Some of you may know that for the past 18 months or so I have been considering selling Purple Aviation as a going concern and as an active Flying School. 11 years ago it all began with one weight shift microlight and we now have 5 aircraft, 4 full time instructors and are currently training 55 students. 115 new pilots have been successfully trained, training manuals specific to flying small light aircraft have been published and a Skills Award course has been created.
The success of the school is directly attributable to the people with whom I have been fortunate to work. Steve Clarehugh was simply the best mentor one could ever have and he guided me every step of the way in setting up and establishing the school. Over the years John Sinclair-Day, Gordon Wilson, Lawrence Bell, Paul Eden, Simon Jarvis, Callum Jennings and Terry Farley have been instrumental in making the school what it is today. Our other success is our location. Home to 60 aircraft and 165 members Eshott Airfield is simply a fantastic place from which to fly and the envy of many other GA airfields.
Finding a buyer, and the right buyer, has not been easy.
I am delighted to announce that as of July 1st 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 have both been set up by Jeff, Richard and Sam and will run alongside their business operations at Fishburn forming a major part of their expansion plans. Purple Aviation will now operate from both Fishburn and Eshott giving greater opportunities and flexibility to students, pilots and aircraft owners alike.
I will continue as CFI for Purple Aviation and help oversee the transition of operations at the airfield to Bockenfield Aerodrome Ltd.
This is an exciting new phase in the airfield’s history and a great opportunity for the flying school going forward. I do hope you will share the vision for the airfield and flying school and continue to enjoy your flying here in Northumberland.
May I personally thank each and everyone of you for the support and encouragement you have given me in developing the flying school of which we are all a part and ask that you join me in wishing Jeff, Richard and Sam every success for the future.
1st July 2016
First of all we want to introduce ourselves and let you know just how excited we are about linking up Purple Aviation, Eshott and Fishburn. We see this as an incredible chance to extend the opportunities for flying in the North East of England.
The three of us have been working together at Fishburn since late 2014 and have in that time built up a paint spray facility, completed the new clubhouse facility, installed a full sized King Air B200 Flight Simulator, built a successful aircraft share, hosted successful events and significantly reduced fuel costs. At the moment we are working closely with a charity building a working aircraft museum at Fishburn.
There is no intention to make any major changes at Eshott in terms of: services, access, or prices and we aim to preserve the wonderful feeling of community established here. We hope you will all see this integration as a positive and exciting time for both Eshott and Fishburn.
Purple Aviation will continue to operate from Eshott – however we will be extending its reach by additionally offering microlight training and trial flights from Fishburn. With this in mind we are delighted to announce that the Purple fleet has already been increased from 5 to 6 aircraft with the acquisition of another Ikarus C42 which will join the fleet next week.
We share your passion for aviation and want to reassure you that Eshott will remain a true pilots airfield with an unrivalled reputation.
Finally, we would like to thank Storm for working so closely with us over the last 3 months enabling us to realise our dream. We take over the operation at Eshott in a very good state and look forward to maintain and building on Storm’s success.
We very much look forward to meeting and getting to know you all in the coming weeks.
Jeff, Richard & Sam
1st July 2016