Helping wings day - 21st April 2018

29 Apr 2018

It’s 6 o’clock in the morning, Saturday 21st of April. It’s light outside but not that light. The noise which has woken us up is that of steady but unforecast rain. Where is the sunny day we anticipated? Whatever the answer, we have to get ready for our 2018 Helping Wings day for young adults. Our first flights will take place at 10am ( hopefully ) and there is much to do! By the time we get to the aero club, the sky is already brightening, lifting the spirits of our team of helpers.

We have an hour in which to prepare the room and set up our reception desk before our first guests arrive. Our volunteer pilots are already checking their aircraft and we’ve spoken to Jersey Air Traffic Control to confirm our schedule for the day and agreed the route for our round the island flights. Our young adults and their parents, siblings and carers will see Grosnez Castle, the full length of the north coast to Rozel Bay before turning south to pass St Catherine’s breakwater and Gorey Castle. Then, following the south coast, they’ll pass St. Helier’s harbour cut across St Aubin’s Bay to Noirmont headland and Corbière before turning right along St. Ouen’s Bay prior to landing. The flight time will be about 30 minutes.

Back at the aero club, there will be a chance to swap stories with friends whilst enjoying the refreshments provided by Helping Wings. A few of our guests are “regulars” at our events and it’s good to see everyone getting on so well together.

Another important aspect of the young adult’s day is the chance to visit the airport control tower and enjoy the spectacular views.

By the end of the day, we will have made 18 flights are carried just over 40 passengers. The day has gone perfectly with the weather turning out exactly as forecast - sunny and warm.

A big part of the day is the work which goes on in the background to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe time. So, once again, a massive vote of thanks is due to our team of helpers and volunteer pilots as well to Jersey Airport’s Air Traffic Control and this year’s sponsor, Blue Flame Digital Solutions Limited.

Looking ahead, our big event of the year will be our day for young children in October, this year marking a vey special event for Helping Wings, our 10th anniversary.

Team getting ready

The Helping Wings Team getting ready

Gregory getting ready for his flight

Gregory getting ready for his flight

Alfie & Glyn with Pilot Nick

Alfie & Glyn with Pilot Nick

India and Sean with Pilot Nick

India and Sean with Pilot Nick

Our Sponsor

Special thanks to our sponsor, Blue Flame Digital Solutions

Our 2018 Event Dates

14 Feb 2018

2018 is a milestone year for Helping Wings. We held our first event in October 2008. We now look forward to your joining us in our 10th anniversary year.

Both this year’s events are sponsored by Blue Flame Digital Solutions Ltd and will be held, as usual, at the Jersey Aero Club.

For both events, should the weather not be suitable, our flying schedule may have to change or even be cancelled for that day. Should this be the case, we will make alternative arrangements for the flights BUT the rest of the day will go ahead as planned.

Also, please note that our flights are generally conducted in private aircraft flown by private pilots. They are not commercial flights but the pilots and the aircraft are, nevertheless, fully regulated by the aviation authorities.

Saturday 21st April – Helping Wings day for Teenagers and Young Adults.

This day is aimed at ages 13 to 25 although we understand that someone might benefit more from the October’s day for young children. Starting at 10am , the day consists of a flight around the island, a chance to visit the airport control tower and light refreshments.

On the application form, there is a choice of a morning or an afternoon flight. We will do our best to allocate your choice but this cannot be guaranteed.

Every Helping Wings guest must be accompanied throughout the day by a parent, guardian, or carer. Brother and sisters are also welcome to join us and, space permitting, may also fly.

Space for the visit to Air Traffic Control tower is limited to a maximum of 30 people (15 in the morning and 15 in the afternoon). If possible, we would like to give preference to those who have never previously had the chance to visit the control tower.

Light refreshments are served free of charge to the Helping Wings guest and his/hers party.

All our Helping Wings guests go home with a goodie bag and a certificate with the aircraft registration and the pilot’s signature.

