A charity that gives disabled veterans and other wheelchair users the chance to fly a light aircraft is relaunching at Farnborough and looking for corporate support from the industry.

Aerobility - formerly the British Disabled Flying Association - says it needs £250,000 ($383,000) a year to run the organisation and operate its two Piper Warriors and Scottish Aviation Bulldog, which are fitted with hoists and hand controls.

Its Partner to Inspire programme is intended to convince potential supporters of the benefits of becoming an Aerobility sponsor, says chief executive Mike Miller-Smith. Sponsors already include British Airways, Breitling and Rolls-Royce.

"We couldn't do what we do without our partners," he says.

Miller-Smith says that for most of those who fly with Aerobility, it is more than a fun day out. "We are giving someone who would never get a chance to fly the opportunity of flying an aeroplane. It's not a joy ride. People realise that 'if I can fly, what else can I do?'," he says. "We are focusing on ability rather than disability."

Founded in 1993, originally to lobby for a better deal for pilots disabled in accidents from the Civil Aviation Authority, Aerobility provides flights for around 500 people a year from its base at Lasham in Hampshire as well as in the Midlands, Bedfordshire, North Wales and Scotland.

It has 15 volunteer instructors, including former Red Arrows pilots.

Source: Flight Daily News