June 29, 2015

Aerobility Flyer, Pauline Gallagher, takes on the Freedom of Flight Challenge!

It's been a long time in the planning but last week Aerobility Flyer Pauline Gallagher stated her Freedom of Flight Challenge to raise funds for Aerobility and FSDP.

The Freedom of Flight Relay Challenge will cover most counties in Scotland. Each leg of the relay will still be flown by a disabled pilot. The first stage of the challenge was completed last week. However due to bad weather, the second stage of the challenge has been postponed and the new date is 31st July.

The aims of this challenge is to raise awareness of disabled flying in the United Kingdom; raise much needed funds to support those using the power of flight to increase confidence and self esteem; and bring together everyone in the community of disabled pilots, qualified or in training, in a shared endeavour which will inspire the wider population.

As Aerobility Flyer, Pauline knows flying a light aircraft is a mentally and physically demanding activity, more so when you have constraints in the physical world. One disabled pilot has said that "…flying gives me the freedom that I don't have on the ground"; while another really articulates the fulfilment and transformation in their quality of life by saying that learning to fly "…has given me a real sense of achievement and pride in myself again".

Meeting the challenge of disabled pilots flying around the United Kingdom in order to support Aerobility operations and contribute towards a scholarship for Flying Scholarships for Disabled People will cost in the region of £25,000. It's still not too late to donate, if you would like to support Pauline please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=FreedomOfFlight&isTeam=true

June 26, 2015

Aerobility Touring Group - 2015

Aerobility Touring Group - 2015

Blackbushe - Old Hay - Old Buckenham - Rochester - Blackbushe
19 April 2015

Crews: James Brown, Barry Hobkirk, Geoff Marshall, Stuart Clarke & Trish Amess
Aircraft: G-CHFK PA-32-260 & G-BSYY PA-28-161

Sunday 19th April 0800 BST dawned cold and windy and the intrepid band of aviators assembled at HQ. The original plan was to use 2 x PA-28s but G-HARN was 'tech' due to a collapsed nose wheel oleo. The 'white van' otherwise known as 'FK' was the best alternative and a useful wheel chair, scooter & walker carrier!
Much discussion was had and graphs consulted to assure us that we were not going to take out any hedges at the Old Hay Farm Strip, a sporty 676 m of short (dry?) grass!
As it happened, there were no dramas with either aircraft and the short field landing and takeoff practice was worthwhile.

Farmer Roger, the owner met us with his Follow Me Landover and 'Rotty' and was genuinely pleased to see us. He plans an extension to the East/West strip soon, taking the fun out of it!!
From Old Hay it was roughly a northerly track up to Old Buckenham (EGSV). This required a transit of the new Southend RMZ! Again, no dramas and straight across to Chelmsford VRP and on to SV.
Old Buckenham were holding a 'Wings and Wheels' event so there was a bit of a scramble getting radio calls in on arrival. Sadly, possibly due to the wind there were not many 'wings' in attendance but there was a an array of WW 2, mainly American (given the history of SV!) vehicles and artillery pieces. Being just south of Norwich, the next high point east would be the Urals and that was were the wind was coming from! It was bitter! However the Sausage or Bacon Baps were good and 'the cup that cheers' did the business. They even waived the landing fees!

The home run was via Rochester (TO), a large grass airfield south of Chatham that is in the process of laying a 'hard' runway (see Sywell). Sadly the cafe had closed by the time we arrived so tea and cake did not materialize. Again landing fees were waived so after a short stop and crew changes it was back to Blackbushe.

The Team at Rochester.

All flyers got 2 legs each and I believe the overall experience was positive.
Your roving reporter,

June 17, 2015

Tuesday 16th June - an exciting day in Aerobility history

Yesterday Blackbushe was buzzing with excitement as two incredible flight challenges landed at Aerobility HQ.

