CARE from the air costs £1m a year.
And the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which has saved scores of lives, now needs help to carry on.
The helicopter service depends entirely on donations to get airborne.
The Air Ambulance team is now urging walkers, bikers and horse riders to support the service in the Examiner Charity Challenge in May.
Last year, entrants raised £3,532 for the distinctive yellow life-saver, which first took to the skies of Yorkshire in October 2000.
Chief pilot John Sutherland stressed how important the service is. "There are people alive in Yorkshire today who wouldn't be without the helicopter. I think eventually everyone is going to know somebody affected by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance," he said.
The helicopter's mission times are counted in seconds and minutes. Reaching top speeds of 170mph, it has rescued scores of people involved in terrible accidents.
Many of them would have died, or suffered more seriously, without the ultra-fast service.
"In this instance, speed saves lives," said John.
When 15-year-old Marc Jackson was run over by bus in the centre of Milnsbridge in April 2002, John landed in the nearby Kwik Save car park and ferried the critically injured boy to Leeds. Marc has since made a strong recovery.
"Marc Jackson was a classic case," said John. "Huddersfield wasn't the hospital for his injuries."
The team flew Marc to Leeds in lass than 10 minutes.
Last December, the helicopter reached Leeds General Infirmary from Halifax in six minutes.
Based at Leeds-Bradford airport, the airborne ambulance is never further than eight minutes from a hospital.
As well as the pilot there are two paramedics on board with room for standard medical kit found in any ambulance.
It is down to the sheer skill of the pilots, mostly ex-Forces, that makes it such a success.
"There's always somewhere to land. Because we are an air ambulance the Civil Aviation Authority allows us to land in places where other people can't."
That includes Centenary Square in the heart of Bradford or, in the case of Marc Jackson, in the supermarket car park.
Spotting six free parking spaces, John touched down just yards from the stricken Marc.