July 31, 2015

Aircraft incident at Blackbushe - no Aerobility aircraft are involved

There has been an aircraft incident at Blackbushe Airport this afternoon and emergency services are attending. We can confirm that no Aerobility aircraft are involved.

July 30, 2015

RAF Odiham pilots 'proud' after disabled children graduate from flying course

Five children will be flying high after graduating from Aerobility’s Aviation Education Programme
this week.

It is the second year of the programme, which teaches young people with disabilities about the world of aviation.

The aim of the programme is to give young people aged 14-19 with disabilities a range of transferable skills and strengths to take into further education and employment through learning about aviation.

They were each given their certificates and congratulated by military pilots from nearby RAF Odiham , including Flight Lieutenants Max Card and Chris Greensides.

Aerobility chief executive, Mike Miller-Smith MBE, said: “Aerobility is dedicated to providing aviation based opportunities and we are proud of how much the students achieve on this course.

“The range of skills and knowledge gained, the maturity, confidence and independence will surely be a positive influence on these young people into the future.

“The course is supported by BBC Children in Need and we look forward to the new students beginning in September.”


July 29, 2015

HYPE Family Flying Day

On 25th July 2015 Aerobility hosted the HYPE Family Flying Day, funded by Hampshire County Council.  We welcomed five young people and their families who experienced a flight with one of our instructors, a turn in our flight simulator and a tour of our aircraft.  The day also included model making and a visit from the fire crew here at Blackbushe.  A great day was had by all.

Different Strokes Flying Day

On 22nd July 2015 Aerobility welcomed the Cambridge group Different Strokes. Different Strokes are a support group for younger people who have been affected by stroke.

The group enjoyed flying and having a go on the flight simulator.

July 27, 2015

The Aerobility Aviation Education Programme students graduate

Despite the dreadful weather last Friday, we were able to enjoy a fun celebratory afternoon in our new hangar presenting the graduation certificates to the Aviation Education Programme students.

The boys were given their certificates and congratulated by military pilots from nearby RAF Odiham, including Flight Lieutenants Max Card and Chris Greensides.

The course is made possible thanks to the efforts of volunteer mentors, all of whom received congratulations from Richard Deakin, most recently Chief Executive of NATS, who also presented them with a special photo book he had created for them.

It was a wonderful afternoon and we wish all of the students the best of luck with their futures in aviation.

Thanks to funding from Children in Need we will be running the course again in September for young people aged 14-19 with varying disabilites.

10% Discount Code available for The Ascot Redbull Air Race World Championship

On the 15-16 August 2015, The Red Bull Air Race World Championship will be returning to Ascot Racecourse in the UK for the second year running.

Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group, on behalf of Red Bull Air Race GmbH are delighted to offer Aerobility a 10% discount on tickets.

The Red Bull Air Race World Championship sees the world’s best pilots put to the test in a thrilling, pure motorsport competition; combining speed, precision and skill. The pilots use the fastest, most agile and lightweight racing planes to cleanly navigate a challenging, low-level aerial racetrack in the fastest time possible.

To gain your discount, go to the website: https://tickets.ascot.co.uk/CONNECT/WEBPAGES/EntaWebEvent/EventAllDatePrices.aspxSelect the event and then enter the promotion code: RBAEROBILITY15

Please remember to book parking if required (discount doesn’t apply so add this to your basket separately). For further information about the championships go to: www.redbullairrace.com

We hope that you will be able to attend and enjoy the Championship.

July 21, 2015

Aerobility launch their first trial flight from Aberdeen

After a few cancellations due to weather, Flying Instructor James Brown had the great pleasure of instructing Aerobility’s first flight from Aberdeen last Saturday, 18 July 2015.

The flight was with Corinne Hutton who had her hands and feet amputated in 2013 after contracting septicaemia. Corinne is the inspiration behind the charity Finding Your Feet which she set up following her illness to improve the lives of those who find themselves facing life changing  physical trauma.

James said she did very well and  thoroughly enjoyed her flight. In the future we hope to fly more regularly from Scotland locations across Scotland and thank Cabro Aviation for their support.