First to arrive was Aerobility friend Captain Judy Rice, partner of Buzz Aldrin, who had amended the route of her round the world flight to include a stop at Aerobility. Judy arrived in her Citation Mustang Business Jet and was joined by Aerobility Flyer Nathan Doidge, who won the flight in a recent prize drawer.

Judy's Think Global Flight is an around the world flight promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) through aviation and aerospace education, inspiring students to succeed and excel in these critical areas. Some of Aerobilitys Aviation Education Programme students were there to welcome Judy and talk about about their achievements in S.T.E.M subjects.

Shortly after Judy had landed the Flying for Freedom team touched down in their Microlights as part of their Round Britain 2015 flight. Flying for Freedom, a charity close to Aerobiltiy's heart that seek to enable recovery for wounded, injured and sick service men by supporting them through Microlight flying training.

Overall it was an amazing and truly inspirational afternoon and Aerobiltiy would like to thank Captain Judy Rice, the Flying For Freedom team and all of our supporters for making the day so special.

June 15, 2015

Friends of OSCAR Flying Day

On 23rd May, Aerobility were very pleased to welcome 18 young people from Friends of O.S.C.A.R.  Friends of O.S.C.A.R is a charity set up to support children with brain and spinal tumours and their families throughout the country.
They joined us for a fun packed day of flying, simulator training, circus skills and crafts.  They were a truly inspiring group of young people and clearly had a great day judging by the smiles and laughter!!!

June 09, 2015

Aerobility disabled aviator Nathan Doidge to participate in Round the World Flight – promoting aviation for young people

The story begins in 2012 when disabled flying charity Aerobility invited astronaut Buzz Aldrin to participate in its Guinness World Record longest flight simulator flight challenge. The 10 day record was set and history was made, and along the way Buzz has become an Aerobility supporter and patron. Fast forward to 2015 and Buzz introduced Aerobility to Captain Judy Rice and Think Global Flight, an organisation and project which shares so much in common with Aerobility – making aviation accessible to all and using the magic of flight to stimulate and focus on ability.

Judy invited Aerobility to participate in the flight, taking part in the flight from Edinburgh to Blackbushe Airport which also happens to be the HQ of the charity. Aerobility invited the disabled community to enter a competition to join Judy for the flight, and two winners were drawn from the hat by Buzz and Judy.

Nathan Doidge was drawn as the primary participant, and Matthew Noakes as the standby. Some background and comments from the guys in their own words:

Nathan Doidge
“Put him in a home, forget about him and have another baby.” That's what the doctor told my parents when I was born with cerebral palsy. My disability has meant, throughout my life, I've been told I wouldn't be able to do things but I've always enjoyed proving people wrong.
Probably the most notable of these was learning to fly, resulting in me gaining my pilot's licence in August 2012. I then participated in Aerobility's Global Flight Simulator Challenge (GFSC), a successful attempt to break the world record for the longest duration simulated flight. Fellow participants on the same day included Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, who I first met in August 2010 when we were passengers on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; Apollo 11 Astronaut, Buzz Aldrin; and his passenger, Chris Evans. This lead to Chris doing a great piece about me on the BBC One Show. Soon after this, in November 2012, I was awarded the Aviator of the Year sword, presented to me by Buzz at the Aerobility Aviators' Ball. 
My hope is all this will enable me to continue challenging people's perceptions, able-bodied or otherwise, of disabled people and what they can and can't do; show, contrary to what most media conveys, a disabled person's life isn't all about 'coping' with their disability. In fact, for most, it's a very small consideration next to all the usual factors involved in not just leading a 'normal' life but living it to the full. I'd also like to show that everyone in the world, not just disabled people, is in one minority group or another and it's okay to be different, no matter what that difference is."

