Rav Wilding follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. A major search operation is launched for a pilot trapped in his wrecked cockpit.
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If you're seriously ill or critically injured up here,
your life is in real danger.
Complaining of severe pain.
Mid-thirties, been ejected from a vehicle.
Hospital's an hour away by road
and speed is the only thing that can save you.
Yeah, Roger. Helimed 99's en route to you, over.
The Yorkshire Air Ambulance and its highly trained paramedics
are scrambled 1,000 times a year.
-Tell me exactly what's happened.
-A small child was on the path.
A wagon's cut the corner and run over him.
Many of its ex-military pilots flew the SAS into action.
That's not a suitable landing site, this one here is.
Welcome to the life-and-death world of the Helicopter Heroes.
Today on Helicopter Heroes...
'I'm in a field in a ditch. I've crashed through a hedge.
'I'm stuck in the cockpit of a glider.'
A glider pilot crashes but the team can't find him.
A boiling hot day so he'll be hot, let alone in pain.
A young cyclist has a terrible accident.
We've come down for a bit of fun and it's ended in a bit of tragedy.
The Romans are back
and there's a legion of problems for the Helimed team.
Four casualties at this time, over.
And boys will be boys but paramedics have to pick up the pieces.
He fell on a rock and I fell on top of him and squashed his chest.
How's this for a thrill?
We're soaring like a bird with no engine to keep us in the sky.
Gliding is as near as you can get to growing wings.
We're soaring on invisible currents of warm air
but this is a sport that has its dangers too,
as one pilot found out this summer.
The sky over the Vale of York
is one of the UK's busiest pieces of airspace
and today it's even more crowded than usual.
The airfield at Sutton Bank is the venue
for a national gliding competition
but there's an emergency.
It's a glider that's come down somewhere up near Stokesley.
Basic service, Helimed 98. I'll set 2,000 and fly when I'm clear.
Luckily, the Helimed team has a base at Bagby,
in the shadow of Sutton Bank and its famous white horse.
Paramedics Tony Wilkes and Paul Kilner
are on the way to search for the downed pilot.
'Ambulance, what's the address of the emergency?'
'I don't know. I'm in a field in a ditch.
'I crashed through a hedge. I'm stuck in the cockpit of the glider.
'The last I saw, I was 14km roughly north of Carlton.'
Initially, we've got Carlton in Cleveland.
We were given a grid for that.
That's almost in Teesside Zone then, really.
The glider pilot comes from Sussex
and isn't familiar with the rolling Cleveland hills
where he's come down.
Not a lot of information at the moment except the glider's come down,
we think, in a field. Hopefully we'll get updated on the way
and get more information sent through.
Because we are up very high and we might have gliders,
everyone keep your eyes peeled for them.
'Have you got GPS in your glider?'
-'Yes, I have.'
-'You have got GPS.'
'I can't reach it.
'Ah! I can't.'
'You can't reach it.'
He said there's a road north of him in the field
so that could be the road.
Back at Helimed headquarters, flying paramedic Sammy Wills
is trying to put herself mentally in his cockpit,
working out where he may have landed.
Initial reports from the patient was that he was trapped by his ankle
and the way he described his instruments in the cockpit,
they were smashed up around him and some had been thrown out of the cab.
It's a boiling hot day so just being trapped by the Perspex as well.
He'll be hot, let alone in pain.
'Are you actually on a farm?'
'So, is there...? How far are the buildings to you?'
'I really don't know, I'm in a hedge.
'I'm right beside a road, a bicycle just went past.'
'Can you try and get their attention?'
'No, I can't, because it's a very thick hedge.'
On the ground, ambulance crews have joined the rescue operation.
Pilot Andy Lister used to fly for the police.
He's used to searching from the air.
A large, white glider shouldn't be too hard to find.
Right, I will suggest, even from now we should start
peeling our eyes back and having a look for gliders in fields, really.
Finally, they spot a glider on the edge of the search area.
Ah, there he is!
Well spotted, mate.
-Yeah, one o'clock?