We will offer a maximum of 30 flights that day and we will allocate them on a first come, first serve basis although, we will give preference to anyone who has not flown with us before.

Saturday 6th October – Helping Wings day for Young Children.

This day is aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 12 and consists of a flight around the island, a visit from the airport fire fighters and the police dog handlers as well as Chicano the magician and refreshments.

We usually limit the total number of flights to 30, although, depending on pilot’s availability, we may increase this closer to the event.

On the application form, there is a choice of a morning or an afternoon flight. We will do our best to allocate your choice but this cannot be guaranteed. Of course, everyone is welcome to stay the whole day but we are aware that, for some of the children, a full day is a lot to cope with.

Again this year, we are hoping to have a Helping Wings Christmas tree at St Peter’s Parish Church during the first week of December. For the past three years, the tree has been decorated with the drawings done during the day by our young children. We hope this will be the case again this year!

We will offer packed lunches. Closer to the day, a form will be sent to every entrant to be returned to us completed before the event. The lunch is free of charge for our HW guest and their parent/carer. Unfortunately, we have to charge for any additional guest. The price of the lunch, which will be minimal, will be shown on the form.

Apart for the drink/food included with the lunch, any other item must be ordered at the bar (no alcohol during the event please) and paid for at the time. No other charge is made.

Each Helping Wings child will receive a goodie bag. Please understand that we are only able to offer it to the HW registered child.

Every child must be accompanied throughout the day by a parent, guardian, or carer. Brother and sisters are also welcome to join us and, space permitting, may also fly.

We require an application form to be completed for every Helping Wings child to include details of parent/carer/guardian/siblings.

Another great Helping Wings Day, 7th October 2017

18 Oct 2017

In the run up to our Helping Wings Day for younger children, the weather forecast looked really promising. But as Saturday, 7th October drew closer, the picture changed with the prospect of cloudy conditions with showers. Still, it didn’t look too bad and we’ve had successful events in the past when no flying has been possible.

That later forecast proved to be fairly accurate. Our team convened at the Jersey Aero Club on the Saturday morning and agreed that we would probably complete the morning programme of around 15 flights but that we would probably not be able to fly in the afternoon, so leaving another 15 or so flights to be re-arranged for another day.

Our young guests and their families started to arrive in good time for their flights so we started early in an effort to maximise on the morning’s good weather. As always, Jersey ATC were very accommodating, requiring nothing more from us than our previously published schedule. We were due to fly around 100 people throughout the day and the more we could do before the weather closed in, the better.

Our volunteer teams at reception and dispatch were quickly into the swing of things. Our ground crew on the apron was all set up ready to ensure security around the aircraft and our pilots were briefed and their aircraft checked over.

We were off to a good start. Newly formed air charter operator, Isle Fly, had made the very generous offer of two flights in their 8 seat Cessna 406, allowing larger families to fly together taking mum, dad, brothers and sisters.

Our patron, H.E. Sir Stephen Dalton, accompanied by Lady Dalton, their daughter Elizabeth, and Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, paid us a visit during the morning and stayed for two hours talking to the families and the children as well as our own volunteers. We even managed to get Elizabeth on one of the Isle Fly flights.

The airport’s fire service came down with two of their trucks. This is always a highlight of the day as the children are allowed to climb up into the cabs, put on jackets and helmets and operate the controls.

Chicano, the magician kept the children spell-bound in the club house whilst our super efficient kitchen team prepared the lunches - and more families continued to check in, some familiar faces, some new to Helping Wings.

Lunchtime came and went and still the weather held. Just as we were thinking that we might even finish the entire programme of flights, the cloud and visibility came down forcing us to stop flying. But, at the end of the day, only the last four flights couldn’t be flown.

There are so many” thank you” s to be said but perhaps, most important is a huge thank you to the children. Many of them live with significant problems. Some degree of frustration, from time to time, might easily be anticipated. But there was no hint of it.

Helping Wings Day for younger children is always a highlight of our year. It’s also where we started and next year will be our 10th year. Some of the children who took part in that very first event still join in and we’ll look forward to seeing them, and all our newer Helping Wings guests in 2018.

