The achievements of LAA members at both ends of the age spectrum have been recognised by the annual awards issued by the Royal Aero Club.
Seventeen year-old Ellie Carter, a key member of the LAA’s Youth and Education Support Group, YES, has been awarded the President’s Breitling Certificate for her work in promoting younger people in aviation.
Ernie Horsfall, who at 102 years of age remains an active LAA inspector, received a RAeC Silver Medal for his work as one of the UK’s experts on Jodel aircraft.
Ellie, who gained her PPL aided by an LAA Armstrong-Isaacs bursary, completed her tailwheel conversion and as well as flying a classic Piper Cub aircraft, she’s been gaining experience in everything from a similarly classic Auster to a Vans RV-12, all recorded on a series of video blogs.
Ernie was born on 21 April 1918. However, it wasn’t until 1961, at the age of 43, that he took his first flying lesson, while working as a test and experimental engineer for Vauxhall Motors.
In the years since, Ernie has owned 56 aircraft, filled five pilot logbooks and as an accredited aircraft inspector for the Light Aircraft Association has inspected thousands of aircraft across the country.
Ernie is an acknowledged expert on the Jodel type, and has personally imported a significant proportion of the French aircraft that are currently on the UK register. He remains active as an engineer and inspector and in March 2021, just ahead of his 103rd birthday, he plans to renew his certification for another year!
The pair were joined by Clive Porter, a farmer and enthusiastic pilot with his own airstrip at Croft Farm, Defford.
For the last 14 years he has hosted a Scouts Air Camp at the strip. For many years, Clive has also organised a ‘wings and wheels’ event to raise money for the Mission Aviation Fellowship which provides medical air services in remote areas of the world. He has received an RAeC Bronze Medal for his efforts.
A further recipient of a Bronze Medal is LAA Airworthiness Engineer Jerry Parr, who has received recognition for his support for builders of Vans RV aircraft, activities which began long before his recruitment by the LAA in 2017.
Jerry was one of the first in UK to build an RV-6
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