Aerobility is a registered charity that believes that everyone should have the right and opportunity to actively participate in aviation and has been working with Help For Heroes to provide opportunities to service personnel and veterans who have been wounded, injured or sick, whether it is a once-in-a-lifetime flight, ongoing flight training, or employment prospects in the aviation industry.
Members from the Help for Heroes' support group; Band of Brothers, were pleased to pay a visit to take part in a series of flying days at Blackbushe Airport. Over twenty Help for Heroes veterans took part from across the country.
The first of the flying days was a busy one, with three aircraft operating all day. The weather held out and the team completed sixteen flights by close of play. On the Monday however, conditions did not look too favourable for flying, with overcast skies, a southerly cross breeze, intermittent rain, and a marginal VFR cloud base over the field. Nonetheless, a short briefing on the function of primary aircraft controls and CFI James succeeded in taking up six of the group during the morning for individual local introductory flights of around 20 - 30 minutes each in one of our PA28s.
Descending cloud put an end to flying in the early afternoon, but those not fortunate enough to be able to share the airborne experience on the day, were offered the opportunity to return at a future date to enable them to fly then. At time of writing, two of those have returned and enjoyed their first taste of flying!
In addition to the actual flights, all participants were able to experience the next best thing – piloting our PA28 simulator under guidance from instructor Barry – and everyone expressed their pleasure on the day, here follows some examples of the feedback we received:
“The Aerobility team were fantastic. Extremely welcoming and the instructors made the learning very easy to take in. Being my first experience, I can safely say that I had never imagined being able to fly and now I have the bug.”
“Fantastic experience, I'd love to learn to fly.”
“Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. It was a thrilling experience which I will cherish. Simply brilliant. With so much to concentrate on, it gave me a little window to put my disability to one side for a change, Thank you”
“Brilliant. I've always wanted to fly. This gives me a realistic opportunity to consider taking it up. I'd really love to continue.”