General Aviation Advisory Board
/ Who we are
/ General Aviation Advisory Board
Alan Robinson (Chairman)
Alan Robinson started flying in 1960 when he was selected by BOAC for their first pilot training course at the College of Air Training Hamble. During his 34 years in British Airways, he qualified as a Flt Navigator on Britannia’s before flying a number of types including VC10, L1011, B757, B737 and B747 as line pilot, Instructor and Chief Pilot 747-400.
He also maintained his interest in General Aviation by instructing on Cherokee 140s at Airways Flying Club. Alan retired from British Airways in 1996 as General Manager Flight Technical and Strategy and took up paragliding. After 12 years and a number of “adventures” in the Alps he now skis at ground level and concentrates on flying a Pioneer 300 and maintaining a current Instrument Rating.
He served as a Trustee of CHIRP and was a member of the Air Transport Board for four years and has been on the GA Board since it was started in 2000. He was Vice Chairman of the Technical and Air Safety Committee of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
Investigator, Air Accidents Investigation Branch
Tim took up flying as a hobby in 1988, and then progressed to commercial qualifications, following the ‘self-improver’ route and working as a flying instructor. He diverted his career away from the flight deck in 1991 to join NATS, qualifying as an ATCO, before taking up an offer of his dream job with Air UK, which then became KLMuk, flying the Fokker 50 and then 100 as a first officer before being promoted to command on the ATR-72; during this time he took up gliding and gained a Silver C with cross-country endorsement and an FAI racing licence.
He joined easyJet in 1999, flying the Boeing 737, and became involved in safety investigation and management. From easyJet he joined the AAIB in 2004 and since then has investigated a wide range of accidents and serious incidents, involving airliners, general aviation aircraft of all kinds, balloons, helicopters, gliders, and autogyros. He retains SEP, MEP, Cessna CitationJet, and Boeing 737 ratings, and occasionally flies helicopters.
Helicopter Club of Great Britain
Graduated with a Masters Degree in Engineering from The City University. His career in aviation commenced by being given employment in the Hawker Aircraft Ltd design office by Sir Sidney Camm. Worked on P1127, Kestrel and Harrier systems design before moving to Dunsfold Aerodrome to work on Harrier weapons systems flight trials.
Retired from proper employment to form own architectural design consultancy company which specialises in the relocation, conservation and conversion of ancient oak framed buildings - the hobby that grew - successfully enough to finance helicopter flying. Started flying helicopters in 1985, initially Enstrom, then successively, Gazelle, Bell 206 and Hughes 500. Currently owns an Enstrom 280C which is based at home and regularly flies a Squirrel B3.
Flies extensively in Europe - as far south as the Greek Islands and East as far as Moscow, is an active member of the Helicopter Club of Great Britain, has competed historically and in the last two British Helicopter Championships, is an International Judge and a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators. None flying activities include fly fishing, game shooting and scuba diving.
Roger Beazley served in the RAF initially flying fighter type aircraft and for two years was the RAF’s display pilot flying the Phantom F4. He later qualified as an experimental test pilot and his final service appointments included Head of Experimental Flying at the Royal Aerospace Establishment and Director of Flying [Research & Development] within the UK Ministry of Defence.
He continues to fly light aircraft although no longer holds an instructional rating – as pilot he has experience of some 150 fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft types.
After more than 25 years he continues to be involved in the flying supervision of air displays both in the UK and overseas which has included extended periods in support of the Farnborough International Airshow and the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford. He has acted in an advisory capacity both at the Dubai International Airshow and Asian Aerospace in Singapore.
He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots in the US and an Honorary Member of the Flight Test Society of Australia. He was decorated with the AFC in 1978 and was appointed CBE in 1996.
External Safety Manager, NATS Safety Directorate
Karen has worked for NATS for 25 years; and is currently their External Safety Manager working predominantly with EASA on new regulations; but also with the airlines on joint safety improvement programmes.
Karen has 18 years experience as an Air Traffic Controller in busy TMA airspace and is an expert in all aspects of Air Traffic Management.
Vintage Aircraft Club
My first flight was in a De Havilland Dragon Rapide as a pleasure flight around Heathrow and my father paid 10 shillings each for my brother and I. You could say this was my first training on weight and balance calculations as we were both weighed and positioned in the aircraft to suit.
The usual construction of hundreds of plastic models and balsa wood types with control line lunatic aircraft as the last ones. I joined the City of Oxford Sqn No 150 of the Air Training Corps, rising to the lowly rank of Corporal. Cadged flights in Beverley's from RAF Abingdon and a trip in a Piston Provost and DH Chipmunks plus ATC Camps around the country. An opportunity to gain an 'A' and 'B' Gliding Licence with the ATC at RAF Hawkinge was fun and followed up with more gliding from Weston-on-the-Green with the Oxford Gliding Club.
