Ambulance flight lands at Leeds Bradford Airport carrying girl, 8, injured in ski accident

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An eight-year-old Leeds girl has been flown back to the UK by private jet after a horrific skiing accident in the Alps.

Rayne Gilbert, from Bramley, ruptured her ACL and tore a bone from its socket after the crash in Austria while on a half-term ski holiday with her family.

The air ambulance flight lands at Leeds Bradford (pic: Andrew Easby)

The air ambulance flight lands at Leeds Bradford (pic: Andrew Easby)

Their travel insurance covered the cost of a medical evacuation flight from the Alps to Leeds Bradford Airport, and a private aircraft carrying a doctor and a nurse landed safely at the Multiflight engineering and maintenance base at the weekend.

Little Rayne, who dreams of becoming an Olympic skier, now faces surgery and a month in a cast.

There's now a live webcam stream of flights from Leeds Bradford Airport

Rayne and her mum Vanessa were skiing with a group of extended family members in the resort of Mayrhofen while her dad Jonathan and six-year-old sister Eden Rose, who has complex needs, remained in the UK.

The medical evacuation flight lands at Leeds Bradford (pic: Andrew Easby)

The medical evacuation flight lands at Leeds Bradford (pic: Andrew Easby)

"It was our second-to-last day on the slopes and Rayne was going down the piste. She went over the brow of the hill and didn't come out on the other side. We skied down and she was just lying there screaming and saying she'd broken her leg. We told her to lie still for a minute and let the pain subside - she's had a lot of nasty falls before and got straight back up. When I tried to touch her leg she started screaming horribly," said Vanessa, who is a full-time carer for younger daughter Eden Rose.

Vanessa called her brother, who was inside a nearby restaurant, and asked the resort management to send a snowmobile to take Rayne off the mountain.

"When they came they could see she was in so much pain so they called the air ambulance, as the hospital was an hour's journey away by road. It was so fast - the helicopter landed two minutes later.

"When we got to the hospital they told us she'd ruptured her (anterior cruciate) ligament and ripped part of the bone from the socket. They said she'd probably need surgery back home and put her in a cast from hip to ankle."

Rayne and her mum Ness leave the ambulance flight (pic: Andrew Easby)

Rayne and her mum Ness leave the ambulance flight (pic: Andrew Easby)

When the family returned to their rented apartment, they contacted their insurance provider Virgin Travel to arrange for Rayne to be evacuated.

The commercial airline that the Gilberts had booked a return flight with told them they could not allow Rayne to travel for safety reasons, but Virgin arranged for a small private aircraft carrying two pilots, a consultant and a nurse to fly Rayne and her mum home.

"Virgin were fantastic. They moved us to a hotel near the airport and organised an ambulance to take us to the airport which took us straight onto the plane. Rayne was quite nervous but she was really excited when she saw we were the only people on board. The staff were amazing - she had them wrapped round her little finger!"

The youngster faces emergency surgery this week and Vanessa will then meet teachers from her primary school to discuss Rayne's return to lessons.

Rayne inside the ambulance

Rayne inside the ambulance

"Rayne's idol is the American skier Lindsay Vonn, who also tore her ACL in a similar accident in Austria, and she then made a motivational video about her recovery. Since we got home Rayne has watched that video hundreds of times! She wants to make her own video so she can look back on it and see what she's overcome."

Freelance photographer Andrew Easby captured the ambulance flight's arrival back in Leeds on his live webcam stream, which can be viewed here.

Rayne is treated on the piste after the accident

Rayne is treated on the piste after the accident

A road ambulance waited at the Multiflight base to take Rayne to hospital (pic: Andrew Easby)

A road ambulance waited at the Multiflight base to take Rayne to hospital (pic: Andrew Easby)