Durham-Tees Radar, Helimed 98 now letting down.
The puzzle is, this glider doesn't look damaged.
Perhaps the pilot has freed himself.
-Doesn't look like there's anyone in it.
-No, there isn't.
-You want me to go on have a look?
-If you want, mate.
It's the wrong glider.
Somewhere in the 200 square miles of search area,
an injured pilot is still awaiting rescue,
trapped in his cockpit under a hot summer sun.
The Helimed team must find him.
There are some symptoms which ring alarm bells with paramedics.
Among them, a back injury,
when combined with loss of feeling in the legs,
is probably the most worrying.
It's a bright summer's day
and the paramedics are en route to Conisbrough near Doncaster.
Joe Hamshaw has fallen
while attempting a massive jump on his mountain bike.
How you doing, Joe?
We were out on our downhill bikes.
We've come down for a bit of fun and it's ended in a bit of tragedy.
He hit that jump there, hit it a bit fast,
gone a bit fast and fell off his bike.
Did you physically see him come off?
-Right. What happened?
Went over a 20-foot jump and went over the handlebars.
Helimed paramedic Glen Powell finds Joe with a land ambulance crew
in the valley bottom and it isn't looking good.
-What's his pain score now?
Lack of sensation in his plantar reflex.
No sensation, movement or anything?
Joe's dad Steve has arrived.
He got a phone call and rushed down to try to help his son.
Yeah, my ex-wife rung me and she says, "Can you get to him,
"he's had an accident down at Steetley's."
And I found him, like, with the ambulance team,
who was doing a tremendous job.
Can I leave you guys to get him on board and everything, yeah?
Paramedic Glen is very worried.
Joe doesn't know it, but he may have severed his spinal cord.
The risk is that he may never walk again.
He's come down quite a steep gradient, like a one in three or one in four.
Witnessed by some bystanders who've been cycling in these woods.
He's flown past them at some speed, taken off on a jump,
landed it and then gone down and accelerated further
and gone over another jump.
He landed wheel-first on his bike, flipped over the handlebars
and landed flat on his back doing 30 miles an hour.
The team needs to get Joe out of the woods quickly
but work carefully to ensure there is no further damage
to the delicate spinal cord.
Right, Joe. We're going to move you in a second, buddy. All right, mate?
He's pretty experienced.
He's been doing it a few years now.
He's a sensible lad normally.
I think he was a little bit silly coming on his own.
He's usually a sensible lad but he probably weren't thinking.
Probably thought it wouldn't happen to him and it has.
If you got the fire brigade, there's a gate at the top.
You can cut that open and get down here with an ambulance.
But there's a problem.
Joe is deep in the woods,
hundreds of metres from the nearest road or landing site.
Pilot Steve Cobb is moving Helimed 98 to get closer to their patient.
It's quite steep out left.
Is everybody happy going to the left?
-If anybody is not happy at any time, just say.
Joe's dad is showing the strain.
He knows his son is very seriously injured.
It's a hot day and the physical exertion of the climb
out of the woods is affecting him too.
Little steps. Everybody happy?
He's beginning to lag behind.
For now, all the attention is on his son.
But that's about to change.
Got a second casualty. There's a guy collapsed!
Few jobs have changed as much as those in the ambulance service.
When many of the Helimed team first put on a uniform,
they were simply expected to drive and give first aid.
Now they can inject drugs previously restricted to doctors
and even perform surgical procedures.
But if you really want to trace medical progress,
you have to go back to the days of the UK's first trained medics.
They conquered Britain nearly 2,000 years ago
but now the Romans are back.
These make-believe Romans spend their weekends
showing 21st-century Britons what life was like
when we were just an outpost of a vast empire.
These re-enactment groups pride themselves
on always staying in character, no matter what happens.
But today a group of visitors have been badly injured
by a stampeding horse.
It's the sort of accident that could have easily happened back in 55 BC,
but the treatment is coming from a very modern flying machine.
Horses, eh? A big horse event.
Going to cause even more chaos, aren't we, if we're not careful.