July 17, 2015

Touring group trip to Campbeltown

1500’ high mountains on both sides and so all the normal circuit cues painstakingly learnt at Blackbushe don’t work.  The Cherokee 6 cruises faster than the Archer, and so, I was somewhat surprised, (or was it cunningly arranged), when I arrived over the airfield first. The suspicious minded among us might suggest that this was to allow me to demonstrate how not to approach the runway. Circuit height is set at 1500’ above the airfield and so the challenge is to descend on the base leg to get to 500’on the start of finals, the very thing I failed to achieve on the first approach forcing a go-around to try again. The happy touring group of intrepid aviators consisting of two Brians, Jupp (BJ) and Catchpoole, Trish Amess and me, Geoff Marshall together with instructors Stuart and James. We assembled at the Aerobility Blackbushe HQ at 8.00 am Friday 15th May.  The plan was to fly the Piper Cherokee 6, together with the Piper Archer, over two days to Campbeltown , spending Sunday in Campbeltown before returning to Blackbushe on the following Monday. The first part of the trip was to fly, via Welshpool where we stopped for lunch and a crew change, to Ronaldsway on the Isle of Man for a night stop-over, then on Saturday, completing the trip to Campbeltown via Newtownards in Northern Ireland. 
The weather was bright and breezy with a slowly moving low pressure system, moving in from the North West, which we felt the effects of over the whole weekend. Brian Catchpoole piloted the Cherokee 6 with James and Trish; I piloted the Archer with Stuart and BJ on the first leg to Welshpool. This leg was boring, beating into wind with the only interesting bit being the landing at Welshpool.
The airfield at Welshpool lies within a narrow valley with over It is a bit distracting flying downwind with the mountains towering up on your starboard wing tip which tends to result in you keeping the circuit a bit tight, which further compresses the base leg where the loss of height is required, but by stretching the downwind leg, cutting the throttle completely on base before turning on to a longer final seemed to work and we all got down in one piece.  I guess the lesson learnt was to either arrive second to watch your buddy demonstrate how not to do it or to study both the map and the airfield plate, to get a full understanding of the likely features and cues that you will encounter when making a first visit to an airfield.
After a bite of lunch and a splash of fuel BJ and Trish took the respective left hand seats while Brian and I clambered into the rear of each aircraft for the leg to Ronaldsway. The low pressure system was now providing us with a lowering cloud ceiling and increasing wind speed as we took-off to overfly Snowdon, cross the Liverpool bay to Ronaldsway.  As the clouds started to scrape the mountain tops, BJ decided that it would be prudent to do a left turn before reaching Snowdon and to find the Welsh west coast before turning north again. Trish had taken a braver more northerly route and so arrived and landed first. On short hops over water, climbing to a high altitude gives a longer glide range in the event of an engine failure, so we climbed while flying over Anglesey to 7000’.  However Air Traffic Control had other ideas telling us to descend to 2000’ when we were half way across Liverpool bay, so much for the best laid plans. The approach into Ronaldsway was very windy but BJ battled the cross wind component to make a good landing.
 Saturday morning proved bright but still very windy as the centre of the low pressure system hadn’t moved far. The plan was to fly a lap around the east side Isle of Man before crossing the Irish Sea to Newtownards. After a bumpy departure and flight along the lee side of the surprisingly high mountain on the Isle of Man, all became smooth as we crossed the Irish Sea at altitude to descend as we flew up the Strangford Lough to Newtownards. The runway in use was 22 with the wind gusting from the west providing a good cross wind component to test our piloting skills. James had arranged to meet with one of our NI members who had a short but bumpy flight with him around the Lough while the rest of us were there taking on food and tea.
After the obligatory crew switch we took off for Cambeltown. The plan was to over fly Belfast City Airport, then flying north to the Giant’s Causeway before turning east to cross the North Channel to Campbeltown.  All went as planned where we had a good view of a Dash 8 landing underneath us as we flew over Belfast City Airport, but  unfortunately the tide was high so not much could be seen of the Giant’s Causeway. The flight across the North Channel was brief because of the tail wind pushing us along with a ground speed of around 150kts. The approach into Campbeltown airport requires flying in from the sea, which in this case required flying south around the Mull of Kintyre to then turn north and then west, to over fly Campbeltown on the approach to the airport. It later transpired from info provided by our taxi driver that Campbeltown airport was originally built as a dispersal airfield for Vulcan bombers during the Cold War which explained the very large and long runway. After a curry and beer that evening we turned in for the night in our five star accommodations while poor old James and Stuart had to ‘rough it’ together in less salubrious but cheaper accommodation elsewhere.
Sunday proved to be wet, cold, windy, and un-flyable and so entertainments like a quick hop over to Isay or a boat trip around the bay were out of the question. The only entertainment that could be found was to eat food and drink beer with whiskey chasers at Macrihanish golf club, overlooking the first tee of the links with a surfer braving the incoming rollers in the bay beyond, it’s a hard life.
Monday’s weather was more of the same, but overnight a front had passed depositing lots of rain. After much teeth sucking and angst it was decided that our best chance of getting back was to fly one leg to Hawden just south of Liverpool with the second leg back to the ‘Bushe on the lee side of the front before a second front appeared later in the day. Because the low pressure system had now managed to drag itself further eastward, it was now kindly providing us with a good tail wind as we took off to fly south. Our route took us over Stranraer, the northern tip of the Isle of Man, before re-crossing Liverpool Bay to turn left, flying eastward over Prestatyn to avoid the Liverpool control zone to Hawden. The airfield at Hawden was tucked in between a lot of large hangers which turned out to be the Airbus wing manufacturing facilities, and furthermore, Hawden, previously known as Broughton airfield, is where Vickers Armstrong built 5,786 Wellington bombers during the war. You learn something every day on these touring trips. After yet another decent lunch and crew switch, we set off for the ‘Bushe to experience the delights of the dreaded ‘Blackbushe washing machine effect’ as you encounter the turbulence and wind shear on finals to runway 27 when the wind is 25kts gusting 35kts. All of us had an enjoyable, well fed and watered, if not challenging trip.

