Kevin Arblaster - PPL holder and last year's Pooleys Aviators Sword recipient.

In Kevin’s own words:

“2018 was a memorable year for me.  I finally reached my goal attaining my Pilot’s Licence. 

This journey has had a few stalls, due to financial constraints, confidence, and the good old British weather.

My adventure into aviation started  20 years ago in 1998 when I took my first trial flight.

The seed had been sown, and I had no idea that it would see me venture into aviation, which would span the next two decades.

My flying training started at Derby Aero Club in October 1998.  There I met Craig Knott, who instructed me on the Cessna 152. In later years Craig became an instructor for Aerobility.

I flew at Derby for a few years, before moving to Tatenhill, however I took a break from flying in 2000, which lasted 7 years.

When I returned to Tatenhill in the summer of 2007, I soon came into contact with the BDFA (which then became Aerobillity) .  This was where also I met Charlie McIlroy, who became my mentor. 

 December 2010 saw a milestone, I went solo for the first time. 

So fast forwarding to autumn 2017 after flying with instructors for years, I decided that the time had come to commit myself to get my Pilot’s Licence.

In spring 2018, I started retaking my exams.  After getting my LPAL medical in May, the flying training began to get me ready for my test.

By August I was ready for my Qualifying Cross Country to Welshpool.

Then on the 12th September, came my General Flight Test.  My examiner, Mike Sain, put me at ease and talked me through what the next 2 hours would consist of.

The test started with a few circuits in different configurations.  Then if was off to Ludlow, and then to Welshpool for the diversion. 

After doing the upper air work.  Mike told me “Well done, you’ve passed”

That was it I’d done it, I was now a qualified pilot!

As you can see my personal aviation journey has been long. However, it has and still is very enjoyable, it has also turned from being a hobby into a passion.


Thanks to everybody who has been involved.”

Kevin pictured here shortly after receiving the Pooleys’ Aviators Sword at last year’s Aviators Ball.

Laura Neaves