You wouldn't get me on the back of a horse for £1 million.
Incredibly dangerous things.
It's clear this Roman camp has already been invaded
by a fleet of modern ambulances.
Several spectators have been struck by the runaway horse.
Hiya. We've just got one lady here
but there's three more over there who might be more injured.
Just making my way around four casualties at this time, over.
These two guys, I've never seen him yet.
-Did you have your leg stood on, mate?
-Stood on it, yeah.
And this lady's got some hip pain.
Watch your arm, Jean, just going to put this round you.
I saw this horse running up towards my kids so I tried to grab the rope.
-I managed to hold it for a little bit.
-Oh, well done!
It's jumped over my daughter's head.
And just pulled me and as I've landed,
its back legs have landed on my...
Query possible, one fractured leg and...
a lady with minor, minor head injury
and another query, very query dislocated hip and one low back pain.
This bizarre accident happened when the legionnaire's horse
came face-to-face with some very modern 21st-century fencing.
We were watching some Roman centurions
being put through their drill in the field.
The horse, apparently someone was feeding it grass,
and it leant over and touched the electric fence and panicked
and cantered in a big circle all the way around,
jumping people and pushchairs and tents.
All the legionnaires and gladiators have come to help,
including Richard Berry, who's been doing this re-enactment for years.
It takes a lot for these groups to step out of character,
but here everyone's now firmly back in 2011
to help the modern-day medics.
There don't appear to be any serious injuries at this horse event.
Two more ambulances have been requested.
So we are back online available for further tasking.
The patient I was dealing with says the horse
jumped over his two children, a two and a four-year-old.
Could have been a very, very different story.
So as the Helimed teams soar back into the sky,
the re-enactment continues.
Everything at these events is as it would have been
when the legions first set up camp in Britain.
So much better than the normal javelin.
But today, the Helimed team aren't yet finished with the first century.
Funnily enough, we're going back to where we where earlier in the day.
It sounds like somebody at the same event is having a heart attack.
So we're off back up there
so that event will have two visits from us in a day,
which is fairly intensive.
They say all roads lead to Rome and pilot Andy Lister's
landing back in exactly the same spot they were in just hours earlier.
For paramedic Sammy Wills, things are very familiar.
I've been here before!
You must have deja vu.
Yeah! What's he got now, pain-wise?
Not good. He started off at five but I think he's actually getting worse.
Knock, Knock. You wouldn't happen to be Richard, would you?
-Are we keeping him on the leads as we're going down?
-We are, yeah.
Earlier in the day,
Richard had been in the arena, taking part in a mock battle.
Then he was helping those kicked by the horse.
Now he's needing urgent treatment for a heart attack.
-How are you feeling now, Richard?
In fact, we'll just pop you back on to the monitor
and then we'll take you down to the aircraft, all right?
Our plan, Rich, is to fly you.
Of course, in Roman times, Richard wouldn't have stood a chance.
It's likely this would have quickly lead to death,
so today he's happy to leave his centurion character behind
for a flight in Helimed 99.
Yeah, just relocated the patient to the ambulance.
We're going to drive down, I'll come down and meet with you.
If you could have the defib and the pads on standby, over.
The gentleman looks really uncomfortable.
He's never actually had a heart attack beforehand
but he does suffer from angina.
He's had quite extensive cardiac surgery.
The pain's come on while he's been exerting
and he's still quite uncomfortable.
It's fair to say the Helimed paramedics
have seen some sights in the back of their helicopter
but it's not often you get someone dressed quite like this.
This is not a dress, it's a tunic.
You've been re-enacting, haven't you?
I've been re-enacting.
So I overdid it in the heat and everything.
In modern-day Britain, medical technology is on Richard's side
and he's soon being flown to a specialist cardiac hospital,
which'll be able to treat whatever is causing his heart to struggle.
And while in Roman times, Richard might have been treated
with wine, vinegar or a hot bath,
in modern Britain he's able to take full advantage
of the latest cardiac treatments.
I've had stents before in two coronary arteries.
And they, for some reason, clotted, both at the same time,
which is really quite rare.
