September 18, 2014

Barry's Little Soldiers

                                                         Barry with Noah & Taylor

Whilst we were waiting for the weather to improve, those waiting to fly began to stack up. Barry was great at keeping them all entertained and here he is showing two little flyers the Tecnam whilst they were waiting for me to take them flying in the Warrior. Both chaps listened with interest and said that Barry was an amazing guy.

Our members don't just fly!

A great photo of Ryan Pike who came 2nd in the UK Beard and Moustache Championships, which were held in Bath on September 13th. He was defeated by the previous UK champion in the 'natural moustache' category. Ryan is currently training with Aerobility to gain his PPL.



September 16, 2014

Flying Day at Sleap

What a busy September we are having!
On Thursday, Craig, our CFI at Tatenhill and Alex, took G –LH over to Sleap to fly patients from the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt orthopaedic hospital in Oswestry.
They completed six flights with patients from the hospital at the controls and a member of the hospital staff in the rear seat.
All of them enjoyed flying the aircraft, even the one lady who had to be persuaded to have go for a few minutes. Everyone enjoyed the day very much although the visibility was not the best !!

This particular day was organised with the cooperation of Sleap Airfield who waived landing fees for the day. Many thanks to them and to Shropshire Aero Club who were very helpful and accommodating. Your help and support is invaluable to us. Thank you!

Thomas Quigley

Thomas brought a new dimension to the flying lessons today! Working for RNIB, Thomas contributes articles to the podcast magazine which is produced bi-monthly by the charity. So with Microphone in hand he interviewed me as part of the next podcast. Thomas thoroughly enjoyed his flight and said that the whole set up was truly marvellous. Like the other fliers before him, he was wanting to know when we'd be back in Northern Ireland? I hope they still feel the same after they've heard my podcast!

Jennifer Doherty takes to the Skies

Following a car journey from Donegal, to take her flying lesson, Jennifer and her husband Shane had a little wait before their lesson. Cloud coverage over Newtownards meant that we had a 2 hour wait, before we could take off.
However, this didn't dampen her enthusiasm for the flight and Michael Holden, our regional representative gave Jennifer a descriptive tour of the aeroplane prior to take off. Following her first flight, Jennifer was full of smiles and was keen to know when we'd be back? She said she knew of a few friends who'd love to enjoy the same experience as she'd enjoyed.

Jonathan McCartney

Jonathan first heard about the flying lesson last week, when a member of Michael's staff at Disability Pride mentioned that we would be coming to Northern Ireland. "He's been raving about the aeroplane ever since" explained his father.
During the flight Jonathan was very attentive and listened carefully to all the instructions and had a list of probing questions. When asked what he enjoyed most, without question it was the fly past we arranged overhead of his school in Moira, County Down. A really great day.

First to Fly - Goerge Wallace

"I had a totally amazing time flying in in the Aeroplane. To be able to enjoy the experience of flight and know that such facilities exist, is totally awesome." Said George, following his first flight. I wasn't quite sure what to say when he asked, "Are you James Brown or James Bond.......?"

Another 1st for Aerobility

Northern Ireland became the latest destination for the Aerobility Team, for delivery of flying lessons for the local community. Barry Hobkirk and I flew to Newtownards Airfield on Sunday and were welcomed by Aeropbilitiy's regional representative for Northern Ireland, Michael Holden. Michael flew solo for the first time last year and has spent the past few months working on a plan to have Aerobility operate for a week in Northern Ireland.

Michael Holden & Barry Hobkirk

September 11, 2014

Flight with the Major of Cambridge

Mike Miller-Smith and the Aerobility team were part of a Cambridgeshire tradition on Monday. The Mayor of Cambridge is always invited to fly with Marshalls of Cambridge, to commemorate the first post-war civilian flight. As the Mayor is a wheelchair user, Aerobility were asked to join in this tradition and took to the skies.
Pre-flight briefing with instructor James Brown
Mayor of Cambridge with James


September 10, 2014

Step back in time on Saturday 20th Sept!

Do you fancy the opportunity to step back in time and experience the wonders of early commercial air travel?

On Saturday the 20th September we are being treated to a visit by Scillonia Airways who operate the beautifully restored Dragon Rapide G-AHAG. They will be conducting 30 minute pleasure flights and have offered us a greatly reduced rate for Aerobility flyers and Supports of just £100.

This immaculately restored aircraft has to be seen to be believed and will be flown by our very own Chairman Shona Bowman.
If you fancy taking them up on this rare opportunity, please email Shona to put your name on the list or just turn up on Saturday. We look forward to seeing you then.

September 08, 2014

Flying day with Kent Association for the blind

Flying and Fun on Saturday!

We had a great day here on Saturday, enjoying the last few days of Summer. Nine sight impaired young people and their families, from the Kent Association for the blind, joined us for a day of flying here at Blackbushe.

