May 2012 Newsletter
25 May 2012
Heliflight Newsletter – May 2012
The late Indian summer of 2011 never really happened, however the relatively mild dry winter meant few flying days were lost.
Over the last six months we offer congratulations to the following:
25th October 2011- R44 G-ILET Richard Singleton
26th November 2011 – B206 G-BLGV
27th January 2012 – B206 G-BLGV
2nd February 2012 R44 G-OHAM
27TH March 2012 H500 G-LEEJ Mike Bathurst
29th March 2012 B206 G-BLGV Richard Hammond
22nd September 2011 Simon Jacoby
2nd December 2011 Ewan Garratt
29th January 2012 Tim Perry
28th February 2012 Tom Vincent
Qualifying Cross Country
22nd September 2011 James Tudor
27th September 2011 Alan Yates
28th September 2011 Ryan Harding
28th January 2012 Kristian Hogan
PPL Skills Test
25th October 2011 Simon Jacoby
5th November 2011 James Tudor
25th February 2012 Kristian Hogan
26th April 2012 Ryan Harding
FI Skills Test
2nd April 2012 Nigel Cullen
2nd April 2012 Dave Ruscoe
The PPL’s have kept busy:
Helitech was held at Duxford in September 2011 and several PPL’s took the opportunity to fly over to see what was on offer. Paul Bradley and his family went in the R44 G-ILET and Harry Goodwin and Dan Taylor flew together in R22 G-OJAN.
The usual airfields have continued to been visited, including Shobdon, Kemble, Wolverhampton, Wellesbourne, Weston-Super-Mare, Dunsfold, Biggin Hill, Caernarfon, Oxford and Coventry.
As always Hotels remain a popular destination with lunches at Billesley Manor (Stratford-upon-Avon), The Stag at Redhill (Stratford-upon Avon), Washbourne Court (Lower Slaughter) and Lake Vyrnwy being favourites.
PPL’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, Tewkesbury, Southam, Stourport, Leominster, Inkberrow, LLanarth.
Russell Wedge, a PPL from Wolverhampton who very kindly stepped in for a few weeks during August to provide cover for us whilst a new Operations assistant was found, has now taken on the role as Quality Manager for Heliflight. Russell now has the job to check we all complete our paperwork correctly, and undertaking our company Audits during the year.
Harry Goodwin a PPL, started in September as our new Operations assistant at Gloucester. Harry is currently studying for his ATPL exams and hopes to do his CPL course later this year.
In January it was decided the lease at Wolverhampton would not be renewed, so sadly on the 31st January we closed the doors to Wolverhampton for the last time. Joe Searles and Ellen Jackson are both looking for pastures new. Robert Power has now moved to Patriot at Coventry.
Candia completed the requirements to have her no night instruction removed in February and although spring has now arrived and the clocks have moved forward, some of you may be thinking about another new challenge next winter. If you don’t fancy doing the night qualification, why not have a night flight just to experience the pleasure of night flying…. it really is great fun, as couple of PPL’s have already discovered.
Below is a reminder of the night requirements, so if you are just a few hours short, you have all summer to enjoy some flying and of course the 10 hours instrument flying can be done in advance before the short days return, providing it is all completed in 6 months.
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.
In preparation for the Cheltenham Festival, Jon got to bring a Bell 222 to Heliflight.
Cheltenham Festival 2012
Despite the worst endeavours of the weather, Heliflight covered all four days of the Cheltenham Festival from its bases in Gloucester and Coventry operating up to 5 helicopters including a Squirrel, JetRanger and a rare Bell 222 ('Jockey 222') whose owner attended on Gold Cup Day. In addition to the regular shuttle service from the airfield, racegoers were flown in from a number of hotels and other private sites in and around the County.
An update from Jon Lane:-
Again there have been a few changes over the last few months especially with the closure of Wolverhampton and we wish those who have moved on to pastures new all the best for the future.
Fleetwise, Wolverhampton’s Jetranger is now based at Gloucester and has been kept busy with charter and type conversions. The owner of G-ILET unfortunately sold his R44 overseas so we are down to two R44’s at the moment.
Hoping for some decent weather during the summer months with lots of new and exciting places found to fly into. Harry is also hoping to put together a flying programme for some club outings, possibilities of go karting, a trip to Paris and or Ireland, maybe a fly and dine. Venues and dates to be confirmed, but if you have an interest in participating or have an idea for a fly away let Harry know.
You can now follow Heliflight’s activities on our Facebook page
And finally – A Press Release - Heliflight flies full circle
On 18th May 2012 Heliflight UK Ltd, one of Gloucestershire Airport’s longest established helicopter operators left the Patriot Aerospace Group and returned to its roots. Founder Jon Lane said ‘we’ve had an interesting couple of years as part of a larger organisation but with Patriot wanting to concentrate on its general aviation businesses at Coventry and Redhill the opportunity arose to re-acquire Heliflight and focus on what we do best, operating helicopters and teaching people to fly them.’ Jon started Heliflight at Wolverhampton in 1996 and moved into Gloucester 4 years later. Although the business was sold to Patriot in 2009 it kept its name and Jon stayed on as Manager and Chief Pilot so it’s now come full circle and he’s delighted to be back in control. ‘We’ll continue to work with the Patriot Group while we re-establish our own operating licences but will be responsible solely for the further growth of Heliflight’s business. Patriot’s former Chief Flying Instructor, Candia Blenkiron, has also stayed with us so we have a highly professional core team with unrivalled experience of helicopter operations at Gloucester.’ Heliflight operates an extensive fleet of helicopters which are available for training, charter and self-fly hire. Their training facility runs a range of ab-initio and advanced flying courses including private and commercial licences, instructor ratings and type conversions.
Return to News Stories