Getting a day job: Prince William to begin work as pilot - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Getting a day job: Prince William to begin work as pilot

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Prince William's new job as an ambulance pilot will conveniently fit in with his high-profile public and personal life. (Source: CNN) Prince William's new job as an ambulance pilot will conveniently fit in with his high-profile public and personal life. (Source: CNN)
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LONDON (CNN/EAAA) - Britain's Prince William is about to make a first for the British royal family by becoming the only heir to the throne to ever take a civilian job.

William will begin working as an air ambulance pilot for the East Anglican Air Ambulance service. It is the next step in what the palace describes as a transitional year focusing on his royal and charitable work.

A spokesman said the prince is "hugely excited and motivated." The palace said he'll donate his salary to charity.

He will start training in autumn and is expected to qualify as a pilot next year. He'll do everything expected of a regular pilot, including night shifts, except he'll be released for his key public duties.

Air ambulance pilot Steve Norris gave an idea of what the prince's job would entail.

"Once we get on to the job, I land as close as I can to the scene, the patient," said Norris. "Once they're in the back of the helicopter, I close the helicopter down, provide security to the helicopter if it needs it."

There's concern this news could expose the helicopter and crew to undue interest, perhaps hoax calls, though it wasn't a big problem in his previous role as a military search and rescue pilot.

He was involved in more than 150 search and rescue operations as a military helicopter pilot, often out at sea.

"It's rewarding every day because you come into work, you don't know quite what is going to happen," William said in a 2011 interview. "But at the same time, it's great to actually go out and save someone's life, hopefully, or at least make a difference to someone."

The EAAA is one of the busiest in the United Kingdom and operates over a diverse area, using whatever landing spots are closest to the patient.

The job will also allow William to remain as a hands-on dad to his son and heir, Prince George, who just turned 1 year old.

The young family is currently renovating its idyllic country home on the queen's Sandringham estate, which is a short drive from the two airports William will be working from.

The prince has always been keen on a role beyond his public duties as long as he's second in line to the throne.

This new job allow him to balance both positions and have his family close by.

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