November 17, 2017

Hart Civic Day - 24th October 2017

We were chosen as one of the 'Heart of Hart' campaign's seven charities for 2017.
Last month the Chairman of the Council and his 'Chain Gang' visited us to find out a little bit more about Aerobility, what we do and the difference we make.
Their feedback was hugely positive, as per the email sent to our CEO, see below.

Dear Mike

Thank you for organising the trip to Aerobility so successfully for my Civic Day last week.  My civic head guests found you and your team to be awe inspiring and a memory that they will all hold as special.  

The “Chain Gang” (twelve Mayors, Chairmen and their consorts from neighbouring Hampshire authorities) enjoyed a highly memorable afternoon.  The visit was very well received by our guests and they were particularly impressed by your informative presentation and the demonstrations your colleagues put on for us.

I know they were all greatly impressed by our time at Aerobility.  Could you please pass on my grateful thanks to all involved in making it such a special visit, and for introducing us to the work of the Aerobility team.

The lunch and afternoon tea supplied by Ewa at The Bushe Café was really enjoyable and everyone said what a good visit it was.  Please also pass on my thanks to all at the Bushe Café.

Mike – thank you again for your hospitality.

With Kindest Regards
Yours sincerely

Councillor Gerry Crisp
Chairman of the Council
Whilst visiting, the Chairman, also officially opened our new classroom building. 

A 'trip' in the simulator with one of our pilots, Damian Hunter.

Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed opening

Written by Brian Catchpoole, Operations Manager, Aerobility.

Brooklands Aircraft Factory Opening by Prince Michael of Kent – 13/11/2017

On Monday it was my privilege to represent Aerobility at the Opening of the new Brooklands Aircraft Factory and Flight Shed. This quite massive project has involved moving a World War 2 (Grade 1 Listed) hangar, its complete restoration, and subsequent rebuilding on a new site. The hangar exhibition have been completely redesigned and now pays homage to Brooklands aircraft manufacturing heritage. On entering the building visitors can ‘clock in’ and then try any of the hands-on exhibits such as ‘Tinsmithing’, ‘Propeller Works’ and Carpentry Shop’. Aerobility were involved early on in the project with advice on Inclusive Access, and I’m pleased to report that the new complex is indeed very disability friendly.
I was able to talk at length with Andy Cornish the Aviation Heritage Skills Officer, about Brooklands educational project, which aims to provide basic engineering skills to the new generation. A workshop has been created in the Flight Shed, and it’s aimed to provide both classroom and workshop based training. Considering the skills set that will be required by those involved in our own ‘One Rivet at a Time’ project it’s remarkable just how close a fit this scheme could be with our own needs. Keep a look out in the future for possible Aerobility / Brooklands collaboration in this area.

Brooklands has always been an enjoyable and full day out and this great new addition is clearly aimed at the younger members of society. But, no matter what your age, I highly recommend a visit.

Brian and his toy aeroplanes
Prince Michael of Kent officially opening the newly renovated hangar.

November 10, 2017

Unwanted currency - we need yours!

We have an oil drum in our new building and it needs filling, but not with oil!
Do you have any unwanted foreign currency lurking in your home?  Have a quick look in that spare change pot on the bedside table, check if there's any rolling around in your suitcase or holdall, maybe even down the back of the sofa..?
Aerobility can exchange these coins (and notes!) to help fund even more life changing flight experiences for those with disabilities, and those who are profoundly ill.
Drop in to Blackbushe and drop off those dollars, euros, francs, yen, krona, lira, rubles (and many more.)
We can also take those last few old pound coins off your hands!
Happy hunting!

November 08, 2017

We're off... One Rivet At A Time

One Rivet at a Time Update

Hi All,

As those of you who attended will already know, we had a very useful meeting last Thursday. Many of you pledged your support for the project which is most heartening. I hope you all enjoyed meeting Jonathan Porter who will supply the kit as the UK agent for Zenair. Just to confirm that Aerobility have ordered the first part of the kit, and our expectation is that we will take delivery in January next year. However, I’m pleased to announce that Jonathan brought along the tail section, and so we can therefore start construction immediately.

