Worth the Wait?

Welcome back!
Hello to all of our Aerobility members, supporters and friends. 

Firstly, we'd like to thank you for coming back to check out the promised update. We hope it will prove to be worth the wait! 2013 has already been a fantastic year for Aerobility, and below is just a sample of the great activities and achievements of the past couple of months.

The ‘boring’ bit….
Undoubtedly the most important change so far this year is our recent incorporation. As Aerobility has grown and developed so significantly over the past few years, it became necessary to take this step to ensure our future growth and development could continue with the same success.

As a result of our incorporation, we have a new charity number and bank account and so have had to ask our members to re-register with us. If you have had a letter and haven’t got round to sending it back, make sure you do otherwise you will no longer be a member of the amazing Aerobility family. Any questions about this process can be answered by the Aerobility team at Blackbushe, so if you would like to renew your membership or start a new membership, get in touch and we will send you the application form.

Flying high….
With that bit of admin over, we can get down to the stuff I know we’re all really interested in – flying! It’s been a busy year so far for our operations team, with trial flights introducing new aviators to the joy of flying, and membership flights bringing the experienced aviators back for more. With the weather starting to pick up, we’re expecting to get even busier through the spring months, so make sure you get in on the action and book your slots now!

We have been working hard to get our ‘Robo’ hoist in tip-top shape. Thanks to long standing friend of Aerobility, Andy Snowdon, who braved the wind and snow to reach us, the mighty ‘Robo’ hoist has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment.  The equipment, which is used extensively at Blackbushe to hoist flyers into our aircraft, is at the forefront of the enabling technology that we use to ensure flying is available to people with an extensive range of impairments.

Feet back on the ground…
Working hard on the ground is essential to reach the dizzy heights of your very own PPL, as James Brown and his Ground School students have found out. James has been holding ground school classes for members every Friday, and luckily his sense of fun has made the mixture of Nav and Air Law almost bearable for his dedicated students. If you’d like to become involved in these fun-filled Fridays, get in touch with James at Blackbushe to secure your place.

Whilst you would be forgiven for thinking that we would have to get off the ground to go flying, in fact we can now do that from the comfort of the office at Blackbushe. The PA-28 Flight Simulator that we purchased after the success of the Global Flight Simulator Challenge is a fantastic tool and we have been putting it to a lot of good use!

For many of our students, the simulator is providing a low-cost training tool as a step towards solo flying and eventually a PPL. However, it is also a great focus for sessions that we have been running for children and young adults with learning disabilities. With the ability to set the simulator to a range of exciting and challenging runways across the world, we really have been broadening horizons! The benefit of the simulator has been recognised by many important figures across the Learning Disability community, and the result of this has been successful funding from Hampshire County Council to run Aviation Experiences for Young Adults throughout March. We’ll keep you posted on the success of these sessions!

Spreading the word…
Aerobility Chief Executive, Mike Miller-Smith, was accompanied by Aerobility volunteers George Bacon and Guy Westgate to the recent European Airshow Convention in Antwerp. The subject of the day was ‘risk’ – how to identify it, how to manage it, how to minimise it. So of course, a presentation on Aerobility’s unique Paralympic project was the perfect topic to shake things up a little.

As if we would expect anything less from such an accomplished bunch, the presentation received a rousing standing ovation and was hailed as the highlight of the convention. It was a great platform to continue challenging perceptions and establishing ourselves in the aviation world.

A sad goodbye…
This February, we had to say goodbye to our trusty PA-28 Cherokee Warrior, G-BRFM, who has served us well and moved on to fly new skies. Although it was a sad moment for the Aerobility team, a gradual modernisation of our fleet will bring a range of benefits to the membership. Watch this space!

And a welcome...
Geri Burton was introduced to Aerobility as a carer for Aerobility CEO Mike Miller-Smith, and quickly became part of the team and has been bitten by the Aerobility bug. Geri has a background in the voluntary sector and has been running charity projects in Africa. Having volunteered for Aerobility for the last 6 months and doing some great work, Geri is now responsible for helping to develop Aerobility services for all disabilities along with supporting our fundraising projects. Welcome to the team Geri.

Over and out…
For now, consider yourself fully updated on all things Aerobility. Keep an eye out for more updates as they happen – we’ve got some big plans!
Fingers crossed for an improvement in the weather this weekend so we can get a few flying hours in!

Happy Landings,

The Aerobility Team
Geri BurtonComment