Get into Aeros, 2016 results

Gratitude, inspiration and pudding

I flew my first gliding competition in 1984 aged 20, at which I met my dear wife. A few years later, I was privileged to fly in the first Junior Gliding Nationals, an event for younger people supported by the BGA.  I didn’t win a medal - but I learnt a lot thanks to the inspiration of gliding greats such as Brian Spreckley who ran the competition.  Major league gratitude.

That "Juniors" movement - crammed with young hopefuls like me - went on to grow pilots who in turn formed part of an amazing winning streak in international gliding:  since the turn of the century, Britain has produced no fewer than 14 world champions and has recorded a total of 35 top 3 finishes, many grown from the "Juniors".

So wind the tape forward to 2015 and the opportunity arises to try and develop a younger pilots movement in British aerobatics building on the great work of instructors like Alan Cassidy in bringing countless people into our sport: thanks to the incredible generosity of Philip Meeson (a former British Aerobatic Team member and generous benefactor to the Association) and a very supportive Association Committee, it’s all systems go for an event at Sleap  - "Get Into Aeros" - on 7 and 8 May for pilots aged 30 and younger.

Nigel Lamb - Red Bull Air Race World Champion and multiple British National Aerobatic Champion - agrees to come and mentor our participants.  Shropshire Aero Club agrees to host our event and provide great catering through Josie.  A wonderful team supported from across the Association coalesces and works amazingly hard to pull the event together.  Co-CD Emily choreographs the flying and the instructors - allocating pilots to the right planes and designing a great training and box program.  Gerald Cooper agrees to demonstrate his unlimited freestyle sequence…and so, finally, we find ourselves in front of 19 young pilots many of whom had never flown aerobatics in their lives!

But there is a point at which my age starts to tell. The panic button goes off in January when we haven’t advertised the competition. David Nichols - marketing supremo - tells me to stop getting myself steamed up and trust Facebook. Facebook??? A £26 ad sells out the event in about 3 days. Back in my box!

And now for the inspiration:  with the help of wonderful instructors including Alan Cassidy, Bob Pooler, Jules Murfitt, David Shutter and Simon Abbott, our 19 pilots have a training flight on Saturday - and fly the Club Known in the Box on Sunday!  All of them flew their socks off.  This wasn’t all about the scores - there were different experience levels - but for the record the Top 3 pilots scored over 80%!  Well done Adam, Hannah and Brandon for your podium places.  Ruth Scott won a special prize for her great flying with a literally newly minted PPL, strongly commended by instructor Alan.

Nigel Lamb both mentored each and every pilot in small groups, staying both days, before presenting our prizes. Thank you so much Nigel.

We had great demonstration competition flights from David Farley, Alex Cartwright, Chris Brook and Gerald Cooper - showing our participants the steps in the ladder of contest aerobatics.

Photo results sheet

After the demonstration flights, we had a fantastic hog roast on the Saturday evening; and the next day we explained how to access our sport as affordably as possible - and I’m sure that I heard a Pitts syndicate being put together….

After the Box flights on Sunday we left on a lovely afternoon with our program complete, the prizes handed out, and a radiant sky lit further by the smiles of 19 young people who - as they put it themselves - had had an amazing time.

Now we want to build and develop from this event and try and grow our next generation young members and, in time, international medal winners and long time Association members:  Emily is out of the blocks on this already - both briefing the participants on WIAC 2014 at the event and also discussing with them ideas for how they can make further progress.

To everyone who helped make Get Into Aeros a success, a heartfelt "thank you". The list is so large - Philip Meeson, Nigel Lamb, Emily, Alex, the amazing Jen, David Nichols, Judges, Assistants, Instructors, Demo Pilots, Leif Culipin, BAeA Officers including Steve and Brian, Josie, the full team at Shropshire Aero Club - but, in particular, the wonderful 19 young pilots who inspired us all.

They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating - and I’d like to think we all ate a load this weekend!

I so hope we do it all again. And again. And again….

Paul Brice

"Get Into Aeros" - Final Results - Final

Rank M/F Pilot Aeroplane Registration Known #1 Totals O/all %
1 M Adam White Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 621.68 621.68 81.800
2 F Hannah Short Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 618.05 618.05 81.323
3 M Brandon Greenan Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 615.67 615.67 81.009
4 M Ben Goodwill Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 605.47 605.47 79.667
5 M Andrew Dennett Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 585.39 585.39 77.025
6 M Stuart Baylis Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 580.37 580.37 76.364
7 M Kyle Millett Slingsby T67M G-BUUK 573.35 573.35 75.440
8 M Pablo Martinez Slingsby T67M G-BUUK 554.37 554.37 72.943
9 M Matt Williams Slingsby T67M G-BUUK 544.96 544.96 71.706
10 M Richard Green Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 531.83 531.83 69.977
11 M Richard Tyrer Slingsby T67M G-BUUK 531.82 531.82 69.976
12 M Nathan Parish Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 513.27 513.27 67.535
13 M Shaun Hanratty Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 509.89 509.89 67.091
14 F Ruth Scott Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 503.28 503.28 66.221
15 M James Thompson Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 486.70 486.70 64.040
16 M Tim Vickers Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 461.27 461.27 60.693
17 M Billy-Ray Palmer Pitts S-2A G-ODDS 453.59 453.59 59.683
18 M Ashley Commons Slingsby T67M G-BUUK 441.67 441.67 58.114
19 M Umar Dawood Slingsby T67M G-OCRM 436.88 436.88 57.485

Contest Director: Paul Brice, Contest Chief Judge: Steve Todd, Scoring Director: Jen Buckenham, Flight Director: David Nichols

Judges: J1 - Steve Todd, J2 - Nick Buckenham, J3 - John Royce, J4 - Sarah Hardy,

Judges Assistants: Alex Cartwright, Eric Marsh

Other key staff: Nick Buckenham - Photographer, Julian Murfitt - Instructor, Leif Culpin - Photographer, David Shutter - Instructor, Jack B - Jolly Master, David Farley - Demonstrator, Nigel Lamb - Guest Speaker, Chris Brook - Demonstrator, Gerald Cooper - Freestyle demons, Alex Cartwright - Demonstrator, Alan Cassidy - Instructor, Bob Pooler - Instructor, Simon Abbott - Instrructor

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