This well-supported charity – known as the home of disabled flying – aims to get people living with a range of handicaps airborne. It has a fine record of fulfilling the ambitions of youngsters and veterans alike; indeed, it prides itself on finding an aviation solution for everybody.
Aerobility is based at Blackbushe Airport in Hampshire with outposts in the Midlands and Scotland. Its fleet of four aircraft has recently been augmented by an Italian-built Tecnam two-seater (left), the first production aircraft to be designed with a hand-control option for paraplegics. That’s quite a breakthrough, considering I’m not aware of any cars that fit the bill. Prove me wrong.
Aerobility offers taster flights and Private Pilot’s License courses, comprising full air and ground-school programmes. The fleet is available for hire by suitably-qualified pilots. Students can also practice their procedures on a bang up-to-date cockpit simulator.
Current plans include the establishment of a formation team, “The Bader Bus Company”, to be crewed by disabled pilots and set to fly next summer (and scheduled for TV coverage). A Build-A-Kitplane project, with every single component funded by charitable giving, is nearly ready for lift-off.
And right now, teenagers are being sought to participate in Aerobility’s second Aviation Education Programme. Aimed at young people aged between 14 and 18 years old with mild to moderate learning and/or physical disabilities, the AEP strives to provide them with transferable skills and strengths that they can take into further education and employment. It covers introductions to Airfield Operation, Air Traffic Control, Fire and Rescue, Aircraft Engineering, Meteorology and Principles of Flight.