That's why it happened so quickly.
They said it wasn't because of the exertions and things I was doing.
They just really don't know and they're looking into it,
why suddenly both of them clotted.
So it was very touch and go.
I think I went into VF a couple of times and they shocked me back.
Although doctors aren't convinced the two emergencies were connected,
dealing with a Roman stampede must have put a strain on Richard's heart.
I heard behind me just people running, a lot of noise.
I turned and as I turned, I saw this horse running through the crowd.
Just then, the horse clipped one of the rope barriers
and I saw it hit this lady on the side of the head.
She went down very heavily.
I just shot over there because I thought if the horse comes back,
at least I've got some armour on and I can protect her head,
and try to protect her that way.
But no-one expected the helicopter's second visit to the same place.
And he was certainly an unusual patient to be carried in Helimed 99.
They've taken the Michael quite a bit.
Most of my armour was off and that was sent home
but I did have my cingulum militare, which is the belt
and one of the nurses was walking around
with my dagger and my belt on, going, "Look at this."
About five times too big for her.
Then they were taking the knife out and having a good look at that
so we've had a laugh.
It's all gone home now. It's all back home.
For now, Richard will be just reading about,
rather than recreating, the Roman Empire.
Now let's get back to the hunt for the glider pilot
missing from this airfield in North Yorkshire
and it's proving to be a frustrating time for the Helimed team.
Injured and alone but unable to tell his rescuers where he is,
all paramedics Tony Wilkes and Paul Kilner know
is that their patient desperately needs them.
We're with a glider in a field at the moment
but we've just been told it's not the glider we are seeking.
So we're going to get airborne and search again.
Somewhere in 200 square miles, he's sitting in his wrecked glider.
'Do you remember seeing the main A172?'
'That's just west of Carlton.'
-'I wouldn't have recognised it, I'm afraid.'
'I'm a visitor up here. I know where I am on my map
-'but I don't do road numbers or things like that.'
But at last, they have a lead.
The RRB advises that police have eyeballed the patient
and he's in Stokesley-Seamer area.
OK, this location is just north north-west of Stokesley,
about four miles.
-Is that the grid you just put in there?
He's still on his own in this field, apparently.
There's cows in it, too, according to that tug aircraft.
I don't know if we got that last time.
He's been able to give as much information about what he can see
and where he was
and despite that, the incident's now 55 minutes old.
We believe we'll be with him now in the next three or four.
There it is, on the nose.
-Hello there. What's your name, sir?
-My name's Les Blows.
-Hi, Les, I'm Paul. Nice to meet you.
Pilot Les Blows has been trapped in his cockpit for more than an hour.
No wonder he's pleased to see his rescuers.
Have you any pain anywhere, as you're sat there?
I strongly suspect I've got a bone broken in my ankle.
-Just this one. I'm perfectly OK elsewhere.
No other pain. Stay nice and still for us,
just don't move your head. Any pain where I'm pressing?
-No, my head is fine.
-If you take a nice, big, deep breath for me?
-Yeah, it's OK.
Just pass me your arm for a moment, let's feel this hand.
His leg is badly broken.
The glider has hit a tree stump.
Let's have a feel of it. You've no pain in your hips?
-No pain in my hips.
-Nothing in your tummy?
No, typical aviator's accident.
-Nothing on there?
Nothing on there.
Glider pilots often have to land away from base
but this field was harder and shorter than it looked.
That's right. Just use it to elevate you onto the top.
I'll support your ankle.
With no brakes, Les ran out of runway.
Just let that left foot down.
I'm going to fall off.
-You're quite all right.
-I am going to fall!
Oh, ah! Argh!
No, ow, ow, ow!
-Where's most of your pain?
-On the side of the shin.
-There's a big swelling.
-It's all right, I know. We've seen it.
What we're going to do is, just listen to us.
You're not going to fall, I promise.
Paramedic Paul knows the long wait could have complicated Les's injury.
One of the problems, I guess,
when you find a location like this is everywhere looks the same.
