The popular Vintage Aircraft Club ‘Liz Inwood Taildragger Scholarship’ for 2019 has been awarded to John Hardie, a 30 year old pilot currently flying a Cessna 150 from Popham in Hampshire.
The scholarship, named in memory of the late Tiger Moth pilot and flying instructor Liz Inwood, is funded by donations from the Vintage Aircraft Club, Light Aircraft Association and the Inwood estate.
It is aimed at young pilots who wish to convert from typical flying club nose wheel designs to older tailwheel types, potentially opening the door to flying a wider range of vintage and classic types. John will be awarded five hours flying to assist in learning classic ‘taildragger’ handling, which now forms part of the now-required differences training for older types.
“The Vintage Aircraft Club has been in existence for 55 years, and currently has some 350 members who own and operate around 200 classic and vintage aircraft” said chairman Anne Hughes. “In common with many organisations today, the VAC is conscious of a widening age gap in its membership and we not only must attract younger members, but we must also hand on the skills to operate the older type of conventional undercarriage aircraft, or ‘taildraggers’ as they are more commonly known. The Scholarship is an initiative to help address the challenge.”
John Hardie said: “Short term, I will build experience on ‘trainers’ such as the Piper Cub and Chipmunk, and share these experiences, promoting vintage flying personally. This award will help me open up the world of vintage aircraft, promote general aviation and vintage flying, to find ways to make aviation more accessible to young people, and to continue the legacy of Liz Inwood. Flying is one of the greatest pleasures I have experienced in life. I have found community, adventure, skills, purpose, and a connection to history. ‘Grassroots’ vintage flying best achieves these aims.”