“I struggle to parallel park!” Shoppers amazed as 999 chopper touches down in packed B&Q car park


DRAMATIC footage shows an air ambulance pilot demonstrate amazing flying skills by landing in a busy B&Q car park – landing just metres from vehicles.

The pilot, flying in a stiff breeze, even opens the cockpit door in an apparent effort to get a better view of the tiny landing target.

The aircraft was scrambled after a customer at the store in Barnstaple, Devon, collapsed and was receiving CPR.

Builder Mark Lane, 55, recorded the remarkable scenes yesterday (Mon) afternoon as the South West Ambulance Service chopper approached.

Onlookers and social media users were amazed by the pilot’s incredible skills.

Suffering the brunt of high winds, the helicopter had to be extra cautious when landing in such a tight space.

A SWAS worker can be seen helping to guide the pilot into the cleared space.

Social media users praised the pilot after viewing Mark’s video

The door to the aircraft is clearly open to help the pilot get a clearer view of the ground beneath them as they land.

Caravans and trailers were parked in the busy car park, but a row of spaces was clear which the helicopter was able to land on.

As the aircraft lowers the rotor on top of the helicopter is just feet away from the roof of nearby parked cars.

At the end of the clip the vehicle lands smoothly in the tight carpark, despite the wind which is russling the nearby trees.

Mark posted his video to the Facebook group “North Devon News” writing: “Devon Air Ambulance landing in B&Q car park today. Some seriously amazing piloting!”

A woman called Nicky Appleby commented: “Incredible skills! I struggle to even parallel park!”

Gillian Harber wrote: “Brilliant manoeuvring. Hope everyone ok.”

Tony Neville added: “When you consider what was around, trees,lamp posts, buildings etc that’s pretty skillful piloting!”

Speaking today, Mark from Barnstaple said: “I went to B&Q for some materials. Sadly someone was on the floor by checkouts having CPR by ambulance team.

“Outside the B&Q staff were trying to clear a space for the Air Ambuance. I went to my car as I thought I had to get it out of the way, but I was waved away by a paramedic to stand clear.

“Within a few minutes of circling the Air Ambulance did a landing in a very tight location. Tall pole lights on one side, trees, cars and vans on the other. Very very brave, skilful and professional.

“No cushy helipad to land on. Just shows what the helicopter crew has to face every time they go to an emergency.”

South West Ambulance Service issued the following statement yesterday: “SWASFT was called to Barnstaple Retail Park at just before 2.20pm after it was reported a male patient had become unwell.

“Paramedic teams treated the man and he’s been taken to hospital by air ambulance for further treatment.”

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