Mark Hannant

The Flying Hospital parked on the static display is not just there to be looked at, as Russell Page found when he sprained an ankle.

The Flying Hospital, a Lockheed L-1011-50, is the largest commercially available airborne hospital ever constructed, fully functioning with a full complement of staff.

Though his day was ruined when he turned his ankle, Page managed to hobble to the hospital where the nursing staff attended to his injury. A ground engineer who works for Qantas in Melbourne in Australia, he had planned his two-week holiday to coincide with the show.

He was very pleased with the care he received from chief nurse Cathy Axelson and her colleagues. Says Page: "I had never heard of the Flying Hospital but I was pleased to find out about it.

"I have to say the attention I received was of the same standard I would expect to get in a regular hospital. The staff were great."

Once his injury had been seen to, medical staff carried Russell in a wheelchair down the aircraft steps, and positioned him by on the static display so he could see the remainder of the flying display.

The Flying Hospital was commissioned in 1996 at a cost of $25 million. It features a surgical facility with three operating stations, pharmacy , X-ray machines, fluoroscan, autoclave sterilisers and laboratory, onboard oxygen generation and an ear, eye, nose and throat station.

Source: Flight Daily News