Three pilots have won scholarships with Ultimate Aerobatics, the White Waltham-based aerobatics training company.
A heady 38 applied for the two scholarships on offer initially, but Ultimate Aerobatics’ Mike and Emily Collett two pilots were neck-and-neck and couldn’t be split. So they decided to offer them both partial scholarships.
The winners are Tom Castle, 30, an aircraft engineer with nearly 200 hours gets the full five hour scholarship (pictured centre, above). Stu Baylis, 32, a commercial pilot with 600 hours flying time (left in photo) and Robbie Conington, 24, an aircraft parts salesman with 150 hours flying will both get a three hour part scholarship.
The scholarship will give the pilots their first step on the aerobatic ladder undertaking training towards the EASA aerobatic rating which will allow them to compete at competitions run by British Aerobatics.
The aerobatic rating requires a minimum of five hours of aerobatic training and all training will be done in the Ultimate Aerobatics Pitts Special with an instructor.
The scholarship includes one entry to a competition and ongoing mentoring programme for each of the winners during their competition career, up to and including international competition.
Ultimate Aerobatics is run by Mike and Emily Collett who are both previous British Aerobatic Champions and members of the British Advanced aerobatic team. Emily and Mike fly with Trig Avionics and work with them and Total UK to support their work with grass roots aviation.