December 22, 2010
December 15, 2010
Kevin Arblaster (39) of Aldridge has, through a scheme offered by the charity Aerobility managed to overcome his Cerebral Palsy to ‘fly solo’ for the first time in his life.
Mr Arblaster, who has been flying regularly since 2007 had until recently always been accompanied by a co-pilot or instructor. On 12th December, Kevin took the huge step of flying a light aircraft on his own at Tatenhill, near Burton Upon Trent.
Commenting on his experience, Kevin said he couldn’t believe what he had just achieved.
“Having Cerebral Palsy and being able to take control of an aircraft is a great experience in itself. However when your instructor feels that it is time for you take the massive step of doing your first solo, it is a totally different experience all together.”
Kevin explains that for a person with disabilities, a short solo flight such as this is about more than being able to control an aircraft; it means that “within the past 10 minutes you have in fact overcome your disability”.
Aerobility is a British charity (reg. 1081804) that enables light aviation for disabled and profoundly ill adults and children, turning the dream of flying into an exhilarating and fulfilling reality, allowing them to pilot an aircraft. Flying offers a complete change for the disabled, stretching horizons in every sense. Outcomes of flights include a realisation of ability and that life is very much for living.
Mike Miller Smith, CEO of Aerobility said, "Flying an aeroplane solo is an achievement for anybody, let alone somebody with a disability such as Kevin. He has worked really hard, and with the time and support of our instructors and our specially adapted aircraft, Kevin has been able to achieve his dream. We're really pleased to be part of this fantastic achievement. We work with over 300 disabled people every year, more and more of which are from the Midlands as we develop our Flight Training Centre at Tatenhill Airfield with the help of our friends at Tatenhill Aviation. Credit is also very much due to Kevin's Aerobility Instructor Craig Knott"
Aerobility operates from four centres across the UK, including the airfield at Tatenhill.
December 10, 2010
Over 400 people attended the evening, with notable guests including Gerald Howarth, Minister for International Security Strategy, TV entertainer Jon Culshaw and the RAF Red Arrows aerobatic team. After a gourmet three course meal guests had the chance to bid on some incredible auction prizes, from a high speed taxi run in the Vulcan XH558 to a Breitling Aerospace watch.
The Aviators Ball is the main fundraising event for Aerobility each year, with the money raised contributing enormously to the charity’s annual running costs.
Mike Miller-Smith, CEO of Aerobility said:"Without doubt this year’s Aviators Ball was our most successful yet. We cannot hide from the current global economic situation, yet with the unwavering support of our existing sponsors, our new sponsors and the generosity of our brilliant supporters, we have raised a record breaking sum for the charity."
“Not only that but we have been inundated with such positive comments about the event, everyone genuinely had a great evening and are already putting Saturday 26 November in their diaries for the 2011 Aviators Ball. I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped make the evening possible."
Gerald Howarth MP, Minister for International Security Strategy added, "Aerobility is doing a remarkable job in affording those with a disability the opportunity to engage their passion for flying. I am particularly pleased that we are able to include a number of those who have suffered serious injury on recent military operations."
"The amazing generosity of the guests at the Aviators Ball reflects the huge support there is for this project and will enable us to fund many hours of flying instruction. The Ball has established itself as one of the highlights of the aviation calendar, thanks in large measure to the inspirational leadership of Mike Miller-Smith and his team."
2. The charity was founded in 1993 and until 2010 was called the British Disabled Flying Association (‘BDFA’)
3. Aerobility achieved charitable status in 2000 and its Patrons are Gerald and Lizzie Howarth
5. Aerobility is a User Led Organisation (“ULO”) and provides advice, knowledge and advocacy for disabled people who wish to fly