June 28, 2013

A Busy Few Weeks for Aerobility!

Hello there!

As always, things have been very busy and there’s lots of exciting news to catch up with. Below are a few stories from the past few weeks – if you have any stories or photos that you would like to share with the Aerobility community please feel free to email them to Geri (geri@aerobility.com) and we will add them to the next update!

Blast from the past…
This week we were very pleased to have a visit from Tim Ellison, one of the founding members of the original British Disabled Flying Club. Tim landed at Blackbushe in his very impressive BE-36 Bonanza after a flight across the Atlantic, and the Aerobility team were very keen to take a look!

The Bonanza!

Tecnam Training
In anticipation of the arrival of our brand-new aircraft, Tecnam UK Managing Director and friend of Aerobility, Captain Tim Orchard, visited us at Blackbushe to deliver a bit of ground-school. To ensure that we are ready to receive the Tecnam, Tim spent some time with some of the Aerobility instructors and member pilots delivering some preliminary training and type conversion information.
The ground-school was a great success and we are looking forward to the delivery of the Tecnam even more now!

All smiles as the Aerobility team go back to school!

Mobility Roadshow, Telford      
This year it is the 30th anniversary of the Mobility Roadshow, and we are delighted to be exhibiting again. With the mobile simulator and new balloon seats on show, the Aerobility stand is certainly a highlight!

Dave Rawlins manning the Aerobility stand

The Aerobility team, led by Brian, will be at the roadshow until tomorrow. It’s a great opportunity for to showcase the work that we do and make sure that as many people as possible know the opportunities that are available.

Volunteer Instructor Mick showing Tony the mobile simulator.

FSDP Scholars
Over the last three weeks, we’ve been very lucky to be joined by two Flying Scholarships for Disabled People scholars. Audrey and Claire have made amazing progress, battling against poor weather, facing the dreaded Air Law exams and keeping up with lots of new information.

Audrey with her instructor, Peter.

Claire with Aerobility CEO Mike.

Both Audrey and Claire have been a great addition to the Aerobility team at Blackbushe, and as they come to the end of their scholarship training we wish them the very best of luck in the future!

The 2013 Aerobility Raffle
This year’s raffle is well under way and ticket sales are going strong! Don’t miss out on your chance of winning one of the amazing prizes on offer. For more information, check out this link: http://www.aerobility.com/raffle/raffle-2013.php

That’s all for now – don’t forget to send in any stories or photos, we’d love to hear from you!

Happy Landings

The Aerobility Team

BBMF Weekend: 6th/7th July, Blackbushe Airport

The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is an iconic commemoration of the both the individuals and the aircraft that have made up the rich history of the RAF. With a unique collection of historical aircraft, including the famous Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane, BBMF represents the RAF motto in all that it does – Lest We Forget.  

The aircraft are regularly seen at events commemorating World War II, upon British State occasions, notably the Trooping the Colour celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's birthday and at air displays throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. Now, we are also able to offer a taste of the BBMF to you from the Aerobility HQ at Blackbushe airport!

On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th July, the BBMF will be basing one of their prized Spitfires at Blackbushe. In a show of generosity, they have very kindly made the Spitfire available to friends of Aerobility – just to have a look, not to fly unfortunately! The Spitfire will be available for viewings with the BBMF team between 16.30-18.30 on Saturday 6th and between 10.30-12.30 on Sunday 7th. Weather permitting, we should see the Spitfire fly once or twice.

Alongside the exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with the Spitfire, we will be offering flights in our very own PA-28 Simulator to get your flying skills up to speed. On Saturday afternoon, we will also be running an aviation-themed baking competition – so get your creative baking mitts on and start experimenting! All cakes will be available for a small donation, so they’ll need to taste as good as they look…

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity – get it in your diary now! We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday 6th July:
·        Aerobility HQ Open: 14.30-19.30.
·        Spitfire landing: approximately 15.20. Spitfire departing: approximately 19.30.
·        Spitfire Viewings: 16.30-18.30

Sunday 7th July:
·        Aerobility HQ Open: 10.00-14.00
·        Spitfire departing: approximately 13.30
·        Spitfire Viewings: 10.30-12.30

June 06, 2013

Aerobility Activity Week at Airways Airsports, Darley Moor

The weather couldn’t have been better for the first day of Aerobility’s activity week at Darley Moor. Five Aerobility members gathered in expectation of three days of Gliding, Paragliding, and Hang Gliding. In the event the high wind meant that Gliding was to be the only offering on day one, but what a choice. Guy Westgate briefed participants on what was in store; a flight in his Fox glider including the opportunity to learn the techniques involved in looping and rolling. A procedure to hoist all participants into the glider worked well and once seated and strapped into this most beautiful (and I am assured strong) machine, it was time for the tow to 4000 feet. 

