August – Flying, Flying and More Flying
August has been another busy month at Aerobility, with flying to do or flying to watch or flying to talk about from across the Atlantic, past Blackbushe, over Tatenhill and into Europe. We’ve been busy on the ground too, expanding our services and expanding our building! Here’s an update for you on just some of the things we got up to:
Flying Day Fun
We’ve enjoyed two great flying days in August, one at Elstree Aerodrome and one here at Blackbushe. A few weeks ago, Aerobility instructors James, Peter and Mike, with support from volunteer Roger, took an aircraft each up to Elstree to provide a day of flying for disability charity Guideposts Trust. Guideposts work with people who have mental health issues, dementia, learning disabilities and physical impairments and provide support and care to ensure that everyone can lead independent lives. Aerobility’s relationship with Guideposts is a long and successful one – we met over 7 years ago at an airshow and have been collaborating to provide an annual flying day ever since.
|Guideposts Trust Flying Day 2013|
Aerobility member and long-time supporter, Simon Rapkin, is a key success factor in the continuing success of our relationship with Guideposts. He was on-hand to ensure that the day ran smoothly and that fun was had by all. His inventive aviation quiz added a touch of competition and proved challenging for certain members of the Aerobility team….
|A successful flight!|
With over twenty flights completed in one very busy day, there were plenty of smiles around to show how much fun was had by all. We’d like to say a very big thank you to Guideposts, Simon and the team at Elstree for making us so welcome. We’re looking forward to next year already!
|The Aerobility Team|
This week, we were also very pleased to be visited for the second time by a group from the organisation Sportability. After a successful day of flying earlier this summer, Sportability decided it was worth making a second trip! Once the early morning fog had cleared away, another twelve trial flights were completed from Aerobility HQ at Blackbushe. We received some lovely feedback from those who flew, including these sentiments:
“A very BIG THANK YOU… I had the pleasure of flying a plane with James today… What a brilliant experience & a great day with friendly helpful staff”
We hope to continue building this relationship with Sportability and look forward to their next visit!
This month, we managed to show our faces at not one but two international airshows. In a very rare escape from the office, CEO Mike made everyone jealous by attending the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. He was joined there by Aerobility Chairman Shona, and they have come home with lots of amazing aviation stories. A few photos below for you – let’s start planning an official Aerobility trip for 2014?!
|Just a few aircraft to look at...|
|Nothing by half in America.|
Aerobility also took a delegation to Gruyere for Handiflight 2013 – the 5th International Meeting of Disabled Pilots. CFI James and member Barry set off for Switzerland in the Cherokee Six on a quiet Sunday morning, with a quick stop off at Troyes in central France. As always, it was a fantastic few days and there are some amazing photos and videos below for you to have a look at. Keep an eye out for a full write-up in the next edition of the magazine.
Air to Air https://vimeo.com/73059060
|A great view from the bar!|
|The Cherokee showing how diverse it is!|
On The Ground
Not only have we had a busy summer up in the air, there’s also been a lot of activity happening on the ground! Over July and August we introduced over 50 young people to the possibilities of aviation through our new Aviation Experience sessions. With the support of a great team of volunteers, we have successfully been able to complete this busy summer programme that has seen groups of young people from organisations such as Challengers, halow and Enable Ability taking part.
|Concentrating on getting those models just right!|
The Aviation Experience sessions give young people with learning and physical disabilities the opportunity to engage with aviation. Using simple models, the simulator and our aircraft we are able to explain the basic principles of flight, give everyone the chance to try out their skills in the simulator and then get up close with the real thing. We look forward to more Aviation Experiences in the future!
We have also recently been accepted for corporate membership of the ‘Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’ (AOPA), which is great news and an illustration of our continued development. We look forward to supporting AOPA in its work for the aviation community.
So as you can see, we’re successfully expanding our services and widening our networks and this has resulted in Aerobility HQ becoming a bit of a squeeze! With students revising Air Law in the kitchen and pop-up desks appearing in any available corner we had to face up to the fact that our building was not quite big enough anymore…
|Early morning arrival!|
After a long search for a suitable unit, we were all very excited when our new extension arrived on the back of a lorry very early one Thursday morning! The extension was attached in record time and is now painted, carpeted and looking lovely. We’ll be filling it with donated furniture and lots of activity over the next few weeks, so do come and have a look if you’re passing!
Upcoming Events: Dates for the Diary!
Simulator Sessions: On Tuesday 10th September we have a volunteer instructor operating the simulator for a day at Blackbushe. If you would like to book some time in the simulator please get in touch with the office at Blackbushe. A good chance to practise those circuits….
The Duxford Airshow: A few members have told us that they will be going along to the Duxford Airshow this Sunday (8th September) – if you were thinking of going along and would like to meet up with other Aerobility faithful, let us know and we can put you in touch! http://www.iwm.org.uk/events/iwm-duxford/the-duxford-air-show
Air First and Blackbushe Airport Family Fun Day: If you don’t fancy Duxford but would like your aviation fix this weekend, then come along to Blackbushe on Sunday. Air First are holding a family fun day and there’s lots of exciting activities to get involved in!
That’s all for now! If you have any stories or photos that you would like to share, remember to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will include them in the blog! If you are attending events or airshows, and would like to meet up with other Aerobility members who might be going along, then let us know and we can put you in touch!
The Aerobility Team