February 28, 2014

Winter Aviation Evening - Captain Tim Orchard

Last week, we had a great time with Captain Tim Orchard who treated us to a speech entitled 'My Office at 60,000ft'.. Jealous?! Us?!

This was the second of our Winter Aviation Evenings and was supported by our friends at Breitling, who helped us to cover the costs and also gave us some fun prizes to raffle on the evening. It was a great event, with over 50 people from Aerobility and the local aviation community coming along to learn more about the record-breaking Concorde flight.

Why not come along to our next Winter Aviation Evening? We have one on Wednesday 12th March at Blackbushe and another on Wednesday 19th March at Cambridge Airport.

We'd like to say a big THANK YOU to Breitling for their support, but particularly to Captain Tim Orchard for volunteering his time and sharing his experiences!

February 27, 2014

Aviation Education Programme - Evacuate!

Our Aviation Education Programme, funded by BBC Children in Need, is going from strength to strength and being enjoyed by the students and volunteers alike! Our last session was Fire and Rescue 2, and made for a fun-packed half-term day for the students with a good dose of education hidden in there somewhere...

After a few rounds of toast to make sure everyone was well fuelled (and that the smoke alarm was definitely working), the group kicked off with a trip across to the Blackbushe Fire Crew to see how it all really works. The students were given a full tour and a chance to get up close to a real working fire truck - of course, the obligatory trying on of the firemen's hats was also completed with great amusement!

Once back inside the warm and dry of Aerobility HQ, the students learnt that valuable life lesson of 'Fire Triangle Poker' - we can assure you that no monetary bets were placed, it was just pride on the line! So what was it - fire, oxygen and..?

Now that we'd all established what we need to make a fire, the students were given a crash course in what to do if an on-board fire forced the aircraft make a crash landing! Cries of "Brace! Brace" followed by the sound of stampeding footsteps (sorry, orderly calm footsteps) could be heard from the other side of the airfield, as could the raucous laughter that followed!

Up next we've got Aircraft Engineering 2 - that'll be the jet engine then everyone? Simple!

If you'd like to take part in our next Aviation Education Programme, either as a session volunteer, student mentor or module writer then please do get in touch. We will also soon be looking for students for the academic year 2014-15, so if you think this would be of interest to you or someone you know then let us know - the programme is open to young adults (14-19) and no prior knowledge of aviation is required, although an interest is recommended! Inquiries should be directed to Geri (geri@aerobility.com)

Aerobility Aurora Trip - Flying With the Stars!

We're all very excited for this weekend's Aerobility Aurora trip, which is the first charity fundraising venture of it's kind. The lucky guests will be treated to expert advice and tips on viewing the Northern Lights from the BBC Sky at Night team, including celebrity, comedian and astronomy enthusiast Jon Culshaw. The experts will be giving an afternoon of specialist lectures before accompanying the guests on the flight to 61 North to hopefully catch an unforgettable glimpse of Aurora Borealis.

The Northern Lights as viewed by Aerobility Ambassador Guy Westgate

The Aerobility Aurora flight is not just an amazing experience, it's also raising funds to help us give more people with disabilities the opportunity to take part in aviation. It's also a bit of a team effort - our very own Chair of Trustees, Shona, will be very much in charge of the BA Airbus as she flies it northward!

If you missed out on coming along this year, let us know! We'll let you know how we get on, and hopefully have some great Aurora photos of our own to blog for you soon.....

Team Aurora - Event Organisers Mike and Shona getting the details all sorted out with Jon Culshaw

February 24, 2014

Cambridge City Airport: Winter Aviation Evening and Flying Day

We're really pleased to be able to announce our first regional Winter Aviation Evening, which will be held on Wednesday 19th March at Cambridge City Airport. WgCdr(Dr) Gus Cabre will be looking at human factors in aviation from an unusual perspective with his speech entitled 'Why Did Icarus Really Die?'

The evening will begin at 6pm, with WgCdr(Dr) Cabre speaking from 6.30pm. Tea, coffee and sandwiches will be provided in exchange for a small donation!

To add to the excitement, we're also very excited to be able to announce that we will be flying from Cambridge City Airport during the day on Wednesday 19th March (weather permitting). If you would like to book a lesson, trial flight or some solo time please contact brian@aerobility.com.

February 17, 2014

Reminder: Captain Tim Orchard speaking at Blackbushe, Wednesday 19th February

Aerobility, Prince Harry and a Spitfire...

Aerobility are very pleased to be working with Prince Harry and The Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund to provide opportunities for wounded soldiers to learn to fly a Spitfire. Following Douglas Bader's inspirational example the students will have the chance to learn to fly a Spitfire, first honing their skills with training on the Tiger Moth and Harvard.

