March 23, 2016

Congratulations to Jamie Hull on completing his Air League and Boeing balloon scholarship

Our congratulations to Jamie Hull who after a 10 day Ballooning PPL Scholarship in Mondovi, Italy, qualified as a pilot.  

Jamie sat six exams and logged 16 hours and twenty minutes flying time to complete his training in which he flew both a conventional basket and an adaptive 2-seat chair, with his GFT and Solo on the basket.

Jamie said it was a fantastic course altogether and flying balloons in Italy was exceptional. He also praised his instructors and examiner.

Well done to Jamie and we hope to see him at Aerobility very soon.

Aerobility Experience Volunteers Start Programme of Hoist Training

On Wednesday 23rd March 2016 a group of Aerobility's Experience Volunteers started a programme of hoist training led by Brian Catchpole our Operations Manager.

Aerobility's dedicated Experience Volunteer Team support our Aviation Experiences for groups. Aerobility Aviation experiences are tailored to the individual needs of each group to ensure all participants get the maximum benefit from their time with us.  Experiences may include trial flights, use of our accessible simulator, fun educational aviation activities, opportunities to learn more about aviation, tours of an aircraft and tours of the airfield.

To find out more please contact us Email:
Tel: 0303 303 1230.  

March 22, 2016

Tesco visit Aerobility

Aerobility were delighted to welcome Tesco today in the form of Shivang Patel and Simon Waterfall - Simon also volunteered with Aerobility during 2012. Waiting to greet them were CEO Mike Miller-Smith, Chairman Shona Bowman, Operations Manager Brian Catchpoole and Fundraising Officer Laura Miles.
Left to right - Laura Miles, Simon Waterfall, Shona Bowman, Mike Miller-Smith, Shivang Patel, Brian Catchpoole.
After sharing the latest promotional video, Mike and Shona took Simon and Shiv through the range of services Aerobility provide and the wealth of benefits these bring. A chance for Aerobility to really showcase exactly what the charity is all about and consider potential opportunities to work with Tesco in the future.

Next on the agenda was a tour of the hanger and a chance to see first-hand, the worlds first factory adapted plane, developed with Tecnam. The production of this aircraft resulted from our fantastic relationship with NATS and it's employees.

Shiv was keen to try the pilot seat on for size and with the help of Shona, gained an insight into how the bespoke hand controls operate. This isn't the only advantage the Tecnam brings - it is also the most economical plane of the Aerobility fleet to run, making the charity pound reach even further.
This sparked discussion on the basic principles of flight, which Shona was more than happy to describe and demonstrate - weight, lift, drag, and thrust. 

The morning finished with a demonstration of the simulator - crucial for delivering the ground based services Aerobility provide. Shiv got the chance to take to the skys with a brief taster of the Sim in action, which is just one element Aerobility beneficiaries can expect to enjoy. Feedback from Shona (also a commercial airline pilot), was positive as Shiv carried out a good landing - Great work!

Thank you again to Shiv and Simon, for showing an interest in Aerobility - we sincerely hope to work with you in the future.

March 21, 2016

Julian's British Airways Simulator Experience

The Experience at Heathrow was one I will never forget. Everyone who greeted us at the beginning of the evening were so friendly, and it was apparent throughout the whole evening that everyone there enjoyed what they did and were all eager to teach us whatever we wanted to know about Heathrow, BA, their backgrounds and experiences in general. It was great.  By the end of the evening I certainly felt I had made the most of asking them questions and fulfilling my time with them.

At first, we were taken into the BA cabin crew training area, we were all given the opportunity to make an evacuation via the emergency slide!  Unfortunately, me being on crutches at the time meant that I decided not to have a go, but I enjoyed watching others trying it out, and meanwhile chatted to our hosts about various aspects of it, which was really interesting. We also went on our way back, to the BA hangar, which had a 787 having some maintenance done to it, which was an incredible sight!
After taking a group photo, we made our way back to the main building, had some food and drink, and greeted our pilots for the evening! We were put into groups of 3, and made our way along the 0.3 mile walkway which was full of simulators of all kinds, and ours, at the very end,  number 16, a 747-400 simulator, the slight movement of the simulator at that time made it clear that it was in use, and so we chatted to our pilot, Ed, for a while about his BA career, and he definitely seemed very keen to share all the great things about the job and the employer. A couple of friendly pilots came out of the simulator, and told us they had just spent 4 hours in there!