We were given two or three different grid references
and eventually we managed to find this gentleman, which was good
because, as you can see, it's quite an isolated place.
He wouldn't want to be here too much longer,
especially with night-time coming and what have you.
So it was good to find him, yeah.
Now that Les has been found,
the scale of the search for him is obvious.
I am impressed by the amount of emergency services that have turned out for this job.
I don't think I'm really cut out to be a glider pilot
and I'm not sure after seeing an incident like this, it's really the pursuit I want to take up.
The crash happened barely 50 feet above sea level
but even mountain rescue have been called out.
This isn't wild and inaccessible,
but it could have been. You just don't know, do you?
You don't know whether it's across a ditch
or halfway up a tree.
In those situations, the team's capabilities come into their own.
-Now I feel faint.
-It's all right. Just try and relax.
-Take some nice deep breaths.
-Am I going to lie down?
You're OK at the moment.
Les's condition is now beginning to concern his rescuers.
Is the time he spent trapped in his cockpit under the summer sun
catching up with him?
Heatstroke is serious and potentially deadly.
Remember the young cyclist badly injured in an accident
in South Yorkshire.
It's a worrying case and it's taking its toll on the victim's father.
Five minutes ago, Steve Hamshaw was trying to help his son
lying paralysed in the woods after a cycling accident.
We've got a second casualty, there's a guy collapsed.
Now the Helimed team have two critical patients on their hands.
Back down the track, Steve has collapsed with a suspected heart attack.
Helimed crewman Glen Powell is desperate to get ground paramedics to his aid.
He's collapsed down there.
I don't know whether that guy has something serious going on.
He could be having an MI.
That stretcher and a blue bag is for that guy down there
just in case something's kicking off.
Can I leave land crew to deal with that? Yeah?
There's a stretcher there and a blue bag.
The team's priority has to be Joe.
He's numb from the neck down.
Glen and Darren know his dad Steve's getting medical care.
They want to get Joe to hospital as soon as possible.
At this stage, the lad really does look like he's broke his back,
with possible spinal cord compression,
or worse than that, severance.
He's quite a poorly lad.
Further on, guys.
There we go.
He can't feel anything below the diaphragm.
Joe, tell me when you stop feeling things. I'm just going to tickle you.
Joe is flown to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield.
Surgeons are waiting to assess his injuries.
The signs are worrying.
Joe still has no sensation in his lower body.
A land ambulance is now taking Joe's dad, Steve, to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.
His dad's life hangs in the balance
and it's uncertain if Joe will ever walk again.
Significantly, he's got no feeling at all below his diaphragm.
For the future,
if that's a permanent situation that he's in, he may not be able to walk.
He can move his arms OK,
and he can breathe OK,
but we're concerned that at the moment
he has no feeling below his diaphragm.
A few weeks later and there's good news for one of the patients.
Steve is recovering at home from what was a serious heart attack,
probably brought on by the strain of his son's injury.
Got these chest pains, fortunately there was a paramedic there.
She said you don't look very well.
I said I didn't feel it. She asked me what was the matter.
I said I'd got chest pains.
I had this spray, which I use.
She told me to use it and sit down and not move.
The air ambulance people carried on with Joe
to get him to hospital as quickly as they could.
Meanwhile, they sent for a stretcher for me
and they took me to the ambulance they had parked on the roadside.
They put me on the ECG machine and it must have been all over the place
and they said, "You must go to hospital as well."
Today in Sheffield's Northern General Hospital,
Steve is visiting Joe for the first time,
a patient with a different but just as remarkable story of survival against the odds.
We'll be able to have some proper beer soon.
He's out of intensive care, but still has no sensation in his legs.
His future remains uncertain, but the memories of that tragic day in the woods are crystal clear.
Trying out a new jump I had done the day before.
I was doing it successfully.
I did it on the day of the accident
and I just went over the handlebars
and I thought I was dead.
For mum, Denise, it's been an unbelievably tough few weeks.
Following the accident, Joe's lungs collapsed
and he spent much of his time under sedation.