Geoff Marshall

July 09, 2015

Win Tickets to the Royal International Air Tattoo

Raffle Tickets £1, available until Saturday 11th July from the Aerobility office and at Picnic by the Planes. Thanks to generous donations more tickets have now been added as prizes.

1st Prize - 2 x adult tickets for the guest enclosure at The Air Tattoo 2015, RAF Fairford, on Saturday 18th or Sunday 19th July 

2nd Prize - 4 x standard adult tickets to The Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford on Saturday 18th July

3rd Prize - 4 x standard adult tickets to The Royal Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford on Friday 17th July

This fantastic prize offers you the chance to attend the Air Tattoo, one of the UK's premier outdoor events. FREE parking is also available for ticket holders.  The 1st prize is worth over £100 and Saturday tickets are now completely sold out online.

During the thrilling 7.5 hour flying display you will get to see fast jets, giant transporters, historic aircraft, and much, much more. There will be a chance to meet the crews, get close to the aircraft and enjoy a feast of first class entertainment.

For more information on the weekends events please visit http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/visiting/attractions

If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket please visit Bridie at Aerobility HQ. Alternatively tickets can be purchased at the Picnic by the Planes event on Saturday 11th July.

The winning raffle ticket will be drawn on Monday 13th July 2015.

July 08, 2015

Reach for the Sky campaign


The Douglas Bader Foundation, a charity set up by family and friends of the legendary War Hero shortly after his death in 1982, are launching their most exciting project to date.

The ‘Reach for the Sky’ campaign is named after the iconic, biographical war-time movie that helped make the double amputee and spitfire ace Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader a house hold name. The ambitious initiative will see the creation of the first ever British, disabled flying display team.

The Flying team will be known as Bader’s Bus Company’. When leading the Tangmere Wing, Douglas would announce his arrival over the French coast with the brief radio transmission of “Bader’s Bus Company on time’’. When word of his capture finally reached the Tangmere station Johnnie Johnson and the other pilots defiantly painted their spitfires with the slogan ‘Bader’s Bus Company Still Running’.

The charity aims to support four light aircraft that will be used to teach those with disabilities to fly, train a team of disabled pilots and Bader’s Bus Company’ will go on to perform at airshows throughout the United Kingdom.

At 11.30 on Thursday the 25th June, David Bickers, Douglas’s step son in law and CEO of the Douglas Bader Foundation celebrated the support of the first aircraft which is operated by Aerobility.

David Bickers commented: ‘The project aims to leave a lasting legacy that is in keeping with Douglas’s own personal legacy and to inspire both the able bodied and disabled community alike’.

Mike Miller Smith, CEO of Aerobility added: ‘’ A very exciting opportunity for two charitable organisations to work together to achieve an outstanding goal.’’