April 21, 2017

Thank you SkyDemon!

Great to catch up with our supporters at SkyDemon yesterday, who have supported us with funding towards flight training for Damian Hunter and Harvey Matthewson.

Tim, Hannah and Rob were able to personally meet Damian and Harvey, as well as check out our facilities - this included a flight in our simulator.

Thank you again to SkyDemon and their valuable partnership!

April 19, 2017

Thank you Persimmon Homes!

Last Thursday 13th April, our Fundraising Officer, Laura was invited to join Susanne, Meg and Zak from Persimmon homes at their Easter fundraiser.

The team, who will become Aerobility wing walkers on 26th May, had prepared a feast of Easter treats, cakes and hot cross buns for their colleagues, in exchange for a donation towards the teams wing walk fundraising target.

Laura commented, "It was great to finally meet and get to know our wing walking team from Persimmon, who are clearly pulling out all the stops to hit their fundraising target!"

A huge thank you to Persimmon Homes, who continue to be a valuable supporter and Partner of Aerobility.

Calling all volunteers!

Saturday 29th April - Lions Flying Day.
Volunteers required for the Lions Flying Day
A group of 18 participants expected along with their families and carers

We are expecting the Beaver and the Westland Scout helicopter from the Army Historic Flight to be also flying participants alongside the Aerobility planes.

There will also be some ground based activities, SIM, model making, buggy tours.

Lunch will be provided

This day will also be the press launch of Blackbushe75 Anniversary Event, so please don't be camera shy!

Please let gail@aerobility.com know if you can come along to help

April 10, 2017

Exciting new job opportunities at Aerobility!

Chief Operating Officer - up to £45,000

This senior new role will ensure the effective and safe delivery of day to day service operations including all key processes that enable professional flight and ground instruction for the provision of trial flights, aviation experiences, flight training and disability support services offered by Aerobility.   

Business and Administration Officer - circa £30,000 

To provide high quality and sustainable administrative and management support to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Head of Marketing Communications, Fundraising and Engagement to ensure the successful delivery of day to day service operations and events. To manage back-office internal processes – financial including bookkeeping, invoicing and payroll, reception, bookings, calendaring, IT and office management.
For more information on either of these roles please contact mike@aerobility.com by Monday 24th April. 

April 06, 2017

BWPA 2017 Scholarships

BWPA is pleased to award seven Scholarships to successful women applicants this year. As for last year, all applications this year are via the BWPA Website, and this year, all applicants must be members of the BWPA (full or associate) at the time of application, and on the closing date (15th April 2017).

Two of the scholarships are, as for last year, the BWPA Flying Start Scholarship and BWPA Flying High Scholarship. Both these scholarships are for £1000, and both are available for any type of flying, from ballooning through to helicopters, and all points between.  As the names suggest, the BWPA Flying Start Scholarship is available for new and very inexperienced pilots to gain their first qualifications, whereas the BWPA Flying High Scholarship is available for more experienced pilots with at least a first qualification who wish, for example, to gain further qualifications or take part in significant competitions, or to undertake other suitable activities to help them further their personal flying aims. 

New for this year is the BWPA Saul-Pooley Renewal or Revalidation Scholarship, with a value of £500. This had kindly been donated by Dorothy Saul-Pooley, and as the name suggests is specifically towards the renewal or revalidation of a lapsed licence or rating, and is available for fixed wing or helicopter flying.

We are again able to award this year the now ‘traditional’ BWPA CATS CPL/ATPL Scholarship, donated by CATS Aviation Training, Luton for the full value of their Groundschool CPL/ATPL (A or H) course, and this year it is joined by a further two scholarships donated by Bristol Groundschool, the BWPA Bristol Groundschool ATPL Scholarships, each for half the value of their ATPL (A or H) course. 

The BWPA CATS CPL/ATPL Scholarship and the BWPA Bristol Groundschool ATPL Scholarships are for applicants with at least a PPL (A) or (H), and relate to the ground school elements of a CPL or ATPL (A or H). Applicants must also be capable of obtaining a Class 1 medical. What is (and what is not) included in these Scholarships aimed at pilots intending to make a career in flying, is detailed on the application forms, along with the necessary qualifications for application.