In order to get started, Jonathan will run a two day course, ostensibly to assemble the tail, but clearly we will also become practised in the skills necessary to assemble the remaining aircraft. This course is scheduled for December 18th and 19 and it would be good for as many of you as we can manage to attend, but certainly it would help to train a core group of  people to help the project move forward. There will be a limited number of places available and those attending will need to commit to both days. The course promises to be both thorough and entertaining, and those of you who met Jonathan will know just how enthusiastic he is. Please let me know by email if you would like to be considered, I for one can’t wait.

We have continued to obtain tools from many generous benefactors, probably more tools than we need, but it will enable us to extend the reach of the project to include many others. People who perhaps would not wish to be part of the actual build, but maybe have never had the opportunity to use basic hand tools.

John Hirst, who with his son built the magnificent  benches now in the hangar, has started to build our partitioning system. This consists of units that can be moved to accommodate the varying needs of the project and the operational needs of the other aircraft in the fleet. This will assist to demark the area and support safety during the build. Thanks John as always.

Your scribe continues to work towards obtaining an engine, we have options in the pipe line and hopefully something positive to report before the end of the year.

Finally, I have included everyone who I believe has expressed an interest in the project, but if you know of anyone I have left out, please let me know or encourage them to contact me.


Brian Catchpoole
Operations Manager

October 31, 2017

Urgent - amazing opportunity to take part in an expedition from South America to Florida!

The deadline for applications is now Friday, best be quick!  

Please see the full details from VintageAirRally below.

'VintageAirRally is looking for people with an adventurous spirit of all ages and abilities to apply to their latest expedition, #Ushuaia2USA. In March of next year, VintageAirRally will be undertaking the most ambitious air rally ever attempted, taking 15 vintage biplanes from Ushuaia, the southern most tip of South America to Florida in just over 6 weeks. Teams are comprised of 2 people, a pilot and a co-pilot who will travel through 19 Countries finishing at the Sun n’ Fun Airshow in Lakeland Florida! The best part? It is completely FREE, yes you heard it FREE! VintageAirRally will cover the cost of the expedition! Applications close on the 1st November, so register your interest at this website NOW! All you need to do is submit a short 90 second video about why you want to be on the rally. You never know, you could be in Argentina next March!'

They are very keen that this should be an inclusive trip so applicants with any level of disability should absolutely apply as one of the aircraft provided will be accessible for most disability types - wouldn't it be amazing to be part of a team of disabled flyers taking part in this rally?  It doesn't matter what level of experience you have either as a lead pilot will be provided... There will also be the opportunity to fly in a Tiger Moth, although accessibility is limited on these aircraft.


Good luck and please let us know if you are applying, email

October 25, 2017

Please join us in bidding a fond farewell to Laura!

As many of you will remember, Laura joined us in March last year as our Fundraising Officer.

Although Laura is off to work pastures new, she firmly remains part of the Aerobility family and promises to be back to both visit and volunteer.

Some words from Laura...

"It has been so wonderful working with and getting to know everyone - I will never forget how welcoming you were when I joined last March and very quickly made me feel part of the furniture (in a good way!)

Aerobility is an amazing charity and I will certainly be sad to leave, but I can promise that it won't be the last you see of me as I fully intend to keep in touch and remain a volunteer.

Wishing you all the absolute best - take care x"

From everyone at Aerobility - thank you for all your hard work and we wish you the best of luck for the future!

October 23, 2017

Royal Aeronautical Society Parliamentary Reception

Our Chief Executive, Mike Miller-Smith, and Service and Event Development Manager, Gail Barkes, attended the 'RAeS 20th Anniversary Celebration of Outreach and Careers Service' Parliamentary Reception in the Terrace Pavilion, House of Commons last week.  
This special event celebrated 20 years of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s dedicated aerospace and aviation careers and outreach service.
Speeches were made by members of the House followed by networking opportunities and afternoon tea!

