Purple Aviation, a microlight school established at Eshott airfield in Northumberland, has been sold to the team behind Fishburn airfield.
Purple Aviation was established 11 years ago by Storm Smith with one weight shift microlight and built up to an operation with 5 aircraft, 4 full time instructors and currently training 55 students. Storm paid tribute to his mentor at Eshott, the late Steve Clarehugh, together with John Sinclair-Day, Gordon Wilson, Lawrence Bell, Paul Eden, Simon Jarvis, Callum Jennings and Terry Farley who, he said, had been instrumental in building up the school and Eshott airfield. He described Eshott, home to 60 aircraft and 165 members, as a fantastic place from which to fly and the envy of many other GA airfields.
From July 2016 Jeff Pike, Richard Pike and Sam Woodgate, currently operating Fishburn Airfield, will be the new operators of Purple Aviation. Northeast Aviation Ltd will trade as Purple Aviation and Bockenfield Aerodrome Ltd will operate as Eshott Airfield. These companies will run alongside the new owners’ existing business operations at Fishburn, forming a major part of their expansion plans, they say. Purple Aviation will now operate from both Fishburn and Eshott. Storm Smith will continue as CFI for Purple Aviation and help oversee the transition of operations at the airfield to Bockenfield Aerodrome Ltd.
The new owners of Purple Aviation have been working together at Fishburn since late 2014 and in that time have built-up a paint spray facility, completed a new clubhouse facility, installed a full size King Air B200 Flight Simulator and built-up an aircraft share scheme, At the moment they are working closely with a charity building a working aircraft museum at Fishburn.
The new owners say that they have no intention to make any major changes at Eshott in terms of services, access or prices. However, they have announced that the Purple Aviation fleet has already been increased from 5 to 6 aircraft with the acquisition of another Ikarus C42.