Dunmow pilots airlift medical aid to help Ukraine

Dunmow businessmen Jeremy Taylor and Clifford Smith with the Ukraine medical aid in the Ciruss SR22, Essex

Dunmow businessmen Jeremy Taylor and Clifford Smith with the Ukraine medical aid in the Ciruss SR22 - Credit: supplied

Two Dunmow businessmen have taken part in a Dunkirk-style airlift to get emergency medical equipment to the border with Ukraine.

Jeremy Taylor and Clifford Smith stepped forward and made up one of 10 private planes to make the long journey.

Black and white image by Peter Hamelinck Photography showing medical supplies ready for private planes

Medical supplies were loaded onto private planes in Essex, then flown to the Ukraine border. - Credit: Peter Hamelinck Photography

They flew from Andrewsfield in Stebbing to Southend where Jeremy's Ciruss SR22 plane was loaded up for the journey to the Ukraine border.

In total, nine Cirrus SR22s and a DA42 collectively transported over two tonnes of equipment donated by doctors and GPs from across the UK.

Any spare space not filled with defibrillators, trauma kits and syringes on the planes was filled with softer items including gowns, gloves and tourniquets.

Clifford and Jeremy battled poor weather, then temporarily restricted airspace as they approached their destination.

Jeremy, who runs the family business Taylors Service Centres which services vehicles, said: "It was quite a challenging flight with various conditions, with having to divert because there was military activity in the airport we were approaching. We had to divert to let the situation settle down.

"The weather was quite bad with ice and rain."

Co-pilot Clifford Smith is the Director at Elevate Construction, whose firm in 2020 was behind the new apartments called Altura Place on Stortford Road, built in the Art Deco style of the former garage on the site.

They covered their own fuel costs. They were asked for help by Charlie Kimbell, one of the instructors at CK Aviation, who had been approached by Rob Garbutt for the charity Lunar Aid.

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The not-for-profit NGO is airlifting medical aid to distribution centres on the Polish/Ukraine border using a network of voluntary commercial and private pilots.

Charlie said: "I trained Rob. He asked if I would be willing to fly aid to Ukraine, collected from UK hospitals.

"We got 10 aircraft out in one go, all light aircraft, privately owned, and shipped over two tonnes of aid out. It took just over a day."

Charlie, who admitted it felt like Dunkirk, now has a WhatsApp group and is approaching German plane owners to see if they can help with the relay.

Lunar Aid has set up a JustGiving page to raise £10,000 for emergency medical trauma kits to support Medical Aid for Ukraine, a group of doctors from across the UK collecting supplies, headed by Dr Roman Cregg at University College London hospital, who was born near Ukraine’s western border. 


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