October 24, 2011

Supporter to run New York Marathon

Aerobility supporter Dale Acton intends to run the New York Marathon on 6th November and seeks further sponsors in his quest to raise funds for us.

Dale says: "As an avid trainee private pilot, choosing to raise money for Aerobility was an easy decision to make. For me there is no greater feeling than being up in amongst the clouds and being able to help give those less fortunate than me the opportunity to experience flying a plane is a privilege"

Please support Dale and Aerobility by registering your support on
Best of luck Dale and thanks for you support.

October 17, 2011

Jim's Marathon Success!

It was great to hear that Aerobility supporter Jim Pritchard successfully completed the Amsterdam Marathon in 4 hours 24 min. Many congratulations Jim and we hope that you are not to sore today!

Jim's run has a fundraising page on Justgiving – it's not too late to visit http://www.justgiving.com/jim-pritchard and lend your support.

October 13, 2011

Air traffic controllers’ Big Pull to give disabled flying charity a huge push

It may be one of the slowest events ever to take place at the historic Goodwood motor racing circuit, but The Big Pull is set to bring rapid rewards to Aerobility, the British charity that facilitates light aviation for disabled and profoundly ill adults and children.

Teams of air traffic controllers and their managers aim to raise a remarkable £100,000 towards the acquisition of a Piper Archer aircraft for the charity which would be equipped with specific features to support disabled fliers.

They will be sponsored to pull a vintage Second World War aircraft on a course down the main straight at Goodwood after the air traffic control officers’ branch of the union Prospect and the UK’s leading air traffic services provider NATS came together to support Aerobility as their adopted charity.

Aerobility will benefit from a series of fund-raising projects and events organised by NATS and the controllers in the year ahead, with The Big Pull on 3rd June 2012 as the highlight. The previous evening there will be a gala dinner and charity auction at Goodwood House. Prospect members can also opt to donate as much as an entire working shift’s pay with tax benefits under a Gift a Shift scheme supported by NATS.

Last year through Aerobility 350 disabled people experienced trial instructed flights, 15 disabled people went solo and five completed either PPL or NPPL qualifications. These people had every conceivable disabling condition from spinal injury, amputation and multiple sclerosis through to learning and sensory disabilities. They ranged in age from 12 to 92 years old, and in background from school children to wounded service personnel.

Prospect ATCOs’ branch officer, Mr Chris Edwards said:
“As an absolutely terrific aviation charity, Aerobility is an obvious choice for us to direct our efforts towards. The Big Pull will be a great challenge for everyone involved and we look forward to beating the team of NATS executives who are taking part!

“We’re extremely grateful to the management at Goodwood Aerodrome for supporting the event.”

NATS CEO Richard Deakin said:
“Aerobility has achieved a fantastic amount already in getting so many people airborne who would otherwise find it extremely difficult to experience the pleasures of flying an aircraft. It’s a great pleasure to direct our fund-raising efforts at NATS towards helping Aerobility move on to the next stage in its development.”

Aerobility CEO Mike Miller Smith said:
“Growing the organisation to meet demand has not been easy in recent times. Working with NATS is going to give us the ability to support more disabled people around the UK and to grow the Aerobility family into an even more effective social project. It’s wonderful to get this kind of support from inside the aviation community, working with both the employer and employees that manage the skies above us. It would be hard to find a more fitting partnership.”


Press Office: Singleton PR
+44 (0)844 822 1658

October 11, 2011

Another first!

Andrew Taylor  after his first solo
Congratulations to Aerobility Tatenhill student Andrew Taylor on a very nicely flown first solo. After just 8 hours of training with instructor Craig Knott, Andrew achieved a nice smooth landing which was witnessed by his parents.

Enjoy the rest of your training towards getting your pilots license.

Andrew represents an additional first, Aerobility's first ever solo pilot with ASD – Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

October 05, 2011

Mike at the Palace

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, patron of The Air League, recently hosted the League’s Annual Reception at St James’s Palace.

During the reception Aerobility CEO Mike Miller-Smith was presented with a Framed Address in recognition of his tremendous work in the field of Flying for the Disabled.

Congratulations from us all Mike, well deserved.

Red Arrows Support Aerobility

The Red Arrows Charitable Trust have supported Aerobility with a very generous donation for which we are extremely grateful.

The presentation was made back in August at RAF Scampton in the presence of all the Red Arrows pilots including Flt Lt Jon Egging who died tragically only a few weeks later. Whilst very happy to receive the ‘Reds’ support our thoughts are very much with Flt Lt Egging’s family at this sad time.

FSD Students Complete a Triumphant Time with Aerobility – Both Fly Solo

Flying Scholarships for the Disabled (FSD) scholars Dave Conway and Sean Allerton have completed their intensive four weeks training with Aerobility based at Lasham.

The final full day of flying was triumphant with a first solo flight by Sean that was a truly fitting end to their time with us. Says Sean: “I’m proud, chuffed and astounded - all at once. Just give me time to descend from my high”. Happy to oblige Sean!

Aerobility adds its congratulations for your achievement. We are certainly proud of the success Sean and Dave have both had. Your hard work has paid off, and you are both well on your way to a PPL. We wish you well as you return home for a well earned rest.

Pictures from the top:

  • FSD Director Sue Whitby and Aerobility instructor James Brown with our duo
  • Dave & Sean meet up with Aerobility CEO Mike Miller-Smith
  • Fresh from his first solo, Sean poses alongside Yankee Yankee

Aerobility Challenge VAT liability of Adapted Aircraft.

Aerobility recently attended a Tribunal in London to challenge the decision by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that Aircraft adapted for piloting by disabled people are liable for VAT on both purchase and subsequent maintenance, unlike other vehicles such as disability modified cars and boats.

Over a two day period, CEO Mike Miller-Smith and Coordinator Brian Catchpoole both gave testimony to the Tribunal. We are most grateful to our solicitor Ingrid Gubbay and counsel Kieron Beal, who both gave of their time and considerable knowledge and expertise on a pro bono basis. The Judge reserved his decision and we expect to hear the result in around two months time.

The hearing was not without its more bizarre moments, when a wheelchair lift failure on day one found Brian trapped inside the court and Mike on the outside. With true British pragmatism, the tribunal adjourned to the corridor and Mike gave his testimony in a space no more than 4 foot square, accompanied by the sound of the adjacent lifts recorded message of “going up”. Day two of the hearing was moved to a more accessible venue and was perhaps somewhat more tranquil.

Pictured are Mike and Brian with our legal team Ingrid Gubbay and Simon Latham