A spot of shopping in the Palace of Westminster giftshop.
 The view from the terrace.

October 18, 2017

Initial Meeting - One Rivet At A Time - 2nd November at 18.00

Dear all,

The ball is now rolling and we'd like to invite you to join us at a meeting to discuss the 'One Rivet At A Time' project in more detail.
Come along at 18.00 on the 2nd November and find out how you can get involved, just email to confirm your place, the meeting is open to all, we hope to see you there...

One Rivet At A Time - thank you BA!

‘One rivet at a Time’ took another step forward today when our friends at BA engineering donated some much needed workshop equipment. We collected a trailer full from Hayes yesterday. Pictured are John Hirst and Simon Boon of BA who helped to facilitate the exercise, our thanks to them both.

October 16, 2017

One Rivet At A Time

An important message from our Operations Manager.

Dear All,

I’m pleased to announce that the project to build our own plane is to go ahead. We have ordered a Zenair CH750 STOL (Short Take Off & Landing) and work has started to equip one corner of the hangar to carry out the work. Some of you may have attended our ‘Pull A Rivet’ session in February, this was presented by Jonathan and Patricia Porter of Metal Seagulls, and it is they who will provide the aircraft as the UK distributor.

The project, now named ‘One Rivet At A Time,’ will enable everybody to get involved, be it to place a single rivet or as a major contributor to the workload, those with an impairment or able bodied, all are welcome. I hope you agree this is an extremely exciting project, and one that doesn’t come along every day. We have lots of external support, it is now time for us to show these supporters and the rest of the world that we can make ‘One Rivet at a Time’ a success.

So this is a “Call to Arms." If you would like to get involved in any capacity, you are cordially invited to an introductory meeting to be held here at Blackbushe on Thursday 2nd November at 18:00. I hope I have chosen a convenient time for as many of you as possible, but inevitably this will not suit everyone, so if you would still like to be involved but can’t join us on the day, please let me know and I will ensure you are registered to be kept informed.
During the meeting I will introduce the project, the aircraft and how we might organise the build. Hopefully some video content to ‘whet your appetite’, and obviously plenty of time to ask questions. Just to emphasise, we want to see anyone who would like to be involved, be it to place a single rivet or as a major contributor to the workload, those with an impairment or able bodied, all are welcome. I hope you agree this is an extremely exciting project, and one that doesn’t come along every day. We have lots of external support, it is now time for us to show these supporters and the rest of the world that we can make ‘One Rivet at a Time’ a success. I look forward to welcoming you to the team.
Brian Catchpoole

October 13, 2017

Radio Rescue!

Calling all pilots - can you help us with our Radio Rescue campaign?

As we're sure you all know, there's been a change in the law regarding radio frequencies that will come into effect on the 1 January 2018.

As the CAA says:"From 1st January 2018 the law changes and all aircraft operating in airspace that requires the carriage of a radio must have 8.33 kHz-compatible equipment fitted and operational. After this date all 25kHz radios can no longer be used, unless specifically exempted for a particular channel such as the emergency frequency 121.5MHz. This means that all General Aviation (GA) aircraft must comply with this change to UK law to maintain safe communications with ground stations.
(The UK leaving the EU will not affect the implementation of this new legislation.)"

This means that there will be a veritable mountain of disused radios, mostly destined for the local dump!

However, did you know that Aerobility can make great use of your old and soon to be discarded radios?

We're launching a campaign called 'Radio Rescue,' asking our aviator friends, volunteers and sponsors to donate their old and now defunct units. Not only can we take the disused sets off your hands but we can also raise valuable funds for the charity through the overseas sale of these items.

It's a win win!

Speak to Wayne on the front desk via email or give us a call on the office mobile 07547 838511, and who knows, we may even be able to take other bits and bobs off your hands too including wiring, denunciation panels and racks.

Let's recycle and raise money too, join us in our Radio Rescue mission!

Here's our own Cherokee 6 in the midst of its new installation.


Please see the CAA's website for further details on the 88.3 legislation