February 2014

In this issue

  • Obituary: Philip Ansell
  • Member in the News: AOPA award to Lee Flying Association
  • New General Aviation Insurance Provider
  • Historic Aviation Film: 1945 Freeman Field Airshow
  • Date for your Diary: Goodwood LAA Fly-in
  • White Waltham to feature in Midsummer Murders

Obituary: Philip Ansell

Philip Ansell passed away on Jan 9th at the young age of 67.

Philip had been a leading light in the PFA & LAA since the 60s.  He was an aviation enthusiast since he was a young schoolboy and although he did not have a PPL he kept a Log Book of his flying and he had recorded more aircraft and hours than most pilots. He was one of the small group of enthusiasts that ran the office at Shoreham before there were any staff and was also in at the beginning of the Strut. His full story would take all day.

Ask anyone that knew him and they will tell you what a smashing chap he was.  R.I.P.

Don Lord

Member in the News: AOPA award to Lee Flying Association

With perhaps slightly unfortunate timing, the February issue of the AOPA magazine General Aviation has an article entitled “Lee on Solent Thriving”.  The New Year demise of Saphire Aviation’s stellar handling service and the subsequent imposition of 24 hour PPR makes that sound a bit hollow.  The article features a nice picture of the founders of the Lee Flying Association, one of whom is Strut member Dave Skertchly, receiving an award from AOPA.  I can’t believe that the sterling work of such doughty campaigners is going to be undone so easily.    Let’s hope it’s just a temporary glitch and the cabal of bureaucracies that administer the airfield can be prodded to sort it out.  Regardless of the current situation at Lee, the award is well deserved.

P.S. 30th January: Excellent news the requirement for 24 hour PPR has been rescinded.  Details here.

New General Aviation Insurance Provider      logo

Visicover is a unique service that enables aircraft owners to buy and manage their insurance online. This, in addition to potentially reducing premiums, also gives the convenience of being able to amend their aircraft cover whenever it suits them.

It was set up by myself and my colleague, Jan Houlberg, with both of us having worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years. My background is on the marketing and product development side, having worked with some of the earliest direct and online general insurers. Meanwhile Jan has a technology background, having helped develop and implement insurance systems for many companies. He is also a pilot (PPL/IR) and owned his own Mooney operated from Blackbushe.

Knowing how the internet has revolutionised the way in which consumers arrange their home and motor insurance, Jan was frustrated that he could not arrange his aircraft insurance in the same way, hence the idea for Visicover. Its development has taken a number of years, involving everything from building the right underlying technology to gaining the various regulatory authorisations required. More information on its evolution can be found on our website. The company is based in Camberley and acts as an insurance intermediary, as such it is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Our aviation products are underwritten by AIG Europe Ltd which is part of the AIG group. We can accommodate a wide variety of aviation risks (light aircraft and helicopter) and have grown rapidly since our launch. We have been very pleased with what our customers have had to say about our service, and some of their comments can be seen on the home page of the website:  https://visicover.com/

Bob Bevan, Director, Visicover

Bob Bevan will be giving a presentation on general aviation insurance at the April Strut meeting.  Your opportunity to find out how it really works.

Historic Aviation Film: 1945 Freeman Field Air-show

Recently uploaded to Facebook, this film shows an air-show at the American air-force base, Freemans Field, where an extraordinary range of captured German aircraft were displayed both in the air and on the ground.  Both interesting from an aviation buff point of view and horrifying when you think what these machines were made for.

The video is at: http://www.downvids.net/1945-freeman-field-airshow-214596.html

Date for your Diary: Goodwood LAA Fly-in

Goodwood Aerodrome is going to hold a weekend fly-in, 24th & 25th May 2014.  The full details are still being planned but it sounds like fun for all the family.  Landing fees will be waived and there is going to be a barbecue run by the estate chefs in the evening (you have to pay for that).

Inevitably lots of volunteer airfield marshals and helpers are going to be needed; where we come in!  Tony Palmer will have more details.  If the weather cooperates it should be a brilliant start to the flying season.

White Waltham to feature in Midsummer Murders

From Steve Hutt via RV Squadron Group on Yahoo:  The ‘Midsomer Murders’ episode at 8pm 5 Feb on ITV is called ‘The Flying Club’.  It’s set at White Waltham, in and around the clubhouse during the airshow there last August.  The plot features  a display team with the filming done with the RV8tors.  More details on ITV’s website.


At the last strut meeting there was discussion of organising some fly-outs during the year.  One suggestion was a Strut trip to France, possibly to St Omer.  More ideas  and suggestions are very welcome.

For a list of the currently planned events look under the menu above or click this link: Events

Nest Strut meeting, Wednesday 5th February.  See you there!

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