I have been here every single day with him. I've been through everything with him.
I've cried a million tears and now we're just starting to laugh,
thank God, because he's talking.
He's being cheeky and is giving me orders now,
so I know he's getting a bit better, telling me what I've got to buy!
Three months later, and Joe is slowly working towards regaining his independence.
He is now even allowed home for weekend visits.
His family have been alongside him all the way.
They've been keeping me soldiering on. When I've had down days, they've been here to support me.
Some days I have my happy days
and I have my depressed days.
Physiotherapists are working to help Joe with his mobility.
It's a slow process but progress is being made.
And relax... And down again.
All they're basically saying, "Is left toe going down?" and they were doing it.
Or else they were moving my knee as well to command.
But it's a great feeling when I could do that.
It was a day when by terrible coincidence, father and son could both have died.
But for this family, survival alone is a reason to be optimistic.
Boys will be boys, that's what my mum used to say!
But a teenage sense of adventure can certainly land you in trouble.
Often, it's the Helimed team who are expected to pick up the pieces.
The lakes and reservoirs of the Dales make sure the taps never run dry in Yorkshire's big cities.
They store the Pennine rain and release it when it's needed.
But they're also a playground for the young and the adventurous.
But when things go wrong, the Helimed team are often needed to rescue the casualties.
We've got some people on the path. It's not them, no.
-Might be interesting.
-It looks like it is, actually.
Could be down there.
Two o'clock or three now.
14-year-old Samuel Barker has been thrown over his handlebars
while cycling around a reservoir near Todmorden in West Yorkshire.
OK, just opening the door.
The reservoir is surrounded by steep embankments
so pilot, Steve, is forced to land some way from the injured teenager.
I tried bunny hopping over a puddle and my forks just came off.
Disappeared underneath you?
-And I just face-landed.
-Cool, did you have a helmet on?
-Next question is, why?
-Let's have a proper look at you.
Samuel was cycling with friends when the accident happened.
Fortunately, they were able to call for help and keep him warm until the chopper arrived.
He gave me his phone and I rang his dad and he came as soon as he could.
We've just sat with him and wrapped him up in jumpers.
It's really important we keep your head and neck in the same position.
Samuel landed face first and is in a lot of pain.
James is keen to minimise his discomfort with a shot of morphine.
Sam, however, has other ideas.
Do not inject me. Don't inject me.
I've not got anything in my hands. Let's talk about it first.
-You're going to need one anyway.
-No, I'm not having an injection.
-OK, why's that?
-I'm really scared of needles.
-Are you? OK.
A broken front fork was the cause of the accident.
It happened in the middle of nowhere.
But Samuel still had Dad to comfort him.
He rode up on the family quad bike and is about to come in very useful.
We are going to reposition.
Really steady, that's great.
Give us a smile, you're on the back of the bike.
We're doing grand, actually.
He is being remarkably chipper, considering he landed on his face.
We just need to get his face looked at and, obviously,
any head injury we need to observe for a period of time.
Another lesson of why to wear a helmet when you are on a pushbike.
Does that mean I am going to be in hospital for a day?
Just an afternoon probably.
He may be nervous about needles,
but fortunately, he has no fear of flying.
It turns out he is, in fact, a helicopter enthusiast who, one day, wants to become a chopper pilot.
Is it a Jet Ranger?
Not a Jet Ranger, MD902 Explorer.
-Has it got a jet engine?
-Has it got a jet engine?
-Two jet engines.
Samuel is about to take off for Leeds General Infirmary
where doctors will X-ray and scan him.
The wounds to his cheek and eye needed 13 stitches.
He is now cycling again, but will always wear a helmet.
Children are often hurt in strange ways and in the most unusual of circumstances.
It's May, and the Helimed team are en route to Thorne near Doncaster.
On the map, there is a mast just beyond the target.
Two young lads have injured themselves while riding a quad bike on farmland.
Just an update. Two patients, one walking wounded.
The other, a 14-year-old male is unconscious. Over.
The boys were out enjoying themselves when they drove straight into a hidden hole,
catapulting them from the quad.