The interior of the Sim was as realistic as a real 747, each one cost around 8-10 million dollars to buy, and so were very realistic, with the hydraulic legs underneath raising the cockpit up, and allowing full movement of the cabin. After making our cabin announcements, and turning on the fasten seat belts indicator, I took my place in the co-pilot seat, and Ed set up the Sim, full motion, ready to take off from Heathrow! The flight was incredibly realistic, every action had an impact on the movement, and I learnt so much just looking through the controls, and what they did. All landings were incredibly realistic as impact was easy to feel, although I later realised that night landings have a much more bumpy result in my case. Of course I asked all the technical questions, and Ed was as always very happy to answer and go into detail, even though our time in the Sim was limited to 2 hours.

After 9 landings, 3 takeoffs, and a low visibility landing demonstrated by the computer, we made our way back to the meeting point, and said goodbye to our friendly pilot, who once having a five minute tea break had to train some students for another few hours in the simulator! After having a good talk with all the other guests and aviation enthusiasts, we thanked both Andy's who were very friendly, helpful and informative, and we made our way back to our cars, and said goodbye.

The whole evening was such an incredible experience, and I would recommend it to absolutely anyone who has the opportunity. everyone there made sure they could make everything as accessible and inclusive as possible, so I felt no drawbacks with crutches apart from the slide, which wasn't for me anyway. It was incredible to fly the Sim, see the BA training centre, and meet all the professionals there, and I hope others will have the same opportunity in the future.

Thank you so much.  It was one of the best experiences of my life :)

March 18, 2016

Aerobility Recruiting for Saturday Receptionist to be the face of Aerobility

Aerobility is an innovative and dynamic disability charity that supports people to access the exciting world of aviation. We are rapidly developing our services including flight training, ground based education, experience sessions and vocational courses and are a recognised leader when it comes to providing aviation opportunities for disabled people. 
We operates throughout the UK, with our headquarters at Blackbushe Airport near Camberley, Surrey.
We have an exciting opportunity for the right person to join us as a part time receptionist working on Saturdays at Blackbushe.
Up to £8 / hour dependent on experience. Hours 09:00 – 17:30
Please visit our website for more information.

Massive Achievement for Welmede Residents enjoying the responsibility, trust and freedom of an Aerobility Flying Experience

On Tuesday 8th March 2016 six older gentleman with learning disabilities from Welmede enjoyed a flying experience at Aerobility including trial flights, visiting the Blackbushe fire station and practice flights in our simulator.

Carl Francis, Welmede Cluster Manager said ‘This was a huge achievement for a group of gentlemen who grew up in an institution.  What to some is a simple activity or experience is a completely new concept for these gentlemen and forms part of a wider programme to promote their independence and integration.  They all loved it and all want to go flying again.  They particularly loved the freedom, trust and responsibility they felt from sitting in a plane and taking the controls.  It was a massive achievement.  They want to go ballooning next.  Thank you Aerobility – everything was brilliant.’ 

If you are interested in booking an aviation experience for your group please contact Aerobility (Tel (0) 303 303 1230 Email for more information.  

March 17, 2016

Radar - Britain's Shield – documentary featuring Aerobility

A fascinating short documentary made by Aerobility Flyer Will Garside. During the film Will gets airborne with Aerobility and flies to Kent to view the Second World War "sound mirror".

AEP How We Fly

Last Saturday was the latest AEP session and it was on the subject of How We Fly.

The group focussed on navigation and looked at the relation between time, speed and distance, as well as direction.

