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September Newsletter

07 September 2011

Heliflight Newsletter – September 2011


Although the poor weather contributed to a slower than normal start to the year, when the sun finally came out in March so did everyone else!


So far this year we offer congratulations to the following:


Type conversions:-

2nd March 2011 - H500 G-BIOA      Miika Komulainen & Lauri Juhansalmi        

6th April 2011 - H500 G-HUES        Jonathan Beeson & Andy Gilligan   

9th April 2011 – MD500 G-LEEJ       Carol Evans

9th April 2011 – MD500 G-LEEJ       James Blaylock

29th April 2011 -R44 G-ILET            Harry Goodwin

11th May 2011 – H500 G-LEEJ          John Jackson

28th June 2011 – E480 G-LADD       Mark Martin

14th July 2011 – MD500 G-LEEJ      Simon Conroy


1st Solo’s                               Qualifying Cross Country

19th March 2011     James Tudor                1st June 2011              David Birkett

2nd June 2011         Kristian Hogan                      


PPL Skills Test

11th August          David Birkett                

25th August         Dan Beecroft 


CPL Skills Test 

21stJune2011              Nigel Cullen

19th August 2011        Dan Taylor                                                                      

19thAugust 2011         Patric Maillefer        


The PPL’s have also been busy:

 London Bridge

Starting with the London Helilanes earlier in the year with both Simon Holloway in the Jetranger and Nick Smith in his R44 taking in the sights.





A variety of airfields have also been visited, including Turweston , High Wycombe, Kemble, Wellesbourne, Denham, Liverpool, Cranfield, Dunsfold, Sywell, Coventry and Carlisle.

Billsley Manor HotelHotels remain a popular destination with lunches at Billesley Manor (Stratford-upon-Avon), The Hunters Inn (Tewkesbury), Mallory Court (Leamington Spa), Lake Vyrnwy (Mid Wales), St Pierre Hotel and Country Club (Chepstow), Charringworth Manor (Chipping Campden), Lucknam Park (Colerne) and Thornbury Castle.


Lake Vyrnwy HotelPPL’s have been finding their own private landing sites too, visiting friends and family around the country. Private sites have included Ross on Wye, Worcester, Lydney, Leominster, Presscot, Upton on Seven, Defford, Great Malvern, Howcaple, Mitcheldean and Hutton (W-S-M). And Mark Davey flew into Stonleigh Park for the National Funeral Show, yes there really is such a thing!


Flying Fundraiser.


In April Harry Goodwin took G- BRXV into the Air Ambulance site at Strensham Services on the M5 to deliver a donation which resulted in this write-up on their website:-


Air Ambulance£800 came soaring into our Strensham airbase via helicopter this week, much to the amazement of our flight crew and Fundraising Manager Annie Newell. The money was raised through a recent raffle organised by Cheltenham and Cotswold Rovers Owners Club (CCROC) where the top prize was an exciting helicopter pleasure flight courtesy of young pilot Harry Goodwin, a work colleague of CCROC member Chris Baldwin.

After been given the task of handing over the donation, Harry and Chris could think of no better way of delivering the cheque than in Harry’s Robinson R22 helicopter.

After landing safely there was plenty of time for the guys to be introduced to the Midlands Air Ambulance Eurocopter 135 before taking off back to their homes in Cheltenham.

We would like to say a huge thank you to Harry for dropping in and big congratulations to everyone at CCROC who helped raise such a terrific amount. Thank you!”                                                                                                Well done Harry

Robinson R66 at Gloucester

R66 N66UKThe latest Robinson Helicopter, the R66, came to Heliflight at Gloucester on 10th May from Sywell .  A number of lucky people that turned up to take a look at it also got to experience a short demonstration flight with some “hands on” flying.




This is what Jon Lane had to say:-

I was looking forward to my first flight in the new R66 having been to the UK launch at Wycombe Air Park earlier in the year and I was not disappointed. For anyone who fly’s the R44 you quickly feel at home in the sixty six.

The starting procedure has been simplified from that of the Jet Ranger which has to be a good thing for new pilots using turbine aircraft for the first time.


In flight its noticeably smoother and quicker than the forty four, whilst it has five seats you would not want three adults in the rear unless they are very good friends. On the plus side baggage space is plentiful with a large compartment behind the rear seats.


Question: Would I like one on our fleet? Very much so, I think it makes a natural progression from the R44 into a turbine aircraft and should work out less expensive than the Jet Ranger.


School News

In April, it was decided to not to renew the lease at our Cranfield base so as to consolidate our operations at Coventry.  Since its closure, all operations from Cranfield have now moved to Coventry Airport, where Patriot Aerospace have made their head office. With the departure of Steve George from Coventry, Robert Power has taken on the role as base Manager of his own operations at Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green and also at Coventry Airport. We wish him all the success in his new role.  Other leavers and new arrivals; we welcome Joe Searles who has taken on the position of administrator for both Wolverhampton Halfpenny Green and Coventry Airport,  replacing Laura Cox who is concentrating on her Commercial studies.                                              

                                                   Good Luck with those Laura.

Jan Spencer has decided to spend more time with her family and grandchildren and finished at Heliflight in July. And finally John Williams has decided to retire after many years as our Operations Manager.  He also departed us early in July.                                         

                                                                       Hope you enjoy your retirement John.


Russell Wedge, a PPL from Wolverhampton has very kindly stepped in for a few weeks to provide cover for us whilst a full time replacement was found. Harry Goodwin a PPL, studying for his CPL will be starting at the beginning of September.

                                              Thanks Russell, Good luck Harry

A Day at the Races with Heliflight


We started the year off with The Cheltenham Festival, although the festival was quieter this year, we were providing a shuttle service from various sites in our R44, Jet Ranger and a Long Ranger.


Epsom proved busy too with our R44 on both days and Ascot was very successful this year with flights going daily including one of our PPL’s on his annual pilgrimage in G-ILET with his wife on Ladies Day.


An update from Jon Lane:-

There have been a lot of changes over the last few months especially with personnel, so looking forward to seeing how it all works out with the newcomers. Fleetwise, much the same, although we are without a Jetranger at Gloucester at the moment, which is keeping the one at Wolverhampton busy. It has been a busy year with CPL flight training including lots of overseas students.


Hoping for some decent weather over the winter now as it’s a great time of year to fly.


And finally

Winter is drawing near, the clocks will be changing next month, with shorter days and longer nights, so rather than moan about the short summer we just had, how about making the most of the winter months and experience some night flying, perhaps even completing your night rating, so you never get caught out by sunset again.

The Night Qualification:-

Minimum requirements are 100 hours flight time after the issue off your PPL, including 60 hours P1 and 20 hours cross country. The course consists of a minimum of 10 hours instrument flying and 5 hours night training, including 3 hours dual instruction and 5 solo night circuits, all to be completed within 6 months.


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