in partnership with Aerobility
June 8, 2016
Supporting partnerships to build an innovative, positive change for worldwide communities and people is at the heart of Boeing’s strategy.
Since 2013, Boeing and The Air League have collaborated to produce a scholarship programme with Aerobility; a registered charity founded in 1993 and run largely by disabled aviators, offering disabled people, without exception, the opportunity to fly aircraft and qualify as pilots. Last year Aerobility gave trial flights to over 350 disabled people of all ages and disabilities.
Through the Boeing funded flying scholarships, approximately 50 hours of training per student are provided, including navigation, communication, weather assessment, as well as flight simulation and eventually solo flights.
In 2014, Aerobility scholar, Ben was presented with a scholarship at St James’ Palace by Prince Phillip. He was initially introduced to Aerobility through Help for Heroes after being medically discharged from the Army following an injury during a tour in Afghanistan, and has since completed over 30 hours flying, allowing him to fly solo.
Ben is only one of the many examples in which Boeing’s work is a continual influence: “Working towards a career in aviation has given me something to focus on and has helped me transition from my combat role in the Army. Flying is so very different from my current job as a Mortgage Adviser and has definitely filled a gap. My dream is to fly my wife and grandparents to France for lunch. I am so proud that my daughter is planning to follow in my footsteps, she loves to fly, has joined the Air Cadets and is thinking about a career in Aviation.”
Another scholar, Mark, who joined the Navy at age 17 years old, was discharged at age 23 with severe back and neck injuries resulting from a powerboat crash in 2004. Mark had always wanted to fly, and with the help of Aerobility he has completed over 16 hours of flying and is about to fly solo.
“My world has now opened up, the freedom I feel in the air helps me manage my pain and it feels so great to be using my brain again. My flying scholarship is an opportunity I never thought I would have.”
Mark aims to have achieved his Private Pilot’s License by September this year.
Mike Miller-Smith, Aerobility CEO believes: “It is a surprise to many people - disabled and able bodied - that flying is very much a possibility for people with a range of disabilities. Indeed, disabled flying can provide a level of challenge and exhilaration that may be difficult to find anywhere else.”
In addition to scholarships, Aerobility provide ground school and group flying days, ensuring that everybody really can fly.
For more information please visit www.aerobility.com.