Only one of them was wearing a helmet.
Land paramedics have managed to get to the injured boys on foot
and a worried mum has arrived in a four-wheel-drive.
No obvious injuries. There is nothing obvious that I can see.
Collar's on, 100% oxygen and just been keeping an eye on him.
With quad accidents, the rider is often thrown clear of the bike.
It is then down to chance what they collide with.
All right, mate.
Medic 2 to Medic 1.
Rear-seat passenger Todd has been unfortunate.
When he was thrown forwards, he hit his head on the back of his friend Matt's helmet.
Let's get him.
-All right, Todd, good lad.
-That's it, mate.
Paramedics Tony and Al are concerned.
Todd is drifting in and out of consciousness
and has also been vomiting.
These symptoms point towards the possibility of a serious head injury.
Open your eyes for us, Todd. Don't move for us, mate.
Ready, steady, move.
-Get his head up. That's smashing.
-Ready, steady, move.
That's it. Lovely.
Todd's mum is understandably terrified.
She will travel in the chopper with her son to hospital.
Todd's friend Matt is conscious, but will travel by land to Doncaster Royal Infirmary to be checked out.
Can you open your eyes for us, Todd?
Ey-up, matey. All right?
Can you talk to us?
Leeds General Infirmary isn't the closest hospital,
but with a specialist neurological ward, it is the right place to treat Todd's head injuries.
It's Tony, the paramedic off the air ambulance.
We're going to be bringing in a 14-year-old to you shortly.
He's been on the rear seat of a quad bike.
They've been thrown off the quad bike.
He's gone through the air about 10 to 15 feet.
With Mum on board, the chopper takes off for a 15-minute flight to the LGI.
Here, doctors will be waiting to examine Todd
and a CAT scan will determine the extent of his head injuries.
A few days later and Todd is still in the Leeds General Infirmary.
For him, the accident is a hazy memory.
For his mum however, it's a day she'll never forget.
I got a mobile call from Matthew
and he said that he had fallen off a bike and he couldn't wake Todd up.
That he'd had an accident.
I actually asked him if he was joking.
I thought he might just be kidding.
But he said no and he told us where he was.
So I jumped in the car and went down.
Matt was crying, he was really upset. Todd was just out cold on the floor.
He was just laid there, just lifeless.
It was really, really scary.
I just remember waking up in a bed
down that corridor somewhere.
That's all I can remember.
Amazingly, both Matt and Todd escaped with no major injuries.
But Todd came off worst and he learnt a big lesson that day.
If I ever go riding again, I'll wear my helmet.
If you're thinking of not wearing a helmet, wear it.
If you don't wear a helmet, you could end up like me.
He's lucky to be alive. I really do believe that.
Anthropologists reckon that learning to take risks is what helped
humans conquer the Earth.
You and me may see danger,
but daredevil teenagers just see an opportunity for fun.
Even in today's world of games consoles, iPods
and smartphones, some childhood favourites remain timeless.
There are ways of having fun
and hurting yourself which have been around for generations.
Did they say they were in the woods?
It's a rope swing, so I would've thought it would be across a tree...
Only a few miles from the Helimed air base, 13-year-old Callum Fisher has injured himself.
His friends say he was unconscious for a few minutes
and complaining just of the pain in his jaw from where his mouth hit...
Callum was playing with his brother when things went wrong.
I were on the swing and my brother Callum held onto my legs.
As we swung, Callum let go and grabbed my ankles
so my hands slipped off the tree.
He fell on a rock and I fell on top of him.
And I squashed his chest.
Luckily, Callum's brother is a first aider and he knew what to do.
Well, we put him in t'recovery position.
He stood up, fell on t'floor, and then we went to go call for help.
Rung ambulance and, fortunately, saw these guys over here who helped us.
Have you got any loose teeth at all?
All knocked out, I think.
Try and get your head nice and still.
Now this might support your jaw a bit.
And then it will actually help with the pain a bit.
All right? There you go.
Do us a favour and just look at me.
Open your eyes and look at me.
