A Wet and Windy Bank Holiday Update

Hello there Aerobility fans!

As the weather closes in for the Bank Holiday Weekend, the chances of getting much flying in are getting slimmer and slimmer. So to keep your aviation reserves topped up here is the latest from the world of Aerobility!

RAF Duxford meets Mary...

Last Saturday, Blackbushe Airport was closed for flying due to the Blackbushe Model Airshow 2013. With a busy day of model flying there was no room left for the full size aircraft, and so Senior Flying Instructor Mike Owen went out for the day with Aerobility members Pedro and Mary. The destination was a great experience for both students; Mary told us that flying into RAF Duxford was something she had never expected to do!

Mary and Pedro shared the flying, with Pedro taking the first leg and Mary seeing the gang safely back into Blackbushe.
Once Pedro had completed a successful landing, the team took in some of the sights and sounds of RAF Duxford. With the whole day to fill, there was time for an educational visit to the American Air Museum, which is home to the largest collection of US military aircraft in Europe, as well as a look round a few of the impressive aircraft that call Duxford home.

Mike and Pedro upgrade from our PA-28 to the impressive VC10 G-ASGC 'BOAC Cunard'

Mike, Mary and Pedro were also lucky enough to get up close and personal with the B-17 Flying Fortress G-BEDF, or Sally B as she is known to her friends. The 55, 000 lb Second World War Bomber is the only airworthy B-17 left in Europe, and is kept alive and well by the hard work of the B-17 Charitable Trust. For those that are interested, more information can be found on their website http://www.sallyb.org.uk/

Pedro with the beautiful Sally B

After all that excitement, the only thing left to do was to return G-TALE to base. As Mary said, we "saw lovely things, learnt stuff, ate junk, and then I tried to fly, breath, and map read back to Blackbushe via Cranwell and Westcott." 

Can you spot G-TALE?!

Onwards and upwards at Tatenhill...

Aerobility member, Mark, has been training with CFI Craig at Tatenhill for nearly two years. Determined to succeed, Mark has been making the 250 mile-round-trip from his home in Cambridgeshire to the airfield on a regular basis in an effort to gain his licence. Mark has always been a fan of all things aviation, although as a sky-diver in a previous life he's had to get used to making sure there's an accompanying landing for every take off! In 1989, whilst living in his native South Africa, Mark was in a car crash that left him relying on wheelchair and put a halt to his daredevil antics.

After moving to England a few years after his accident, Mark began to miss the thrill of flying. As he told us, "the long-standing desire to learn to fly kept burning, and I slowly got my act together and joined Aerobility." Once he began his training, it became clear that Mark was a natural. He quickly mastered the "bum-shuffle" technique and with the help of a VisionAir hand control was able to develop his own style and technique to safely and independently operate the PA-28. 

The patience and hard-work of both Mark and Craig has all paid off, and two weeks ago Mark embarked on his solo qualifying cross country to Gloucester and Leicester. Craig told us that he was "a little apprehensive when I sent him on his way but when he returned a few hours later the apprehension had gone and he had a very big smile on his face!"

Mission accomplished!

So what next for Mark? "After a bit of consolidation and hours-building, I'd love to do some air-touring, possibly round Ireland and Scotland. My mum is a fan of flying too, so she is definitely going to get some rides; same goes for my sister! Many thanks to them, the rest of my family, friends and other animals for their enthusiastic support!" We wish Mark the very best of luck with his continued flying and hope to help in the search for a plane with a hand control a little closer to home....

An afternoon in Wales....

Truly nationwide now, Aerobility CFI James Brown was taken on a day trip to Wales by member and student Brian.The aim of the trip was to get a new perspective of Snowdonia - Brian wanted to see what it looked like from the air rather than the view he was used to from the ground. So,with the weather looking just about as good as it was going to get, the pair set out for Caernarfon.

A flight plan was concocted on a best-case-scenario, direct route and then scuppered by the Welsh clouds. Best laid plans and all.... The mountain bloc of Cader Idris was completely blacked out, forcing a diversion to the west where Brian was able to pick up the cost at Barmouth. From there, the weather cleared and the full splendour of Snowdonia came into view. With this achieved, it was time for a spot of lunch at the lovely Caenarfon Airport for a bit of lunch before turning round and heading home.

The return journey bought just as many weather-related challenges, as well as spectacular views. Whilst James and Brian had been having their sandwiches, the bad weather (which included a few snow showers!) had moved south and covered Brian's next sight-seeing target, the Elan Valley. The Brecon Beacons provided a great replacement and eased the disappointment. James and Brian did a quick fly past of the old Severn bridge before following the M4 all the way home. 

A big thank you...

Our friends at Nicholson Maclaren popped in a couple of weeks ago and brought the sunshine with them! They also brought us a donation, which was very gratefully received and for which we would like to say a big thank you!

Mike and Brian with Dean from Nicholson Maclaren.
A Summer Event...

This year, the Farnborough Aerospace Consortium is holding its Summer Ball in aid of Aerobility. The ball will be held on Friday 12th July at Sandhurst Military Academy and is set to be a fantastic night. We'd like to say a very big thank you to FAC and hope that many of you will make it the event not to miss this summer.

For more information, check out the links below:



Youth In Aviation...

This week we were very pleased to be invited along to the House of Lords as a member of The Air League's  UK Youth in Aviation Panel. The awareness raising event, which was organised by BA Pilot and Air League Trustee Andy Perkins, was a great success and well attended by aviators and parliamentarians alike. We introduced many more people to the work of Aerobility and continued raising awareness about the possibilities that aviation holds.

Aerobility on the road...

We are very much looking forward to exhibiting at AeroExpo UK 2013 next weekend at Sywell Aerodrome. This promises to be, as ever, an amazing event and we hope to bring our own little bit of Aerobility flare! Aerobility ambassador, Guy Westgate, will be displaying in his Aerobility branded Fox Glider on each day of the exhibition, and may even be towing a special Aerobility message! We will also be displaying our new ballooning project and launching the 2013 Aerobility Raffle so make sure you don't miss out. 

More information can be found at http://www.expo.aero/uk/

Over and out...

That's all for now - we hope you have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend!

Happy Landings

The Aerobility Team

Geri BurtonComment