October 31, 2013

Aviation Education Programme - Introduction Day Update

Here at Aerobility, we are working hard to develop new services to ensure that aviation is accessible for all. Below is a report, written by one of our volunteers Tony, about our new Aviation Education Programme. This is a year long course funded by Children In Need for six young people, designed to introduce them to aviation and all of its various components. 

"We recently held the Introduction Day for our new Aviation Education Programme. Five of the six young participants and their family members attended an initial session, to welcome them to the programme and to those of us involved in preparing and delivering the course over the current school year. The sixth participant had attended a briefing by Geri the previous day, due to other commitments.

The session opened with a presentation by Geri explaining the plan for the day, together with an outline of the various course subjects to be covered in the modular programme. There will be five modules covering Airfield Operations, Air Traffic Control, Fire and Rescue, Aircraft Engineering, and “How We fly”. Geri then took the family members to the briefing room to complete the necessary paperwork on course monitoring and to discuss course scheduling.

Meanwhile, the students were being introduced to the course 
by the volunteer team and informally assessed as to their understanding of the proposed module content and detail. This was also a chance to establish any requirement for assistance with reading, writing and comprehension. The group completed an activity designed to establish the students’ existing level of knowledge of the subject matter, and their individual capacity for observation and logical thinking. 

It consisted of a video showing our CFI James arriving on site and preparing for a flight up to the point of taxying from the parking area, after which the students were invited to comment on it and to pinpoint any anomalies they may have noticed in the film.

There were two deliberate errors included, both of which were observed by the students if not by one or two of the volunteers - we jest, of course!

There then followed an exercise in which each student was given a set of still photographs taken from the video and required to arrange them in their logical sequence as shown in the film, and to answer a question relative to each picture. 

The family members were subsequently re-united with the students to “compete” against each other in pairs in a light-hearted aviation quiz, after which the winning student was presented with a souvenir of the occasion.

Geri then brought the session to a close by thanking the students and their family members for attending, and received good, positive feedback from everyone present. The next stage of the project will involve the finalisation of the programme schedule in discussion with the students and their families."

Thank you to Tony for this update - we'll let you know how the next sessions go. Its Airfield Ops and Air Traffic Control this week!

October 29, 2013

Boeing, The Air League and Aerobility

Today we were delighted to host Boeing and the Air League at Blackbushe as the BBC spent the day filming with Aerobility student Karl Hinnett.

Follow the link below to see Boeing's press release.


October 21, 2013

Solo Success!

Congratulations to Karl Hinett and Matt Noakes, who have both achieved the very special milestone of a first solo. Karl has been training with us at Blackbushe, whilst Matt is a student with us at Tatenhill. Both have shown incredible determination and we would like to say a huge congratulations. Below, Karl talks about his training so far and Aerobility instructor Craig tells us how Matt has been getting on.

"Hello everyone, my name is Karl Hinett and I have been spending the past few months training with Aerobility in getting my PPL. So far the training is going well, on 19th September I had successfully completed my first solo flight in a PA-28-161 Warrior. I hadn't been that nervous in a long time, but as soon as I was lined up to take off, all the previous training taken control and everything went as smooth as the wind would allow.

It was quite ironic and also a huge milestone, because also on that day only eight years ago, I was serving with the British Army in Basra, Iraq. During that day I was supporting a huge operation in the rescue of two captured British Soldiers, and whilst I was operating the weapons system of my Warrior armoured fighting vehicle, I was critically injured by a petrol bomb.

I never would have thought when I was lying in a hospital bed years ago, accepting the end of my Army career, that I would be perusing anything as exhilarating and adventurous as I am now with aviation, and it's thanks to the likes of Aerobility and their hardworking team, alongside Boeing that I can peruse this amazing dream." Karl Hinett, Aerobility Student

Matt setting off for his solo....
"Matt has done very well, he completed his first solo after only 14 hours training!!  He has been flying with me since July and he has taken to flying very well. He is very enthusiastic and always looks forward to his lessons. 

