Mission Aviation Fellowship

Aerobility’s first disabled flyer to earn TMG Class Rating

Claire Tonkinson, a disabled woman from London, is the first student with a disability to have earned her touring motor glider TMG Class Rating with training from Aerobility on the charity’s Grob 109B.

Aerobility is a UK Charity which changes lives by providing anyone, with any disability, access to the magic and wonder of learning to fly and has specially adapted aircraft. It is the only flying charity in the country to offer TMG training for individuals with disabilities.

Claire has been flying with the charity since 2014, gaining her PPL in 2016. She has also been volunteering at Aerobility for nearly a decade, representing the charity at events and speaking to the public. This year she decided she wanted to earn her TMG rating so she could speak about

Aerobility’s Grob 109B from experience. Aerobility’s Grob 109B was made possible through the innovative Project Able bringing former RAF Air Cadet motor gliders back into service for society benefit thanks to the help of the Department for Transport. Claire said: “When I fly in an aircraft, the required focus and concentration is a distraction from pain. I am able to sit in an aircraft for longer periods than normally possible.

“I feel incredibly proud and honoured to be Aerobility’s first student to have earned my TMG Class Rating. With a disability, the world doesn’t have things put in place. It’s a daily battle. One of the most important things that Aerobility does is to build confidence.

“None of this would have been possible without the guidance and support from my instructors, particularly Mike Owen, who is incredibly skilled and an intuitive teacher who always remained calm during my training, however difficult it was. The entire team at Aerobility helps you to focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t, giving people with disabilities a new outlook on life.”

Mike Owen, Aerobility’s Chief Flying Instructor, said: “We are all really pleased with what Claire has accomplished. Earning a TMG Class Rating takes a lot of skill and Claire should be very proud of herself.” 

Image accredited to Aerobility

Author: FTN Editor

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