Aerobility: Welcoming Autumn

Hello Aerobility Friends!

Have you been flying today? As our instructors take a rare day off, our fleet has stayed grounded and we’ve had a bit of time to reflect on the busy month that was September. With the summer weather hanging on just a little bit longer, there’s been a lot of flying and a lot of fun!

Where to start then? Let’s try the beginning and see how we get on…

Penningtons Solicitors LLP, Family Flying Day

On the 7th September we were very pleased to welcome Penningtons Solicitors LLP to Blackbushe for a day of flying and family fun. Penningtons’ Court of Protection and Private Client team work with individuals with a wide range of disabilities, advising in the provision of wills, assisting with the use of lasting powers of attorney and setting up personal injury trusts amongst other disability related services. This year, Penningtons decided to spend their annual Family Day here at Blackbushe with Aerobility so that their clients would have the opportunity to experience the magic of flight.

A busy day!

First flight for one young man.

On the day, the entire Aerobility fleet was utilised to ensure that as many people as possible were able to take part. For the friends and family that also joined us, the simulator was a great hit and gave everyone a chance to try out their landings! With a face painter and magician, model making fun and lots of lovely food to try it was most definitely a day of family fun.

Two new sets of wings!

The hard-work of the Aerobility volunteer team and the instructors made it all possible, with Penningtons’ partner Julie Burton expressing her “warmest thanks and appreciation to each of you for helping make Saturday such a lovely and successful day. It was a fun and happy time for everyone and Aerobility made it possible by being so amazingly generous with their volunteer time.”

The Aerobility team in briefing..

The Penningtons team had a great day!

With smile on faces saying it all, we think we can confidently report that the day was a success. One parent contacted us to tell us how much fun her adult son had on the day, saying: “David has not stopped telling everyone he meets how he flew an aircraft and used a simulator, it is a memory that will last for his and our lives.”

We hope Penningtons will be returning for another day next year!

Charity Partnerships

This month we are very pleased to have welcomed two fantastic charities, The British Polio Fellowship and Leonard Cheshire Disability, to Aerobility HQ at Blackbushe Airport. We love sharing our stories with other charities and enjoy the friendly sharing culture that the charity sector is so famous for!

The British Polio Fellowship is dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering approximately 120, 000 people in the UK living with the effects of Polio and Post-Polio Syndrome. They are a brilliant organisation and their great new website has lots more information for those that are interested . A big thank you to Aerobility member Gerald Hackemer for arranging the meeting with the British Polio Fellowship management team.

Leonard Cheshire Disability is one of the UK’s leading disability charities. We were lucky enough to meet their inspirational Chief Executive, Claire Pelham, at the government’s recent ‘Disability Confident’ conference. Claire was very keen to learn more about us and build a relationship between our two organisations. A visit from a senior manager last week was a brilliant opportunity for us to learn more, and we’re looking forward to working together further in the future.

We also attended the UK’s first Fundraising Camp in Oxford. This is an innovative new idea from UK Fundraising to bring together fundraisers and facilitate conversation between them. Instead of listening to speakers and nodding off in the back row, the delegates set the agenda and delivered the sessions. It was a great day and we learnt a lot from our fundraising colleagues.

The Jack and Ada Beattie Foundation

Last weekend, Aerobility supporters ‘The Beattie Foundation’ held their annual Gala dinner at Sywell Aerodrome in a campaign to raise the funds needed to help return our D-Day Veterans to the famous Normandy beaches for the formal commemoration of D-Day in 2014. Aerobility Patron, Buzz Aldrin, was the Beattie Foundation’s Guest of Honour and Aerobility were very pleased to be invited to attend.

The Beattie Foundation's motto – “knowing that someone is fighting your corner is half the battle won” – has guided the organisation in its first years. Trevor Beattie, the organisation’s founder, has certainly been fighting in Aerobility’s corner and is a long-standing personal supporter and friend.

The evening was a great success and made all the more special for Aerobility instructor, Peter Norris, and student, Karl Hinnet, as they celebrated Karl’s first solo together! Keep an eye on the blog for the story of Karl’s solo flight and his incredible progress.

A well deserved beer!

The 15th Annual British Aviation Group Dinner

The British Aviation Group, or BAG as it is more commonly referred to, has been a great supporter of Aerobility over the past few years. Every year, BAG raises money at its annual dinner which is a much sought-after and sold out event.

Aerobility with some of the very supportive BAG Members
Aerobility Chairman, Shona Bowman; Vice Chairman, Jon Windover; and Service Development Coordinator, Geri Burton attended the dinner in Whitehall. Shona’s excellent, heartfelt speech was a highlight of the evening and the BAG members were very generous with their donations, raising over £2000.

We would like to say a very big thank you to BAG for their continued support.

Helitech International

You may recall that our neighbours at Blackbushe, PremiAir, have been very generous with their support and chosen Aerobility as their Charity of the Year. As part of their ongoing commitment to the charity, PremiAir very kindly hosted us at the Helitech exhibition at the Excel Centre in London.

Proud partners.

The event was a great promotional tool for us and gave us the opportunity to show the rotorcraft world what we get up to. Perhaps we should think of adding a helicopter next?!

The Bulldog: Back Again

This weekend, Aerobility Ambassador, Guy Westgate, accompanied Martin Delaney on his auction prize flight from the 2012 Aviators Ball in our old Bulldog. Martin flew Bulldogs in the USA over 20 years ago, but hadn't forgotten much, putting the venerable G-DISA through loops, rolls and stall turns. 

Martin with the Bulldog.

Guy with Martin and G-DISA.

A very big thank you to Ian Whiting for donating the use of his aeroplane for the flight. If you would like to donate a prize for this year’s Aviators Ball then get in touch!

The 2013 Aviators Ball!

That leads us nicely on to this year’s Aviators Ball doesn’t it? We are delighted to be able to announce that outstanding Aerobility supporter, NATS, will again be demonstrating their dedication the charity by sponsoring the Aviators Ball. Richard Deakin, NATS Chief Executive, told us that “NATS is proud to sponsor the Aviators Ball and to be a part of Aerobility’s drive to bring excitement and support to disabled people through exploring what they can do in the air and the empowerment that gives them.”

The Ball is going to be bigger and better than ever before, and tickets are quite literally flying off the shelves… There are a limited number of tickets so please do buy yours now to avoid disappointment. Keep an eye on the blog as we disclose the world-class entertainment and unmissable auction prizes that will be on offer on the night.

An evening of aviation glitz and glamour not to be missed...

There is more information on the website

Over and Out….

As always, thank you for reading and supporting Aerobility! Don’t forget to check the blog regularly for more updates. If you would like to include a story or photo of your aviation experiences on the blog, please email

Happy Landings

The Aerobility Team
Geri BurtonComment