This month, Matt completed his first solo in the PA28 G-TALH and his landing was a "greaser " on runway 26. Obviously afterwards he was extremely happy and commented about the fact that it was a little strange flying with an empty right hand seat, no instructor nagging at him!!" Craig Knott, Aerobility Instructor 

Mike Miller-Smith was pleased to be able to congratulate Matt and the Tatenhill instructors in person.

Concorde Chapter UK: Great Opportunities For You!

Aerobility members, students, pilots, friends....

Take note! The Concorde Chapter UK has some great opportunities that we'd love for you to take up. 

Concorde Chapter UK is a group of aviation enthusiasts and professionals who support each other in various aspects of aviation.  On Saturday 30th November 2013 they are delighted to invite you to a lunch at the Heathrow Sofitel.  The event will commence at 11am with networking opportunities and speakers.  The price is £25 per head but we do have 2 sponsored places available for Aerobility pilots. If you are interested, please let Geri (geri@aerobility.com) know or visit the website for more information: http://www.concordechapter.org.uk/

Concorde Chapter also have a super scholarship opportunity to attend the Women In Aviation conference in Orlando (March 6-9) I. 2014.  To apply candidates need to send a letter saying why they should get the chance to attend and explain their hopes and dreams in aviation.  Please send in your letter of application by 15th November to: melinda.benson1@aol.com or telephone 01924 456704 

The Concorde Chapter UK look forward to seeing you at a future event soon and do hope that you can join them at the Sofitel on 30th November. If you already have your ticket for the Aviators Ball, then why not make a day of it! And if you haven't got your ticket then call us now - we expect to be sold out by the end of this week!

October 14, 2013

Tecnam: Progress Update

We are very pleased to be able to unveil the colour scheme for our brand new Tecnam. The aircraft was painted last week and test flights will be continuing this week.

We hope you are all as excited as we are!

October 07, 2013

Community Support: A Big Thank You!

The work we do here at Aerobility wouldn't be possible without the hard work of many of our supporters and the generosity of donors. In the past few weeks we've had some fantastic donations from our local community and further afield...

Penningtons Solicitors LLP

Following a very successful family fun day last month and what we hope will be the start of a long partnership, we were very pleased to receive a donation of  £500 from the Basingstoke branch of Penningtons Solicitors.

The brilliant team from Basingstoke Penningtons!

Waitrose - Sandhurst

This week, we visited our local Waitrose store to collect our 'Community Matters' donation from the lovely staff there. This is the second time a Waitrose branch has included us in the scheme, which allows shoppers to vote for their favourite of three chosen charities. We very much appreciate the support and were delighted to receive £448!
CEO Mike Miller-Smith and Fundraiser Geri Burton with the lovely Waitrose staff!
Kimpton School - Fundraiser and Flying Day

Long-standing volunteer and Aerobility supporter, Mick Simpson, organised a fantastic day of fun at his local primary school near Thruxton Airfield. With the mobile simulator, model making, the Army Air Corps and lots of tea and biscuits on offer there was something for everyone. 

An Aerobility volunteer tests out the model making and confirms that it is a lot of fun!

Headteacher, Pam, told us afterwards that: 

"I was thrilled to be able to use my school as a venue for an Aerobility Day, which was a great success, helping to raise awareness of what Aerobility has to offer disabled people who would like to fly. The portable flight simulator was hugely popular with children and adults alike and it was lovely to see families playing together as children decorated, made, and flew model airplanes. It was a fun day!

Aerobility sends an important message to everyone - disabled and able-bodied - that the sky literally is the limit and there's no reason on earth why we can't all be equal."
A keen student learning the basics with Aerobility's Mick.

The Kimpton, Thruxton and Fyfield Church of England Primary School were fantastic hosts and the students and parents were very supportive, raising just under £200 on the day. We'd like to say a huge thank to both Pam and Mick, as well as the Kimpton community for all of their support. 
What Next?
Would you like to help Aerobility and do some community fundraising of your own? We'd love to hear your ideas and support your fundraising projects. Contact Geri (geri@aerobility.com) for more information.