Prince William's fellow RAF airman wins MoD payout

Prince William's fellow RAF airman wins MoD payout

05/03/2021

Prince William’s fellow RAF Sea King airman wins MoD payout after his rare cancer is linked to helicopter’s fumes – sparking health fears over future king

  • Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, spent 15-year RAF career piloting Sea King
  • He inhaled the fumes from the now-retired aircraft’s powerful twin engines
  • MoD were  forced to admit that his the fumes caused his bone marrow cancer
  • Prince William piloted Sea King for 3 years while in RAF search and rescue Force

Prince William’s fellow RAF Sea King airman has received a payout from the Ministry of Defence after his rare cancer was linked to toxic fumes from the helicopter.

Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, from Cardiff, spent his 15-years RAF career inhaling the fumes from the now-retired aircraft’s powerful twin engines.

The MoD have been forced to admit that the fumes caused Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma, following a six-year legal battle.

Flight Sergeant Zach Stubbings, 42, (right) from Cardiff, spent his 15-years RAF career inhaling the fumes from the now-retired aircraft’s powerful twin engines

Prince William also piloted the aircraft (pictured at the controls of Sea King) for three years while serving in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey

Prince William also piloted the aircraft for three years while serving in the Royal Air Force Search and Rescue Force at RAF Valley, Anglesey.

He carried out 156 search and rescue operations – saving 149 people – during his time there.

The fume dangers highlighted by Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ legal bid will no doubt cause concern within the Royal Family. 

Flight Sergeant Stubbings uncovered documents from 1999 revealing that the MoD were warned of potential issues caused by Sea King fumes by experts.

But nothing was done to rectify the issue, The Sun reports. 

Flight Sergeant Stubbings told the paper: ‘The Government chose to ignore it. It’s a scandal.’ 

The MoD have been forced to admit that the fumes caused Flight Sergeant Stubbings’ (pictured) bone marrow cancer, multiple myeloma, following a six-year legal battle

An MoD spokesperson said: ‘The health and safety of our personnel is of the utmost importance and we are committed to providing a safe working environment. 

‘Three studies undertaken by the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine into Sea King found there were no definitive conclusions in terms of risk to health. 

‘RAF Sea King reached the end of service in 2016.’

The Duke of Cambridge started as an Officer Cadet the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 2006.

He went on to a commission in the Household Cavalry before joining The Blues and Royals as a Lieutenant.

He then transferred to the Royal Air Force and began his Search and Rescue pilot training in January 2009. 

THE DUKE’S CV: FROM NURSERY TO THE MILITARY 

In September 2008 it was announced that Prince William wanted to become a full time RAF search and rescue pilot (pictured, William at the controls of RAF Sea King)

Prince William first attended Mrs Maynor’s School before joining Wetherby School, in London, at the age of four in January 1987.

He remained there until July 1990 when he left for Ludgrove School, in Berkshire.

In 1995 he moved on to Eton College, where he took A-levels in geography, biology and history of art.

After completing his studies at Eton he went on a gap year, during which time he visited Chile, Belize and Africa.

Upon his return in 2001, he enrolled at the University of St Andrews, in Fife, Scotland, graduating with a 2:1 in geography in 2005.

His military career began when he followed his brother Prince Harry into Sandhurst more than seven years ago.

He graduated from the college in December 2006 and was commissioned as an officer into the British Army.

He went on to join Harry’s regiment, the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, and was promoted to lieutenant in 2007.

Princes William and Harry at their military helicopter training course base at RAF Shawbury

In September 2008 it was announced that William wanted to become a full time RAF search and rescue pilot.

He began training in January 2009, later completing advanced helicopter flying training at the Defence Helicopter Flying School based at RAF Shawbury near Shrewsbury in Shropshire and undergoing the search and rescue conversion course at RAF Valley in Anglesey, North Wales.

He became a full-time operational search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley and served with C Flight, 22 Squadron, on Anglesey since September 2010.

In 2013, William left the Armed Forces to begin his training as a future king.

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