On Monday 14th September, 2020, Aeros Academy Cardiff, based at Cardiff Airport, welcomed its first DA42 training aircraft.
The addition of this first DA42 aircraft at Cardiff Airport opens up the training potential for Aeros cadets training at Cardiff, with the academy now able to offer Aeros complete Fastrack programme, as well is individual modules for MEP, MEIR and CPL training, alongside it’s current output.
The depth and experience of training now on offer through Aeros at Cardiff Airport is buoyed by not only the arrival of their first DA42, but also Aeros position at a full international commercial airport with full air traffic services, ex-airline pilot instructors and the backing of the wider Aeros Group Academies and their existing fleet of DA42 aircraft.
Cat Burton, Aeros Academy Cardiff Senior Flying Instructor and recently British Airways most senior female pilot, says ‘When I retired at the end of a 45 year airline career with British Airways, as their most senior line captain, flying long haul Boeing 777s, I just wasn’t ready to stop flying so I started teaching at my home airport at Cardiff. Three years on and I’m loving teaching a new generation of airline pilots as we expand our capabilities here at Cardiff to include multi-engine training to commercial pilot standards and instrument ratings on the Diamond DA42. I’m especially proud that my fellow instructor on the Diamond, James Dawson, also flew Boeing 777s with British Airways. There is nowhere better to learn the skills of an airline pilot than at a fully controlled international airport, mentored by experienced airline veterans.’
Nick Dunn, Aeros Group CEO, says ‘Growing Aeros Cardiff has always been a key objective of the Aeros Group. The decision to expand now displays my confidence in the aviation sectors resilience and ability to bounce back. I would like to extend my thanks to the Cardiff Airport team who have been extremely supportive through this process and we are now assessing options for larger premises to accommodate our expansion.’
Instructor James Dawson, ex-British Airways and Cathay Pacific 777 pilot, says ‘Having just come from flying long haul on wide body jets, the transition to training cadets on the DA42 in some respect has actually been a navigational upgrade, particularly with regard to the G1000 capability! Teaching back at my home airfield of Cardiff, alongside experienced instructors and under the supervision of our highly experienced SFI Cat Burton, I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to instructing. The Aeros Group goes from strength to strength and I’m optimistic about the future of Cardiff as a professional flight training centre as well as its strong ties to PPL training.’
Thomas Daniel, Aeros Academy Cardiff Cadet, says ‘It’s a privilege to have the ability to train for the MEIR/CPL at Cardiff, I shall take great pride in being one of the first to complete the fastrack course here. I feel that Cardiff Airport is the ideal training environment for this level of qualification with the infrastructure provided. It will give full immersion to the operating conditions that I will experience during my career.’
Steffan Dawe, Aeros Academy Cardiff Cadet, says ‘It’s so exciting to be one of the first people to complete the full fATPL Fastrack course at Aeros Cardiff. I’m born and raised in Cardiff so this expansion at Aeros Cardiff makes me very proud and is also a huge boost for aviation training in Wales as a whole!’
Aeros Academy Cardiff is open for visits to prospective students who wish to come and tour the facilities, see the aircraft fleet and discover what training at Cardiff is really like.
The first course with the new DA42 at Aeros Academy Cardiff also began on 14th September 2020, and is the first of many courses joining the commercial airliners flying in and out of Cardiff airport. The addition of the DA42, and subsequent training offering, also sees it join other Aeros Academies, such as their Coventry, Gloucester and Doncaster bases, in being able to deliver a complete Fastrack training programme, cementing Aeros reputation as a truly national flight school with international appeal.
*Photography credit Jac Osborne