They split in to 3 groups and had to carry out a 'mission' on or near the Isle of Wight.  The first group, Jamie and Tom, had to fly tourists from Yarmouth to the Spinnaker Tower.  The second group, Michael and Georgie, had to fly a photographer from Sandown to Beaulieu and the third group, Connor and Andre, had to send a helicopter to a ship in distress in the English Channel! They had to use a compass and coordinates to navigate their way and refer to aerial photographs to check they were on course and to spot any hazards. They also worked out how long they would be flying for, the distance covered and how much the fuel would cost.  A lot of maths this week!!

March 14, 2016

Amazing opportunity for our Young Flyers

On Wednesday 9th March 2016 eight Young Flyers from Aerobility were privileged to have a 747 400 Simulator experience at British Airways. We would like to give a huge thank you to The Air League and British Airways for securing this amazing opportunity.  Aerobility would particularly like to thank Andy Perkins from the Air League and all his colleagues at British Airways for making this experience possible.

Our Young Flyers were inspired by the event:

‘It was amazing!! It really gave me a true insight into the career of a commercial pilot. It has spurred me on to gain my licences and become an airline pilot.’  Michael

‘I had a great time and very much enjoyed the whole event.  Thank you so much for the experience, it was amazing.’  James

‘Thank you for a superb experience flying (and landing!) A 747 400 simulator.’  Julian

‘It was brilliant.  A truly a fantastic aircraft.   This privilege has inspired me to work even harder towards getting my licenses.  Sitting in front of the controls reminded me of the same feeling I had as a child waking up on Christmas morning.  Thank you very much for the lovely evening.’ Damian

If accessible flying is of interest to you please contact us Tel 030 303 1230 Email

Brian Jones’s Inspirational Talk

On Saturday 5th March 2016 Brian Jones gave an incredible talk about how with the backing of a remarkable team he and Bertrand Piccard succeeded in circumnavigating the world non-stop in a balloon (the Breitling Orbiter 3).  Everyone who attended was inspired by his achievements and triumphs throughout this fantastic journey.  Brian’s down to earth and can do attitude to this flight was an inspiration.  He motivated many of us who heard him to follow their dreams.

We are very grateful to Breitling for sponsoring this event.

Brian very generously signed copies of his thrilling book ‘The Greatest Adventure’ after the talk with the proceeds going to Aerobility and the Winds of Hope Foundation.  If you would like a copy of the book (£15) or DVD (£10) please contact us Tel 030 303 1230 Email

If accessible Ballooning is of interest to you please contact us Tel 030 303 1230 Email

Aerobility Supporters raising our profile at the Yateley Town Mayor's Charity Dinner

On Saturday 5th March Aerobility Supporters had a highly enjoyable evening at the Yateley Town Mayor’s Charity Dinner in aid of Aerobility and Yelabus.  After dinner the Yateley Town Mayor, Councillor Gerry Crisp, gave his continued support for Aerobility, showed an Aerobility video and thanked us for all our work.

Thank you very much to all our Supporters who helped to raise the profile of Aerobility through attending this event.

If you would like to support Aerobility, the Mayor of Yateley Town is holding a Jazz Night with Grandpa Spell’s Jazz Band at Bistro19 at Blackwater Valley Golf Centre, Chandlers Lane, Yateley, GU46 7SZ  Tel: 01252 874725 on Thursday 31st March 2016 at 8.00pm.  Tickets costs £10 and include a dinner of bangers & mash, chilli con carne or a vegetarian option.  Tickets are available from Jane Harris at Yateley Town Council Tel 01252 872198 or via Blackwater Valley Golf Course Tel 01252 874725.  All proceeds go to the Mayor’s Charities Aerobility and Yelabus.

March 02, 2016

Aerobility AEP visit to RAF Odiham

Last Saturday our AEP group had the real privilege of a visit to RAF Odiham.

After a very informative talk about the role of the Chinook in the RAF they were escorted to the hangar where they came face to face with the Chinooks.

The hangar is amazing and houses about six Chinooks - which are huge!  The group were allowed to go up the ramp in to the aircraft where they were told all there is to know about the work of the Chinook.  After a visit to the cockpit they were able to ask the crew any questions they had.

It was a fantastic experience and we would like to say a big thank you to Matt and 27 Squadron.