to the Duke say the Prince is longing to get back in the pilot's chair and earn a commercial flying licence

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The Independent Online

Speculation is rife that the Duke of Cambridge could make a return to the cockpit with the East Anglian air ambulance service.

Prince William gave up his wings as a search-and-rescue pilot for the RAF last year in order to devote time to his royal duties.

But according to aides quoted in The Sunday Times, the Prince is eager to take flight once again because he doesn’t feel he is ready to take on full-time royal engagements.

“The Duke is fully committed to his foundation and charities, but he feels he has not yet got flying out of his system,” the aide told the Sunday paper, before adding that the plan had the backing of senior Royals.

In particular, the Prince’s decision is said to be supported by Prince Charles, who is reported to have expressed regret about leaving the Royal Navy early.

Last month, The Daily Telegraph revealed that the Duke was hoping to pass a commercial pilot’s test, which would give him a license to fly civilian aircraft such as air ambulances.

The Prince already has a private flying license, along with his military wings credentials.

In a foreword to a book about RAF wives due to be published this week, The Duchess of Cambridge has said she felt “anxious” during Prince William’s flying shifts.

“I cannot pretend that I didn’t feel anxious at times when William was on shift in howling gales, knowing that he was out flying in extremely challenging conditions, but he loved doing it and I always felt incredibly proud of him,” she wrote.

The speculation comes ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s planned visit to an air ambulance team during a trip to Crieff, near Perth, on Thursday.