Two dedicated days April 2010
On two dedicated days last month 9 disabled people from 'BLESMA' (British Limbless Ex Servicemen's Association) and 'RYA SAILABILTY' were flown in the Aviation for Paraplegics & Tetraplegics Trust's uniquely modified Microlight aircraft from their base at Old Sarum Airfield. On both days the sun shone, winds were light and everyone had a great introductory flight. At least two individuals are coming back for more and will hopefully progress to becoming fully licensed Microlight pilots. These two days were kindly sponsored by Liberty Accounts who also provided ground support. When asked why they had seen fit to sponsor such an event one of the Director's from Liberty Accounts said: We have long known of the fantastic work done by the dedicated APT volunteers to help disabled individuals challenge themselves and demonstrate their latent potential for achievement and success. We were only too pleased to be able to help fund the events and seeing the smiles on the faces of the participants after their flights was its own reward. In addition during April two disabled students continued their training and 7 other disabled people took to the skies in the APT's two Shadow aircraft. The Trustees of the APT would like to that this opportunity to thank everyone for their generous support during the last few difficult months. This has allowed the APT to continue their operations for a few months more. ”C6/7 Tetraplegic gains his pilots licence with APT
Rob Bryan became a C6/7 tetraplegic after all fall in 1999, before this he was an active thrill seeker regularly rock climbing and trekking in Brazil, East Africa and the Himalayas.
“Originally I liked the thought of flying a hang glider yet my hand power is not that great. Then I saw a program on National Geographic about microlight flying which captured my imagination.”
After some research on the internet, Rob found The A.P.T Charitable Trust who he contacted to book an air experience flight.
“Visiting APT for the first time apprehension began to build up in my mind. What am I doing here? Am I not in enough trouble? How on earth am I going to fly? With their vast experience and knowledge, the people at the APT Trust and Shadow Flight Centre made me feel relaxed and welcome. After the Air Experience Flight I realized a new path was beginning to open up.”
Rob started training for his NPPL(M) Licence on a CFM Shadow CD in 2004. The aircraft specially adapted for use by people with paralysis of the lower limbs. This adaption allows people with limited hand and body movement to take full control of the aircraft, to fly solo and ultimately gain their microlight licence.
After a much hard work and determination, we are pleased to announce that Rob passed his Skills Test with Fiona Luckhurst of the Shadow Flight Centre. Making him one of very few Tetraplegics to gain their licence.
“learning to fly has been one of the hardest yet most fulfilling experiences of my life, with many challenges along the way. Without the help of the APT Trust and SFC at Old Sarum I am sure my dream to fly would still be just that.”