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Farnborough Air Show aids Aerobility's disability aim

With this year’s Farnborough Air Show just around the corner, we speaK  to the CEO of Aerobility, a charity offering disabled people the opportunity to learn how to fly

Aerobility is a registered charity that removes barriers and offers disabled people the chance to learn how to fly a plane.

The charity began operating in 2000 when a group of disabled people interested in flying came together to help others learn about aviation.

CEO of the organisation, Mike Miller-Smith, became involved with the charity in 2004.

He said: “The charity uses aviation activities, including flying, to support people with disabilities and gives them the chance to do something different.

"Through this, people with disabilities get freedom and confidence to find out about flying.

“It gives the people we work with a new perspective on life. We work with individuals with lots of different types of disabilities, people with autism, spinal injuries, wounded soldiers, people with all types of conditions.

"It allows people to find out about things that they would never normally get the chance to do.”

Aerobility, who will be exhibiting at the Farnborough Air Show on July 19 and 20, owns five aircraft, specially converted to allow disabled people to fly them.

 

Mr Miller-Smith added: “The people we work with are not simply passengers, they learn to fly the aircraft themselves.

"We have instructors that we work with that have the skills and the knowledge to give everyone the chance to fly.

“Many of the people who learn to fly with us go on and get their pilots' licence.”

This is the fourth Farnborough Air Show that Aerobility has attended. This year the charity will be exhibiting the world's first specially built aircraft made for disabled people.

Aerobility will also be exhibiting a Spitfire plane, in which two wounded soldiers are being taught to fly solo.

Mr Miller-Smith said: “This is a project that we are involved in with the Endeavour Fund, which is Prince William and Prince Harry’s charity.

"The Farnborough Air Show is a great event for us, it give us the chance to meet people and companies that we work with throughout the year and allows us to show the public what it is that we do.

“Many of the positive relationships we have made with industry have originated through meeting at Farnborough Air Show and the event is an integral part of the success we have had to date.”

The airshow will take place at Farnborough Airport and will celebrate 100 years of British aviation history, commemorating the technological advancement in flight spurred by those first air combats in the skies over Europe during the Second World War.

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