Andrew Westwood, known as Andy, is the newest pilot at Cornwall Air Ambulance. Originally from South Africa, Andy officially joined the team here on 1st January 2023.
After wanting to become a pilot since the age of just three, he joined the Royal Navy and spent 16 years as a troop transport pilot and teaching. He then went on to become a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Pilot, flying for the Mid Wales base of the Welsh Air Ambulance charity.
Andy moved to Newquay with his family during the Covid-19 pandemic and spent 18 months as a touring pilot before joining Cornwall Air Ambulance, which he is really enjoying.
We had a chat with him one month into his new role.
Why did you want to become a HEMS pilot?
“I love the opportunity to help people. The paramedics and doctors are the ones who really make a difference, but it’s great to be part of a team who are there trying to help people, and that’s what I love about it.”
What’s it like getting to fly over Cornwall?
“Cornwall is absolutely stunning. I was surprised how flat it is from the air because I’m sure when you walk the coastal paths, like I do, it seems really hilly”, said Andy. “But certainly, compared to Wales it’s a lot more two-dimensional from the air. It is such a beautiful county and a real privilege to fly.”
What do you like about working for Cornwall Air Ambulance?
“It is a really good team, I love the fact that we’re integrated with the rest of the charity here, and that you can see how all the different aspects of the charity work together to deliver the service that we provide.”
Outside of work Andy enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and is often found helping his daughter muck out her pony!