Matthew Noakes
"Right, the flying, I'm very close to the end result, I have two more flights booked in before my skills test in June, all ground exams are passed so it's just the last bit of flying before I finish my pilot’s licence. 
The injury to my shoulder was a result of  operations in Afghanistan, leaving me after several operations, and lots of rehabilitation, restriction in strength and movement, but I don't see it as a disability, as since it has all happened I have had the pleasure of meeting people and charities they run such as Aerobility, this has enabled me to participate in things I have always wanted to since a child, dreams I thought lost, I thought I had it all planned out before going to Afghanistan but getting injured changed all that, without the help of charities such as Aerobility I would not have grown my confidence back enough to think I would be able to become a pilot, which I have always dreamed, now I'm just a couple of flights away!
The chance to participate in the Edinburgh to Blackbushe flight is an Amazing opportunity, to see what life is like as a real jet pilot would, and to participate in such a unique and important flight – encouraging young people to become involved with aviation and science. And who wouldn't want to fly in a jet!"

What is going to happen on 16 June?
Just after 3 PM Judy arrives in the Cessna Citation Jet at the Blackbushe HQ of disabled flying charity Aerobility. She will be greeted by Aerobility disabled flyers, and disabled schoolchildren from the local area. The flight brings together a global community of aviators – all bonded by the love of flight and the desire to use aviation as a tool to change lives. This can happen in many ways – from encouraging a wounded soldier suffering from PTSD to regain self belief and a feeling of achievement through the challenges of learning to fly – by giving a young person with a learning disability the chance to handle the controls of an aircraft in flight and helping them to realise that there is much to achieve in life and value in finding ability and confidence – through Think Global Flight delivering an exciting worldwide message that learning about aviation stimulates a new generation of young engineers and scientists.

The media are invited to help us to welcome Think Global Flight and Captain Rice.


Note to Editors
Aerobility is a registered charity offering disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly and participate in aviation based activities.  Aerobility removes barriers and offers disabled people a real sense of achievement and life changing freedom.  Aerobility's specially adapted light aircraft fly from various airfields around the UK and every year support over 400 physically disabled, learning-disabled, wounded soldiers and sensory impaired people. Participants are supported to learn to fly, gain independence or employment in aviation. For more information about Aerobility please visit www.aerobility.com  email info@aerobility.com or call 0303 303 1230

Think Global Flight is an around the world flight promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) through aviation and aerospace education, inspiring students to succeed and excel in these critical areas.  The flight will encourage and foster the international exchange of information among industry, professional associations, government agencies, and the educational community, thus growing a greater awareness of the capabilities for S.T.E.M. education, especially as related to the aviation and aerospace disciplines.  See the web site:  www.thinkglobalflight.com

June 03, 2015

Aerobility Flyers' Party 2015 – Picnic by the Planes

Aerobility Hangar, Blackbushe Airport
Saturday 11th July 2015
£6 per person

Join the Aerobility team on the 11th July for a family friendly night of entertainment in the Aerobility Hangar at Blackbushe Airport.

Bring your own picnic, deck chair and alcohol and relax whilst enjoying an aerobatic display overhead and live music from ‘The Retros’.

This event is open to everyone and costs just £6  per person. All tickets must be purchased before the event by visiting the http://shop.aerobility.com/aerobility-flyers-party-2015--picnic-by-the-planes-118-p.asp

If you have any questions about this event please contact deborah@aerobility.com

June 01, 2015

Aerobility – a flight of passage


As some of you may know I’m lucky enough to be an ambassador for the flying charityAerobility. I’ve had a great association with them since obtaining my initial pilot’s licence back in 2009 and was their first student to gain my PPL (private pilot’s licence).
However, over the last couple of years I feel like my commitment to them has been neglected slightly as any spare time for aviating has been focused solely on bringing the little Cub back to life. And so I haven’t been to see them in ages! I rectified that last week though.
I’ve been flying the Cub for quite some time now since G-BDEY came out of refit, and right from the beginning of the project I made it my priority to get the aeroplane down to Blackbushe, where Aerobility are based now, to show those guys the new aircraft...... to read more go to Arthur's blog  http://arthur-williams.co.uk/aerobility-a-flight-of-passage/.