by John Bond



From his late teens onward John had always aspired to flying aircraft but (excuse here) family and financial commitments never seem to allow him to do it until after the bypass surgery. He met a ‘Microlight Pilot’ who offered to take him up for a flight and he was hooked.  Luckily the post bypass medical test gave enough information for him to obtain permission to start to learn to fly these aircraft. (the medical being far less than for a normal aircraft) also the cost of this was again less so therefore within means.

Therefore on 14th October 1994 took his first flying lesson in a Three Axis (Fixed Wing) Microlight Aircraft with ‘Madcap’ but marvellous flying instructor Tony Wells (unfortunately no longer with us)

He had found his niche,  From the start it was not just the lessons and actual flying but he started spending the majority of his spare time, which being retired from work was a lot, so that anytime that there was flying at the field he would be there helping in the running of the field. It was during this time that although being an fairly competent D.I.Yer, with cars etc he had a flair for dealing with the aircraft and helped in building various “Kit Microlights” together with other Club Members.

Once flying hours had reach the necessary number, written exams taken and passed and a general flying test passed obtained a Pilots Licence. There was now no stopping him, flying whenever he could.

Through the Microlight Club he met and formed a friendship with Derek Newbold. Derek owned a Team Mini Max single seater fixed wing aircraft and a deal was made whereby John looked after the aircraft, making sure that whenever Derek wanted to fly the aircraft would be fit. In return for this and a contribution to the insurance cost etc John could fly the aircraft whenever he wanted. During the pre certification checks one year serious defects were found on the aircraft. John set to and rebuilt the wood and fabric aircraft. (Although at this time the aircraft is not currently certified it is still in an airworthy condition) The Mini Max was sold and Derek acquired a two seater RANS Aircraft the same deal with John applied  and again many hours were flown by him in this plane.

Further medical problems forced him to relinquish his Licence but he continued to fly from the right hand seat, always accompanied by another good friend, Simon Grainger who held an instructors licence. With Simon in a Flex Wing Aircraft they did journeys to places like the Isle of Wight etc.

During his time with the microlight club he became the person who would be called on for help and advice when aircraft were being built and especially when propellers need balancing or pitch adjusting and also for a number of years held the position of Safety Officer for the club.

John Continued to fly, taking every opportunity to be in the air  during the last year has flown (under supervision)  various microlights, a helicopter, and a gyroplane.


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