March 15, 2013

A Spring Update!

Good Afternoon Aerobility!

Here in the Aerobility HQ at Blackbushe, we’re all hopefully peering out of the windows for any signs of spring. With overcast skies and snow flurries dampening our spirits somewhat, we have been keeping ourselves busy until the warm weather arrives!

Some of what we do best…

The Aerobility motto of “something worth flying for” is demonstrated time and time again by the people we meet and the stories we discover. At the heart of everything that we do remains the belief that flying can truly change lives. It is as a result of the hard work of Aerobility’s instructors that this belief comes to life. In a recent flight, CFI Mike Owen demonstrated how, with a bit of hard work and a lot of enthusiasm, the barriers that prevent people from sharing in the joy of aviation can be broken down.

Aerobility were contacted by the father of a young boy called Thomas, who had heard about our work but was unsure if his son’s complex needs would prevent him from taking part. Thomas requires a special seating system, which his father explained would need to be fitted into the aircraft to enable him to take part in a flight. The family visited Blackbushe and were met by Mike Owen, who spent time trialling the seating system in our fixed-base PA-28 simulator. With this trial successful, the next step was to see if the seating system would fit in the real aircraft – all fingers and toes were tightly crossed by now! The seating system again fitted safely and securely, and the barriers to Thomas’ dream of flying were finally removed.

Having reached this point, Mike decided that the only thing left to do was to go flying! With a clear schedule and good weather it was up, up, up and away. The help and support of Aerobility, as well as the determination of Thomas’ father, allowed Thomas to share an amazing experience with his parents. The flight, Thomas’ father told us, will be “a lifetime memory for us all.”

Thomas during his flight with Aerobility

We also have a new addition to our equipment base, which we hope will enhance the flying opportunities for many more memebers. Thanks to long term Aerobility supporter and member, Chris Suddes, members now have the use of an ultra-portable folding wheelchair that can be dismantled and folded small enough to be carried in the hold of the Warrior. It is hoped that this will assist those members who require wheelchair use at a land away, but whose own wheelchair may be too large for carriage in the aircraft.

The new wheelchair alongside the simulator.

Making the news again….

As some of the more observant blog-readers among you may have noticed, we reported yesterday that Mike Miller-Smith was a feature on Anne Diamond’s BBC Radio Berkshire show. The interview was a great success, and Anne took such a shine to Mike that she blogged about him almost before we could! 

Mike meets Anne Diamond and makes a big impression!

As a self-confessed science geek, Anne was very impressed with our connection with Patron Buzz Aldrin, and especially with Mike’s casual references to “coffee with Buzz the other day”. Have a look below to see what she thought…

Aerobility supporter and dedicated volunteer Sam Waller has also been making the news. A pilot in last year’s Global Flight Simulator Challenge, Sam has continued spreading the Aerobility message with an article in the Weald Aviators Newsletter. Have a look at page 6 for a full account of Sam’s flight….

As you’ll see, Sam flew a rather long leg for us on her birthday. A great commitment and very much appreciated!

Mixing with the high flyers….

The Business Airport World Expo 2013 team have very kindly invited us along to the exhibition, which is being held at Farnborough next week. We’ll be rubbing shoulders with some of aviation’s top players, with everyone from Hayward Aviation to TAG Farnborough Airport on show.

Business Airport World Expo is Central Europe's only exhibition dedicated to showcasing the world’s FBOs and business aviation destinations to executive jet owners, operators and brokers. We’re very pleased to be going along, and hope to meet some great new supporters!

Over and out….

As you can see, it’s been another busy few weeks at Aerobility. If you haven’t been flying for a while, perhaps one of the photos taken by Battle Back student Cliff on a flight yesterday (he wasn't at the controls, don’t worry!), will tempt you back. Perhaps spring is on its way after all….


The Aerobility Team

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