Now announcing our seventh Scholarship for 2017 – the BWPA Air Total Scholarship 2017, worth £1000. This has very kindly been donated for the successful BWPA applicant by Air Total Aviation Fuels. The award is available for any type of directly engine-powered flying, to pilots with at least a first qualification, to provide support towards a particular personal or more unusual flying challenge. Examples might include (but are definitely not restricted to) air racing, a navigation competition, a flight to an uncommon destination, a mountain flying course etc. etc. If you have an interesting project in mind – apply! The award will be made to the female pilot who, in the opinion of the selection panel describes the most realistic, feasible, well planned and interesting project along with demonstrating a high chance of completing the project. (The panel also reserves the right to make no award if no suitable candidate is identified). The panel will include a representative from Air Total Aviation Fuels.

Whatever type of flying you do, from balloons through to commercial training, application for all the scholarships is via the BWPA Website, and the application forms, which include details of how to apply, are now available on the BWPA Website. As usual we are also advertising these scholarships as widely as possible, and in liaison with other flying organisations, to reach the widest possible audience. The scholarship selection panels will comprise BWPA members plus representatives from other relevant flying organisations.  Applications are all by e-mail, as they were last year.

The closing date for all applications is Saturday 15th April 2017, and the winners will be notified in late spring, in time for the 2017 summer flying season. All those awarded BWPA 2017 Scholarships will also be invited to the BWPA Christmas Lunch on December 10th 2017, the venue for which is yet to be announced.  

We encourage all potential and current women pilots to consider joining the BWPA (if not already a member) and applying for a scholarship; joining the BWPA directly helps to support our scholarship programme now and into the future. BWPA Membership is not restricted to UK citizens or residents, although the scholarships will generally be UK based.  Applicants may apply for more than one scholarship, provided they satisfy the relevant criteria for each application.

Good luck from the BWPA Scholarship Team; February 2017.

March 30, 2017

In memory of Michael J Baker

We are saddened to hear of the loss of Michael, father to our friend and Aerobility volunteer, Dom Baker. Some of you may also know Dom's partner, Harriet Pound. 


Firstly we offer our sincere condolences for the recent and unexpected loss of your father. Our thoughts are with you and your family. 

It is an absolute honour for us to be part of remembering your father and to be the charitable recipient of donations in your father's name. 

Thank you. 

Dom has asked us to share his Just Giving page with you, entitled

Aerobility visit the British Airways 747 Simulator!

One of our lucky flyers that attended, Damian Hunter has kindly put together the following words of thanks to the people that made this event possible. 
"Thank you to the Air League and British Airways for the great experience. It was both exciting and very educational. 

The tour round BA's Safety Equipment and Procedures centre was very informative."
"Thank you to Andy Clubb for the very good safety demonstration. And explained thoroughly how the brace position works and the importance of the position following a demonstration on how to use the emergency inflatable slides. 

"Hopefully none of us will have to use either the brace position or the slides, when travelling!"
"From there we walked across to the Simulator Hall where we were given a briefing and went to our Simulator with our instructors.

On my group we completed a series of touch and goes, which in a 747-400 is obviously harder than in a Piper Warrior - you learn how very helpful the trim is.

Thank you to British Airways for giving us the time in the Simulators and also to Andy Perkins for making it happen."
Another of our Flyers, Harvey Matthewson at the controls!

March 29, 2017

Handiflight 2018 – around the world Your chance to participate!

Aerobility Flyers have always been privileged to be invited and participate in the biannual Handiflight disabled pilots gathering in Switzerland. The Handiflight team has just announced an incredible project – disabled pilots flying around the world and Aerobility Flyers have been invited to participate. Please see below the following message and invitation from Daniel Ramseier the project organiser:

Dear friends,

Organized every year from 2007 to 2009 and every two years since 2011, Handiflight will see its next edition take place in 2018. But this time instead of inviting you to Gruyère we will leave with two light aircraft to meet other pilots around the world for a 9 months journey. These two CTLS, will be flown by Guillaume (Féral) and Paolo (Poccobelli). They will be alone on board to Australia and then to cross the Pacific and the Atlantic. We offer you the opportunity of piloting these airplanes for several periods of two weeks with Paolo and Guillaume as safety pilots on the following regions : Australia (March), New Zealand (April), South America (July) and North America (August), ,

The requirements are to have a PPL(A) (or be very close to get it) and speak English or/and French. All the aeronautical expenses (airplanes, fuel, taxes, etc.) are paid by Handiflight, but you will have to pay for food, lodging and airline ticket to join us. We hope to get discounted tickets.