Helping Wings Day - 7th October 2017

11 Sep 2017

Our next Helping Wings day for young children will be held on Saturday 7th October at the Jersey Aero Club. This day is for children nominally aged 5 to 12 although we are happy to consider older children if appropriate and if space allows. For logistical reasons, we have to limit the total number of flights to 36. This year, we are delighted to have been offered a flight for 4 youngsters and 2 carers with Isle-Fly. As usual, bookings will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.

We give you the choice of a morning or afternoon flight and will do our best to allocate your choice. Of course, everyone is welcome to stay the whole day but we are aware that, for some of the children, a full day is a lot to cope with.

Each child will get to fly in a light aircraft around the island but there will be lots more on offer ….. the Airport Fire Fighters will again be part of the day as will the police dog handlers. Again this year, we are hoping to have a Helping Wings Christmas tree at St Peter’s Parish church the first week of December and would love all our young guests to do some drawings during the day to decorate the tree. Of course, the day would not be the same without Chicano – our very special magician!

This year, we decided to offer packed lunches. We will need to know ahead how many are joining in. Lunch is free for each HW child as well as one accompanying adult but unfortunately, we will have to charge for anyone else wanting to join in. As the application forms come in, we will, as usual, confirm the booking and send you a lunch form request which will need to be sent back to us as soon as possible.

Apart for the drink/food included with the lunch, any other item must be ordered at the bar (no alcohol please) and paid for at the time. No other charge is made.

All our Helping Wings children will receive a “goodie bag” .

In case of bad weather, our flying schedule may have to change or even be cancelled for that day. Should this be the case, we will make alternative arrangements for the flights BUT the rest of the day will go ahead as planned on October 7th.

Every child must be accompanied throughout the day by a parent, guardian, or carer. Brother and sisters are also welcome to join us and, space permitting, may also fly.

We’ll need an application form completed for every child giving us as much information as possible to ensure that the children can enjoy their day to the full. You can download the application form online by clicking on this link or e-mail us for a copy at hello@helpingwingsjersey.org.

We look forward to seeing you on October 7th.

Eveline and the Helping Wings Team

2017 Helping Wings Flying Scholarship presentation

07 Aug 2017

On Wednesday 2nd August, over 50 people attended the 2017 Helping Wings Flying Scholarship presentation held at the Jersey Aero Club in the presence of our Patron His Excellency Sir Stephen Dalton and Lady Dalton. Myra Shacklady, representing Ports of Jersey, was also with us presenting the awards.

This year, we had 3 scholarships -

For the 5th year, Ports of Jersey, sponsored the scholarship worth £2000 of flying training . This was awarded to Cody Crocker.

The £5000 scholarship sponsored by The Sir James Knott trust for the lower limb disabled was awarded to Jack Brown.

This year, as a one off, and thanks to our 2015 scholarship winner Chakotay Wood, we awarded our third scholarship. Chakotay, who wanted someone else to be able to enjoy the thrill of flying, raised over £2600 by doing a skydive, packing bags at local shops and more. Chakotay suffers from a spinal condition for which he has had many operations…and so, jumping out of an aeroplane would not be the first thing coming to mind!

The winner for the Chakotay Wood and the Islanders of Jersey scholarship is Stephen Cerioli.

Spina Bifida sufferer Charlotte Volante was awarded 5 hours flying training from the Sir James Knott Trust. This fund was made available at the request of our previous patron Sir John McColl who asked for additional funds to be made available as a retirement gesture.

Emma Le Seelleur and Shauna Louis were each giving 5 hours flight training, sponsored by Helping Wings.

Val Gavey and Pierre Brochard from Les Amis, each received one hour flight experience. This was also sponsored by Helping Wings.

We now look forward to receiving photos and blogs telling us all about their experiences.

Happy flying to them all!

Our Patron (2017) – His Excellency Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton GCB, LLD (Hon), DSc (Hon), BSc, FRAes, CCMI