The training will be completed with The Boultbee Flight Academy at Goodwood, with one lucky student progressing all the way through to flying the Spitfire solo as part of the commemorative activities for the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

On Saturday, Aerobility Chief Executive Mike Miller-Smith and Chair of the Trustees Shona Bowman were lucky enough to meet Prince Harry at a launch event at Goodwood. Along with the prospective students, the Aerobility team were treated to a Spitfire engine start by Prince Harry with the soggy weather preventing any more fun and games!

With some great coverage in the press already, this promises to be a unique and exciting project that will catch the attention of many!

February 14, 2014

The Air League / British Airways Simulator Evening

We are pleased to be able to offer six places for Aerobility scholars at an upcoming simulator evening hosted by The Air League and British Airways Flight Training. There are two 3.5 hour sessions, during which time you will be given a full tour of the Cabin Safety Training Unit, meet the British Airways pilots, have a full pre-flight briefing and then take control of a full motion Boeing 747-400 flight simulator.

These spaces are available for current Aerobility flyers, any prospective flyers with Aerobility and young people new to Aerobility; however, you must be under thirty years old and have a disability to qualify. Unfortunately, the simulators are not currently accessible for wheelchair users although work is continuing to alter this situation.

The event is being held on Tuesday 11th March, at Cranebank (Heathrow). There are two sessions, one beginning at 15.45 and the second beginning at 17.45.

To register your interest, please email geri@aerobility.com with a short paragraph outlining why you would be interested in attending. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis so do get in touch as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The deadline for expressions of interest is Monday 24th February.

Further safety restrictions are imposed by the British Airways Flight Training Centre, and full details are available on request.

Reading Half Marathon - A Training Update

Thank you to everyone who has already donated to the Aerobility Runners. The Reading Half Marathon is just two weeks away now and so we're all in peak physical fitness (well, some more than others...) Here's a little update for you on how we've been getting on!

Karl Hinett, Aerobility student and winner of the Aerobility Sword for Aviator of the Year 2013, continues to amaze us and puts my 'long Sunday runs' to shame.He has just returned from Northern Norway, where he competed in a 100 mile race through the Arctic. As you can imagine, Karl told me that "it was incredibly tough and slow going and the survival aspect of the race made it even more challenging. It now makes me look forward to the nice fast road race of Reading. I'm hoping with all my recent training that I can get a sub 1hrs45mins finish on race day!"

Although not everyone has gone as far as Norway, everyone in the Aerobility Runners team is battling towards a personal target. Audrey has shown incredible determination in following her training plan to the letter and has most definitely made the transition from a walker to a runner. James managed to make it out for a 16 mile adventure run around Camberley and I have somewhat foolishly entered a 10 mile 'training race' on Sunday.

With new trainers and running watches researched, expert lycra running gear purchased, and a stockpile of energy drinks hoarded, all we need to do now is reach our fundraising target! Each of the Aerobility Runners has a personal connection with Aerobility that makes those early morning runs just about bearable, and we'd all really appreciate a contribution to help us on our way. Whether it's £5 or £500, it all helps us to keep Aerobility flying.

You can donate and learn more about us all by visiting the Aerobility Runners website page 

Thank You!

February 12, 2014

Aerobility Touring Group

Aerobility are starting a new social group for those of you that would like to get a bit more out of your hours in the sky. The Aerobility Touring Group will organise a number of trips a year, ranging from a day out to a weekend away.

All are welcome, those with licences, those without, those with aircraft and those without! If you would like to find out more and get involved, please come along to Blackbushe on 22nd February 2014 for an initial meeting (10.30am start). 

Provisional dates for 2014 tours are as follows, but all suggestions are welcome!

Saturday 15th March - 1 day - Duxford (with tour of museum) 
Saturday 19th April - 1 day - Sandown
Saturday 17th May - 2 days - Scilly Islands
Friday 13th June - 3 days - Oban
Saturday 19th July - 1 day - Le Touquet
Saturday 16th August - reserve date
Saturday 20th September - reserve date

For more information and to register your interest please email james@aerobility.com

Happy Flying!


February 04, 2014

Aerobility Flyer News: Night Rating Success

A very big congratulations to Aerobility Flyer, Simon, who recently completed his Night Rating. Simon has worked hard to fit in the 5 hours, including 5 take off and landings, he needed to complete before the winter evenings started to disappear.

Simon looking very pleased after successfully completing his solo night navigation.

If you want to do some night flying, you can book a slot by calling us on 0 303 303 1230 - the evenings are getting lighter though so don't hang about!

February 01, 2014

Disabled Balloon Flying on BBC Breakfast

Aerobility flyer Tim Ellison has recently become Europe's first disabled balloon pilot and will be appearing on BBC Breakfast with his instructor and Aerobility Ambassador Brian Jones. This will be live on BBC One Breakfast on Monday 3 February. Good luck chaps!