Callum's dad is shocked, but not necessarily surprised.
With a house full of kids, it seems it is not the first time
they have got themselves into bother.
We have four children, four boys and one girl...
Three boys and one girl.
He is the youngest of the boys and is a typical lad.
What can I say?
Nice and steady.
We'll get you on here. OK?
What we'll do first, keep you nice and still, bring that leg forward...
OK. All right.
With Callum immobilised in case of a spinal injury,
he is transported out of the woods into the waiting chopper.
It turns out that Callum has broken his jaw which needs to be
reconstructed with two titanium plates and eight screws.
It's a good job younger patients like him also heal more quickly.
Boys being boys there and paying the price.
Let's return to the case of the glider pilot whose crash landing
in North Yorkshire sparked a major rescue operation.
An hour-long search for the missing aviator has finally ended in a farmer's field.
Les Blow's glider was badly damaged
when he hit a tree stump after misjudging a landing run.
At 6,000 feet...
On the way here, we came across another glider, what are the chances of that?
Apart from a broken leg, he seems uninjured,
but paramedics Paul and Tony were concerned
that his wait for help in the hot sun may have had other effects.
But Les has improved now he has been given painkillers.
I belong to Southdown Gliding Club in Sussex.
I'm up here on a gliding competition,
which has been loads of fun up until now.
A car went past here to the farm and didn't see me.
A horse box went by.
The cows didn't care about me.
It was a passing farmworker who finally discovered Les.
They were going past in the tractor
and the tractor is tall enough to see over the hedge.
He was smart enough to think, "That doesn't look right".
Luckily, he came and rescued me.
Fortunately, he knew exactly where he was so, finally, we could tell you where I was.
They're keeping a close eye on Les.
But his wife's about to get a nasty shock.
The helicopter had trouble finding me. Air ambulance...
"Darling, I've crashed," isn't the sort of call she expected to receive.
They got me out and then just given me some morphine for my ankle.
And that's all I know really.
It's a hot day and Les is going to be cooler travelling in an air-conditioned ambulance
rather than the overheated cabin of the helicopter.
Even the pluckiest pilot may be concerned about taking
another flight on the same day as a crash.
He had no chest or abdominal injuries,
no pelvic or long bone injuries.
Most of his pain was in his left ankle.
Quite a swelling on there so it looked like, potentially,
his fibula and his tibia may have dislocated and fractured.
He had movement in there and had a pulse there.
So we basically reduced it slightly to help with the pain
and put that in a splint.
As you can see, we're just transporting him
into an ambulance down to James Cook Hospital.
The next day, Les undergoes surgery on his leg.
Metal pins are put into his ankle.
He should recover completely in time. But he's unlikely to forget that flight.
It was the latest start of the day. I think it was about two o'clock when we departed.
I flew from Sutton Bank east to a stupendous sea breeze front
which is an amazing cloud formation coming in from the sea.
Very exciting flying at about 6,000 feet, it was just wonderful.
I flew all the way north up that front.
As I came back west along the south of Middlesbrough, I just got lower and lower
and I couldn't find anywhere.
And so, eventually, I just had to land.
Nothing was going to rescue me.
I might have got away with it if there weren't a huge trunk of hawthorn in the hedge
which then went and penetrated the front of my fuselage
which is, of course, right where my feet are and did the injury to my leg.
Les has written books on gliding and he's pulled off many
safe landings in farmers' fields.
His accident was due to a freak misjudgment,
but he knows injuries like his have ended many a flying career.
Because I'm a senior instructor, I've noticed in others,
the way they dealt with, or not, this kind of psychological trauma.
Some just walk away and say, "No thanks, I'm not doing that again."
Others might bounce straight back the next day, get another glider
and off they go as if they've not been touched.
And I'm pleased to say he has no plans to give up flying.
He reckons there is no thrill like soaring up here.
And I can't say I blame him.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Rav Wilding follows the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
A major search operation is launched for a pilot trapped in his wrecked cockpit. 999 controllers have no idea where he is - and it is up to the helimed team to find him.