Not only did they go flying but we also had lots of different activities such as day long simulator sessions, and even hosted a circus!


As well as this, we provided a hoisted experience flight for a Scottish visitor and his parents on top of the normal flight instruction for Aerobility flyers! Busy busy! The day's activities were filmed using a cutting-edge unmanned aerial vehicle, which captures what a great day was had by all. I think our volunteers particularly enjoyed it!

September 04, 2014

Aerobilty Raffle 2014

Many congratulations to Mike Quansah who received his Breitling Chronomat 44 watch yesterday after winning first prize in our 2014 raffle.

Andrew Mercer- Aerobility volunteer presenting the prize to Mike Quansah

September 03, 2014

Bournemouth Air Show 2014

We had a fantastic couple of days at Bournemouth Airshow last weekend-particularly on the Sunday when the Summer returned to the South Coast.
Operations manager Brian joined presenters George (Smokey) Bacon and Andy Robins at the Bournemouth Air Show this weekend. Brian, who was taking advantage of an opportunity he successfully bid on at last year’s Aviators Ball, became part of the presentation team for the day.

“Talking to the estimated half million visitors on the day was a little different to my day job keeping the operational wheels of Aerobility turning”, remarked Brian, "but it was an experience I shall never forget."

Brian could be heard (and seen on the large beech television screens) promoting the opportunities available through Aerobility and sharing the commentary on the famous Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. So, I wonder what he will bid on at this year’s ball?

George (Smokey) Bacon, Andy Robins and Brian

News from over the Summer

We have had a very busy summer here at Aerobility, attending various events and airshows, spreading the word about Aerobility. We have also taken advantage of the glorious British Summer and had lots of opportunity to go flying. We are looking forward to the last few days of sunshine before Autumn appears!

Bristol International Balloon Fiesta

Operations Manager Brian recently attended the Bristol Balloon festival where, with the help of Aerobility Ambassador Brian Jones, he was able to present the idea of Ballooning for disabled people to the media and a large contingent of disabled visitors to the festival.

Manager Brian was also able to enjoy an early morning flight with Brian Jones on what proved to be the best session for flying of the entire festival.
As Brian says “Attending the Festival was not only an ideal way to promote this aspect of Aerobility service to the disabled community, but also enabled us to meet old friends and make new ones from the balloon family”.

Anyone interested in Ballooning should contact Operations at Blackbushe.

Aerobilty Raffle Winners 2014

The 2014 Aerobility Raffle was drawn at the LAA Rally at Sywell on 30th August. Thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets and supported us.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Mike Quansah: wins the fabulous Breitling Chronomat 44 watch

Jenny Edmondson: wins a fantastic spa weekend at Chewton Glen

Steve Mulhall: wins a VIP trip to fly a British Airways Flight Simulator

"LAA Chairman Roger Hopkinson and Pooleys boss Sebastian Pooley draw the winners overseen by Aerobility Flyer Dave Rawlins."

September 01, 2014

Paul Yates' Virgin Marathon Challenge

Virgin Money London Marathon

26th April 2015

Many thanks to Paul Yates, one of our many supporters, who is currently training to run the Virgin Marathon next year. He is kindly running to raise money for Aerobility so please support his challenge by donating via his fundraising page.

We wish him the best of luck and please keep us updated with your training progress Paul. Only 236 days to go!

"Hi there, I'm Paul Yates and I'm thrilled to be running the Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of Aerobility.

I took up running a few years ago after finally hanging up the rugby boots. Running seemed like a good way to stave off the onset of any middle aged spread (it's almost working). Having run a handful of half marathons and raising money for Clic Sargent, it was time to up the ambition levels and get a tick in the marathon box. Given I'm built for comfort rather than speed or distance, I can't say that I'll be doing too many full marathons, so I wanted to choose the big one, the London marathon, and also use this personal goal to make a difference to a charity that makes a real difference to people's lives.

I have chosen to raise money and awareness for Aerobility which is a little closer to home. I work in aviation for Seager Ltd, FLYER magazine and The Flying Show, and therefore Aerobility was an obvious choice, as we're all very aware of the wonderful work that the charity does, and I am eager to support it. Aerobility changes people's lives and I feel very honoured to be to be running for them.

This honour however, comes with a degree of responsibility. We need to raise as much money as possible, these spaces are not easy to come by and I hope that the aviation community will get behind me and ensure we raise as much as possible. My wife and three daughters are very supportive and continue to ignore my excuses for not training. With their help and your donations I hope to complete my training and run a great race for Aerobility.

As part of my training I will also be running the Chippenham half on the 7th September. I'll try and keep everyone updated, in the meantime please visit my fundraising page and make your donation – Every penny counts!

Remember your help will ensure Aerobility can continue their great work and change people's lives.

Thank you."