Testing the hoist!
Keeping in position behind the tug is perhaps more difficult than might be imagined. We released from the tug in typical Guy fashion with the Glider inverted, and then after some basic turns it was time for the first go at a loop. I tried to recall my briefing “Descend rapidly at 45 degrees to gain speed, level off, pull back and start to relax pressure as you reach the top”  sounds simple , but what a thrill when you complete your first (no doubt very untidy) loop. Another two goes and I was hooked, but now on to the roll. “Descend rapidly to gain speed, level off, pitch up 15 degrees, and stick hard over” The Fox does exactly what you ask, what a machine! Guy finished the session with demonstrations of a four point hesitation roll, a stall turn and finally a quarter clover. The Fox lands at a high speed, but Guy still managed to come to a standstill in exactly the same spot we had started from; true precision.  

A fantastic day out!

This was an amazing experience that I will always remember, our thanks to Guy and all the team at Airways Airsports, who looked after us royally all day, we will be back.

Briefing in the Derbyshire sunshine with one of the canine locals!

Written by Brian Catchpoole

June 05, 2013

A Visit From The British Airways Cabin Crew Entertainment Society

This week, we were very pleased to welcome members from The British Airways Cabin Crew Entertainment Society (BACCES) Committee to Blackbushe. BACCES produce an annual pantomime and donate the proceeds to charity. We were very kindly put forward to receive a donation from the proceeds of the 2012  panto, Aladdin, by an Aerobility supporter, and were very pleased to accept a donation of £400.

The Aerobility team and BACCES Committee members
We would like to say a very big thank you to BACCES and all involved - we're looking forward to getting into the panto spirit at this year's Dick Whittington production!

AeroExpo 2013: A Wonderful Weekend

This weekend, we were very pleased to attend AeroExpo at Sywell Aerodrome. As always, it was a great event showcasing the aviation industry with lots of like-minded aviators to meet and introduce to Aerobility. The Aerobility stand was very busy, manned with a large team of dedicated volunteers. We took our PA-28 G-BSYY to show the public the benefits of having a hand control, which generated a lot of interest from passers by. 
The Aerobility outside exhibition space

Also on display this year was our new ballooning venture - we took along our specially designed balloon base complete with its newly made stand which allowed potential users to test out the accessibility of the seats. It also gave our volunteers somewhere to rest their weary legs! The balloon seats proved to be very popular and many people stopped to ask if there really wasn't a basket to go around them...

Audrey, Nick, Mike, Pedro and Mary showing off Aerobility Ballooning

A highlight of the exhibition, not just for Aerobility but for everyone that attended, were the amazing glider displays performed by gliderFX's Guy Westgate. As an Aerobility Ambassador Guy was a fantastic representative for the charity, drawing in lots of positive interest with his Aerobility branded Fox glider. When it wasn't busy displaying, Guy parked the Fox up next to G-BSYY and spent time demonstrating how to hoist someone into the front seat. Guy performed each day with the assistance of his tug pilot, Paul.

Guy showing off the impressive display ability of the glider....

... as well as it's functional capability

Guy also treated those that waited patiently on Saturday evening to a breathtaking display at dusk, complete with pyrotechnics and LED lighting. The display reduced the crowd to complete silence, and with no background noise to compete with the swooping and swishing sounds of the glider as it twisted and turned through the air had a magical effect.

The display was a highlight for all that saw it.

Guy challenges the limits with every display, an attitude consistent with Aerobility's own. 

AeroExpo was also a great chance for us to catch up with old friends and update them on all of our activity. It also saw the return of our much-loved Aerobility mascot, Wilbur, who wasted no time in going round to let everyone know that he was back. A hit with the kids and adults a like, Wilbur managed to get himself snapped with anyone who is anyone!

Wilbur with the Pooleys gang.

Stopping to catch up with the latest news...

With our friend Dean from Nicholson MacLaren

And he even managed to catch our Chief Executive, Mike Miller-Smith!

We were also very pleased to see our friends from Haywards Aviation Ltd, who are a great support for Aerobility. Hazel was busy selling raffle tickets and Matthew made sure that entry onto their big red bus was subject to a few pennies in the box for Aerobility.
Mike with Haywards Aviation Ltd.
One of the big success stories of the weekend was the launch of the 2013 Aerobility Raffle. We were busy selling tickets all weekend, with a big push on Saturday evening when everyone was happily fed and watered in the sunshine! The hard work of all of our volunteers, as well as from the Haywards team and even a few visitors who lent a hand, saw us sell over 1000 tickets. Not a bad start at all! The raffle is running until the 1st September, when we will be drawing the winning tickets at the LAA Rally, which is also held at Sywell. With first prize being a private lunch or dinner with Buzz Aldrin, this is not a raffle to miss. For more information, have a look at the website... http://www.aerobility.com/raffle/raffle-2013.php

So that's it for this year - we're already excited for AeroExpo 2014........