Work involved an apprenticeship with Pressed Steel Co at Cowley followed by 38 years in all the incarnations of the motor industry on that site and at the Swindon plant specialising on Press Tooling. A part time job, starting in the year 2000, as a technician in Jacobs Engineering working on bridges and structures has been concluded as with all the aviation work I haven't had time to go to work! A concentrated course starting on the auspicious date of April 1st 1969 got my PPL (A) flying Cessna 152's at Wycombe Air Centre. Many trips around the UK and Europe with the touring group set up between the Pilots at the Air Centre proved educational and fun. Other types flown include Piper Cubs, Chipmunk, Luscombe Silvaires and passenger in the Harvard plus some hours as Pilots Assistant in a Beech Kingair operating from Heathrow.
When the Flying Club rental price exceeded £2 per minute a colleague and I bought an Aeronca Champion 7AC, which taught us both a huge amount about flying real aircraft. Joining the Vintage Aircraft Club and eventually taking on its Chairmanship has allowed contacts with many superb airmen and craftsmen although I have now resigned my chairmanship of the Club. As a member of the old PFA and the Oxford Strut I joined the organising committee. I represent the VAC on various safety organisations and committees, CHIRP, GASCo, AIWG, etc.
My other interest is mainly motorcycling, especially vintage types and I am a member of the VMCC, Ariel Owners Club, BMW Owners Club, Motorcycle Action Group and the British Motorcyclists Federation. Yes, motorcyclists have many similar fights with those in authority in both Europe and the UK as in Aviation!
GA Unit - Civil Aviation Authority
David Cockburn is a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. He is the author of the Radio Aids volume of the series “Ground Studies for Pilots” published by Blackwell, and the series of JAR PPL training books published by Pooley.
He served for 28 years in the Royal Air Force as a pilot, initially on Vulcans and Canberras, then on Jet Provosts and Chipmunks. On Jet Provosts he served as an instructor first of navigators then of pilots in basic flying training. His final flying tour was teaching elementary flying on Chipmunks. He started flying gliders in 1965, eventually effectively ceasing in 1996 having gained the FAI diamond badge, flown in several national championships, and been chief instructor of 4 clubs.
Having gained his PPL in 1965, he obtained his commercial licence in 1995 after leaving the RAF, and his airline transport licence in 2001. He was a CAA flying instructor since 1995 and a PPL examiner since 2003, on single engine piston aeroplanes and touring motor gliders.
After working for a while as an aviation lecturer in Saudi Arabia, he joined the UK Civil Aviation Authority in 1999, where he was employed as the General Aviation Safety Promotion Officer, presenting CAA safety evenings around the country and editing GASIL and the GA SafetySense leaflets. He continues to instruct and examine in his free time.
RAF Gliding Scholarship – 1955. RAF Flying Scholarship – 1956. RAF 1957 – 1982. Shackleton, Varsity QFI, Chipmunk, Britannia, HS748 (Personal Pilot to HRH Prince Philip), Basset, HS125, C130, VC10. S ultan of Oman’s Air Force 1983-1987. Training Captain C130. Paramount Airways (MD83), TEA (B737), Airtours (MD83, B757/767), Brymon Airways, British Airways City Express (Dash 8). 1988 – 2004. GAPAN since 1991. Livery 1996 Member of Education & Training Committee since 1991 – Chairman 1997-2000. Currently Chairman of Flying Scholarships sub-Committee. Master – 2004/5. Royal Aeronautical Society Fellow 2003 De Havilland Moth Club.
Air Commodore Steve Forward
Director, UK Airprox Board
Steve is an ex-RAF fast-jet pilot who joined the RAF in September 1981 following graduation from an Electronic Engineering degree at Leeds University. He flew almost 1000hrs on the Tornado GR1, and over 2000hrs on the Harrier. He graduated as a Harrier Qualified Weapons Instructor, carried out duties as a Flight Commander and Squadron Executive Officer and conducted a number of operational deployments flying over Iraq in the early 1990s. Subsequently Steve commanded the Strike Attack Operational Evaluation Unit (responsible for equipment and tactics trials on Tornado, Jaguar and Harrier) before joining the newly forming UK Joint Force Air Component HQ (JFACHQ), initially as Executive Officer and then as its commanding officer, where he was involved in introducing the RAF’s deployable Air C2 capability, participated in the UK’s immediate response to the 9/11 attack and also contributed to the control of coalition air operations over Iraq where he was awarded the US Bronze Star for his role in the US-led Combined Air Operations Centre. In early 2005 he activated and was the first commander of the newly established UK Joint Ground Based Air Defence HQ.
