Aerobility is a registered charity using the challenges of flight and exposure to aviation as a tool for improving the lives of those with a disability.
Whatever the age and whatever the impairment, be it physical, learning, or mental, or an injury acquired in conflict – Aerobility gives everyone the chance to fly and participate in aviation orientated activities.
Aerobility operates adapted aircraft, supporting equipment and offers specialist instruction to ensure access for all. The charity also acts as a representative body for disabled aviators working with regulators and the aerospace industry to promote access and awareness.
We provide ‘experience of a lifetime’ lessons for individuals and groups, and specialised flying training to disabled people leading to pilot licence issue where possible, along with adapted aircraft hire for disabled licence holders.
Funding for major capital investments, though hard to find, is still out there - for example, a determined and magnificent fundraising push by staff and management at NATS has allowed us to begin replacing our ageing fleet with new aircraft.
We also own a fuselage-based flight simulator, which allows disabled student pilots valuable time acclimatising and adapting to the aircraft physical environment, without the associated expense of actual flight. This can make a difference of many hours, and many hundreds of pounds, for a physically challenged student PPL.
What we always need is funding for the less glamorous, day-to-day running of our operation - the glue which holds it all together. Run on a shoestring, with a mixture of minimal paid staff and maximum volunteer help, we need to put fuel in the tanks, maintain our aeroplanes, and pay our bills.
There can be no more complete an experience than flight. That’s true for the able-bodied majority, and is an order of magnitude greater for disabled or wounded aviators, whether PPL/NPPL holders, student pilots or ‘just’ taking an experience flight. Over 400 disabled people of all ages fly with us each year from a variety of airfields all around the UK. We fly evermore diverse disabilities and ensure that everybody is able to participate by including ground based experiences for people with learning disabilities. Every year people fly solo, and complete their licences with us. Sometimes it takes a team of three people several hours to safely support somebody with a complex disability into their first aviation experience. Genuinely life changing. Incredibly resource intensive.
Despite our professional operation, and the astonishing outcomes that we produce, we rely on donations, in cash and kind. Robust support comes from a small number of commercial organisations and charitable trusts, together with regular small donations from Flyers and Supporters, and the annual Aviators Ball fundraiser. Efficient and tightly managed, we do so much more, with so much less - literally stretching every penny into the sky for our charity - and we’d like to find some special people who understand our mission, with hearts in the right place.
Can you help us with funding? Become a Supporter, an Aero Angel, and help us do what we do - become part of something special.