A man was slashed in the face by a patio umbrella after an air ambulance took off near his garden in Epsom.

The four members of the helicopter crew had been attending an incident in the area on July 2 at around 5.10pm, but were re-tasked so started preparing for departure.

A recent report from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch says the group moved spectators back to a safe area and checked their surroundings.

The helicopter, an Agusta AW169, lifted into a hover and turned before climbing backwards until it reached 200 feet above ground level.

It then flew forwards on route, but while the helicopter was departing, a man described his garden as being “affected by a tornado.”

He was constructing a climbing frame in the garden along with two other people and heard the helicopter start up.

However, he was unable to see it due to the large trees blocking the view in his garden.

A heavy patio umbrella was lifted from its stand and struck the man in the face, giving him a significant cut.

It was then forced against the house wall due to the power of the downwash of the helicopter.

The report reads that the “rotor downwash should not have been significant, but local effects, such as funnelling by the physical geography of the location, may have further accelerated the air causing the significant downwash experienced in the garden".

A piece of cardboard packaging was picked up by the wind and was later found around 15 meters away from the garden in a local car park.

The 56-year-old pilot has 7,260 hours of flying experience.

The report concludes with: “Downwash from helicopters can be a significant risk, especially operating in an urban environment.

“Although the height of the helicopter meant that the downwash should not have been of a significant magnitude, the event caused a significant injury as items in the garden were blown around.”

Air Ambulance Charity Kent Surrey Sussex has been approached for further comment.