Promotion to the rank of Air Commodore in 2011 followed a busy time in HQ Air Command A3/A5 which included overseeing the UK’s Air contribution to the Libya crisis and acting as the lead for devising the 2012 Olympics Air Security Plan. In December 2011 he was selected for a year’s deployment as Air Officer Commanding 83 Expeditionary Air Group based in the Middle East, where he was responsible overall for the UK’s Air Component contribution to operations in Afghanistan, and was integral to the planning and initial build-up of the UK’s growing Middle East regional posture.
Steve retired from the RAF in 2013 to take on the role of Director UK Airprox Board where he leads the jointly sponsored and co-funded CAA/MAA team, charged with assessing and reporting on Airprox (near-mid-air collisions) in the UK. The aim of the UK Airprox Board is to enhance Air Safety by raising awareness and understanding of airborne conflict and mid-air collisions in general in order to help prevent future air incidents and accidents.
British Gliding Association
On first getting airborne at age 14 in a Tiger Moth from a local farm strip, Tony switched from models to full-scale aviation. School was followed by 6 years at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough and the RAF Institute of Aviation Medicine, specialising in instrumentation and homo sapiens’ limitations. A sojourn in higher education led to research and a Doctorate in (nanometric) measurement and control and his career thereafter embraced posts at Reading, Surrey and Cranfield Universities in Mechanical/Manufacturing Engineering with sabbaticals in USA and Brazil.
Having commenced gliding at Farnborough, he is one of a select few who soloed and learnt pilotage skills in its hallowed air. With 4000hrs logged, mostly powerless, on ~120 types (of which ~70 had no second seat), type-conversion assessment issues are particular interests, including effects of scale, span, human performance limitations and pre/post stall handling. He holds the Gliding Gold Cert., a Full Category Instructor Rating, is Safety Officer for an RAFGSA Club and a BGA Regional Safety Officer. He has served on the BGA Safety Committee, represents it on GASCo Council, advises Brunel U Flight Safety Lab and is a member of Roy.Aero.Soc. GA Committee. Academic interests continue in astro-instrumentation as a Sr Research Associate in the Dept of Physics and Astronomy, University College London.
British Balloon & Airship Club
I started flying whilst at Hampton Grammar School with the CCF. Gliding A & B course, followed by Flying Scholarship at Cranfield. Went to Hamble College of Air Training in 1967, then joined BEA as a Second Officer flying Trident aircraft in 1969.
After Tridents I flew the BAC 1-11 (mainly with the Internal German Service based in Berlin). I enjoyed a short spell flying the Lockheed L1011 Tristar, before gaining my command flying B1-11s based at Birmingham. My final appointment at Birmingham was as a Training Captain.
The last 13 years of my career were spent flying the Boeing 747-400, during which time I enjoyed various appointments within the fleet as a Training Captain, Route Check Captain, and Fleet Technical Officer.
I retired from British Airways in 2003, and have since flown Single Engine Piston aircraft mainly from a farm strip.
Master, Honourable Company of Air Pilots
Dorothy Saul-Pooley originally qualified as a Solicitor and worked in the City for a number of years before learning to fly. She left the law in the early 1990s to gain a CPL(A) and Instructor Rating and worked as an instructor full-time for several years. She then continued to instruct part-time whilst working as an Aviation Lawyer, finally reversing the balance in 1999 to instruct full-time on Instructor courses and act as a part-time aviation consultant. Having successfully run FI courses at Shoreham for a number of years, Dorothy set up Pooleys Flying Instructor School in early 2005 to specialise solely in the training of Flying Instructors and Examiners. The school now has approval for Instructor and Examiner Refresher seminars.
In addition to holding an ATPL(A) and FIC/FIE ratings on aeroplanes, Dorothy is unique in holding a CPL(H) and is also qualified as a helicopter instructor.
Dorothy was the first Chairman of the Instructor sub-Committee and is also a past Chairman of the Education and Training Committee of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (formerly known as GAPAN). She has served on the Court of the Air Pilots since 2001 and was for many years on the Scholarship selection committee. She has served on the Trophies and Awards Committee since 2007. Dorothy was installed as the Master of the Honourable Company on 17th March 2014 and when she completed her term of office, on 9th March 2015, was installed as the Immediate Past Master.
Dorothy is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers, a director of Air Pilot Publishing Limited and a Court member of the Guild of Freemen. In addition, Dorothy is the Founder and Chairman of the Professional Flying Instructor Association, the Governor of the British Section of the 99s, International Women Pilots Organisation, the founder and past Chairman of the Southern England (now Concorde) chapter of Women in Aviation International and the author and editor of a number of training manuals.
Andy Sephton has been hooked on flying from as long ago as he can remember. His first flight was in 1958 at the tender age of 8 years in a Tiger Moth of the AWA Flying Club at Baginton, which was followed several years later by air experience in Chipmunks of the Air Training Corps (ATC). The ATC flying led to an RAF Flying Scholarship and a PPL on Cessna 150s at Carlisle, Cessna 150 flying with the Coventry Flying Club, and ATC A and B Gliding certificates at Gaydon. These in turn led to a University Cadetship with the RAF.