These are not local flights but travelling, which can sometimes be long flights. As you can imagine, it will be impossible to satisfy the wishes of all. I will be solely responsible for the difficult choices that I would have to do. Thank you for your understanding.

The purpose of this first contact is to estimate the number of pilots potentially interested; it is not a formal commitment .

If you are interested in participating in this incredible project then please in the first instance email handiflight@aerobility.com

We will also send you a preliminary information pack.

March 24, 2017

Persimmon Homes become Aerobility Wing Walkers!

We are delighted to announce a team of three wing walkers from one of our valued local supporters - Persimmon Homes Thames Valley! The team includes:

Megan Ainsworth-Almond - Customer Care Administrator.
Susanne Hayter - Sales Administrator. 
Zakary Yates - Trainee Quantity Surveyor.  

Persimmon Homes have been a regular supporter of Aerobility since we first met the Thames Valley Managing Director, Martyn Clark over three years ago. Martyn, who flies himself, was quickly able to recognise the value in the services Aerobility provide, which sowed the seed for developing our partnership. 
It was a pleasure to host the Persimmon Homes Team early last year, so they could experience the facilities first-hand that make what Aerobility do possible. Since then, the team have regularly kept in touch and fundraised on our behalf, so it's amazing to have them join us for this exciting event!
Please show your support for our friends at Persimmon Homes as they undertake this exhilarating challenge!
You can find the teams fundraising page here: Persimmon Homes Wing Walking Team
Or if you would prefer to sponsor the team members individually, here are links to their personal online event pages:          Megan           Susanne            Zakary 

 A huge thank you to everyone at Persimmon Homes for your continued support!

March 16, 2017

AEP Trip To RAF Odiham

Last Saturday the AEP group went to visit 27 Squadron at RAF Odiham.
After a very informative presentation about the role of 27 Squadron and what they get up to throughout the year the group were shown around a Chinook, inside and out.
There were 8 Chinooks in the hangar and it was a very impressive sight to see these amazing aircraft up close.  The group got to sit in the back and look in the cockpit and ask as many questions as they could!!
It was a brilliant trip and we'd like to say a very big thank you to Chris, Steve and Andy and all of 27 Squadron for hosting us and a big thank you to Alan for organising the trip.

March 14, 2017

First airline simulator flown from the wheelchair – a world first!

Guest blogger Andy Perkins, who is a great friend of Aerobility as well as being a British Airways pilot and Air League trustee reports:

"Recently we flew what we think was the first takeoff, circuit and landing in a fully functioning Airbus A320 simulator for someone in their own wheelchair! As many of you know you know, Mike Miller-Smith is the CEO of disabled flying charity Aerobility. Mike has Muscular Dystrophy. Before his disease, he was working towards his ambition of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Although Mike spends all his time going out of his way to assist others with disabilities, we felt it was time to assist him in realising one of his dreams.

Therefore with the help of British Airways – Al Bridger, Andy Clubb and James Glover’s Simulator Engineering team, we managed to get Mike into the Airbus simulator replacing the first officer seat with his wheelchair. This got Mike to within 2 inches of the controls! To start with Mike was over the moon to be that close, and happy to watch. However, we weren’t happy with that at all! So with the assistance of the fantastic engineering team at BA as well as a 1980’s British Airways coat hanger and 3 tie wraps (Yes you are reading this correctly!) Mike managed to take off, conduct a circuit and then landed unaided. Most importantly, a very happy and extremely well flown circuit was safely made by Mike.

An amazing evening and great achievement for all involved. A proud evening to be associated with such great advocates of British Airways and again showed me what fantastic people we have within the company, not to mention fulfilling a dream come true and what must be a world first – flying an airliner from the wheelchair."

March 09, 2017

AEP Flight

We had another great AEP last Saturday.  The topic was flight and the group looked at navigation.  They looked at the scale on a map and at headings on a compass.

Working in pairs they then filled out a typical pilot's log with headings, distance, speed and time.  They used a protractor and a piece of string to work out distance and time - all very technical!  It was a challenging session involving lots of maths but as always the group stepped up to the mark and managed to complete their tasks very competently.