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Faulkes Flying Foundation given 3rd Motor Glider


One would have had to have been a very distracted person over the last 18 months not to have noticed a new organisation at Lasham and Dunstable, set up to fly youngsters. Bright yellow Rotax Falke motor gliders, shiny new trailers, the Super Blanik and 2 strikingly decorated DG505's all bearing the logo "Faulkes Flying Foundation" are difficult to miss. Not so obvious perhaps is the background rationale and intention of this new organisation and the motivation of its founder Dr.Martin (Dill) Faulkes.

In his teenage years Dill was given some flight training in a Chipmunk by a retired Squadron Leader. The experience had a such profound effect on him at the time, and so changed his outlook on life that now, many years on, he wishes to use some of his wealth to give youngsters a similar opportunity to develop today.


Interviewed recently at Dunstable, Dill commented on the fact that "gliding combines excitement and enormous fun with a fundamental need for self discipline which when learnt is inevitably carried forward into other aspects of life with all the numerous benefits entailed."

Other recognised benefits include showing young people that life can provide fun and excitement without the need to resort to antisocial activities. In this respect the Foundation recognises the need to inspire youngsters at a young age before they go bad on society as rehabilitation is much more difficult to achieve. Also by providing a comprehensive introduction to various facets of aviation youngsters can assess its potential for their career and future recreational needs.

With such altruistic intent Dill has committed sufficient funds to establish and instigate a strategy to build an adventure training organisation for young people based on gliding and motor gliding over a 5 year period. Carefully selected instructors who are good with young people are used to introduce them to flying and aviation and to help youngsters already involved in gliding (such as cadets) to achieve through the sport.

To keep costs down the Foundation relies heavily on selected volunteers and a strong and symbiotic relationship with the hosting BGA clubs at which the Foundation operates. Both these needs are helped by the availability of flying hardware which is operationally desireable and a delight to use.

While the bulk of the Foundation's work is inevitably through introductory 'Taster Flights' provision is also being made for residential courses and continuation training which can be used for the achievement of Duke of Edinburgh Awards if required, a number of which have already been achieved. For youngsters such as cadets and juniors already involved in gliding the Foundation wishes to encourage their achievement in soaring flight which is the reason that our latest gliders - the DG505's are kitted out for cross country flying. Experienced cross country pilots at the various clubs at which we operate are being encouraged to take youngsters on serious cross country flights in our gliders. One of our new DG505's has already been used for just this purpose at the recent Junior Nationals held at Aston Down last month.

The Foundation works with schools and youth groups such as the Scout Association offering taster flights, continuation flight training and Duke of Edinburgh Award involvement all backed up by comprehensive aviation related ground school activities. The web site www.fffoundation.co.uk acts as a centre stage for promulgating information about the organisation and the booking of flights and courses.

To continue beyond the first 5 years corporate sponsorship will need to be found to meet the overheads and enable the same low cost approach to be maintained to enable flying to be affordable to those involved. To achieve this the organisation needs to become a significant entity readily recognised by society with promotional value for potential sponsors. Even now only 18 months and 1200 flights from initial formation of the registered charity this is beginning to happen, with grants being received and interest being generated from among airlines and corporate bodies.

Volunteers and potential sponsors are encouraged to contact Mike Woollard the Director of Operations on 01462-711934 if they would like to become involved in this fast growing organisation which is committed to helping the youth of Britain today.

Mike Woollard

September 2001


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