During his 20 years in the service, Andy spent his first and only operational tour on Jaguar. There followed a spell as a weapons instructor on Hawk, a successful year at the French Test Pilot School, and then two tours as a test pilot at each of Boscombe Down and Farnborough. Throughout his service career, Andy concentrated mainly on fast jets - Jaguar, Harrier, Sea Harrier, Buccaneer, Hunter, Mirage III & F1, Alpha Jet, Sea Vixen and Hawk, although he did find time to fly some transports - Chieftain, Varsity and Andover, and some light aircraft - Chipmunk, CAP10, Harvard and Bulldog.
Since leaving the RAF, Andy has worked for some 12 years as a Test Pilot and Chief Test pilot for Rolls-Royce, and for three years as a Test Pilot for Marshall Aerospace. The highlights at Rolls-Royce were gaining two word records for time to climb on V/STOL aircraft which still stand, and converting to the Company Spitfires.
His current post at Marshalls includes the testing of large aircraft, currently Hercules; Corporate and AOC operations of the Company Jet, a Citation Bravo; Corporate operations of the Company Aztec; instructing at the Cambridge Aero Club on Cessna 152 & 172, CAP10 and Slingsby T67, and testing of light single and light multi-piston aircraft maintained in the Company hangars. He is soon to take on the post of Deputy Chief Test Pilot.
Outside work, although he is probably best known in the GA community for his work in displaying historic aircraft for the Shuttleworth Collection, Andy’s main hobbies include aeromodelling - he has had several successes in national competition; music - he plays a Mandolin and penny whistle (both equally badly); writing - occasionally for several aviation and aeromodelling magazines; and shooting - now relegated to air weapons only.
At CHIRP meetings, as well as his broad aviation background outlined above, Andy brings specialist expertise on: historic aircraft - he is currently Chief Pilot of the Shuttleworth Collection and has flown for several other historic aircraft owners, especially the North Weald based Harvard Team; GA display flying - Andy is a CAA approved Display Authorisation Examiner; PFA type operations - Andy owns a PFA Jodel D120A and is a PFA coach; and the flight testing of light and historic aircraft - both at Cambridge and the Shuttleworth Collection.
Andy is also: Registrar for the Historic Aircraft Association, a member of the CAAs General Aviation Consultative Committee, and a member of the SBAC Flight Operations Committee and Farnborough Internationals Flying Control Committee.
CEO, The Light Aircraft Association
Stephen Slater, became Chief Executive officer of the Light Aircraft Association on 1st September 2015, working on behalf of around 7,500 members who operate over 4,000 sport aircraft. Stephen joined the Association from a successful career in PR and marketing communications where he ran a leading agency working in sectors including aviation, the motor industry and tourism, both in the UK and in Asia. He was for 15 years ‘the voice of Formula One’ in the Far East, working as commentator with the Singapore-based Star Sports TV channel. He was also part of the team which created the Singapore Grand Prix, Formula One’s first-ever night race.
Stephen has been actively involved in the light aviation community for around 20 years, including spells as Chairman of the Vintage Aircraft Club and Vice-Chairman of the General Aviation Awareness Council. His roots in flying go back to being a 14 year-old ‘hangar brat’ in the 1970s at the Middleton St. George Aero Club, at what is now Durham Tees Valley Airport, but like many he then spent time away from flying before returning when commitments allowed. Stephen, who lives in Chesham in Buckinghamshire, owns and flies a Piper J-3 Cub based at Bicester and is co-owner and co-restorer of the ‘Biggles Biplane’, a replica 1914 BE-2c Royal Flying Corps observation biplane.
Deputy President, GATCO
Mark is the representative of the UK Guild of Air Traffic Control Officers (GATCO), the professional body that represents the professional, technical and legal interests of ATCOs in the UK of which he is the current Deputy President. A fully qualified military Terminal Air Traffic Controller who has over 15 years controlling experience both in Tower and Radar Approach (including provision of LARS in both North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire). Additionally, he is a Unit Safety Manager and a Human Factors training supervisor. Prior to controlling, Mark was an ATC Assistant, Operations Assistant and Flight Planning Assistant at various airfields.
Chief Executive, British Microlight Aircraft Association
First flights in the Air Training Corps, glider and Chipmunk aged 15. Started hang gliding in 1976 and then built trike unit for his hang glider and self-taught powered flying in 1981. Became a microlight instructor in 1983. Ran a microlight school at Enstone until 2006 teaching weightshift microlight pilots and instructors. Joined the BMAA as CEO in October 2006 where he resides to this day.