The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

Air Pilots London Schools Gliding




Every year, we offer London schools the opportunity to take part in a heavily subsidised day out at a British Gliding Association (BGA) Gliding Club. The offer is open to students of secondary schools and academies in London on behalf of a group of City of London Livery Companies led by the Honourable Company of Air Gliding 1Pilots. For only £8 each, students will receive a flight in a glider under the instruction of an experienced qualified instructor.

Beyond the excitement of flying, students will also be involved in the structured, yet enjoyable environment of an operational airfield, interacting with committed and enthusiastic volunteers. Students have been seen to grow in confidence during the day as they develop life skills to engage and communicate with others around them. Many have used this experience to appreciate broader horizons and have the confidence to explore further education and career options. Feedback from schools has been very positive. It has been described as an excellent opportunity to inspire and reward pupils.
The subsidised gliding scheme was established in 2004 by the Air Pilots, with charitable grants from the Dyers’, Basketmakers, Bakers, Fuellers, Hackney Carriage Drivers and Vintners’ Livery Companies to benefit students from their selected schools.



London Schools Gliding Days


The flights are conducted at BGA Gliding Clubs, which are approved as Junior Gliding Centres. These are:

  • The London Gliding Club, Tring Road, Dunstable, Bedfordshire, LU6 2JP
  • Lasham Gliding Society, Lasham Airfield, Alton, Hampshire, GU43 5SS
  • Booker Gliding Club, Wycombe Air Park, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 3DP


Health and Safety and Risk Assessment

The selected Gliding Clubs have experience of working with not only this scheme, but also other organisations such as the Scouts and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and, as such, will assist schools with their Risk Assessment processes. Each Gliding School is fully insured and will have different requirements and limitations as detailed below:

The London Gliding Club

  • Insured to £5M
  • Minimum age:           12yrs
  • Minimum height:        5ft                  
  • Maximum height:       6ft 4in
  • Minimum weight:        6.5st (41.25kg)
  • Maximum weight:       16st (101.6kg)
  • Maximum group size:  12 students. Two adults must accompany the group.
  • Further information can be found on the LGC website
  • Contact Andrew Roch, Manager, LGC.  Tel; 01582 663419   Fax; 01582 665744   

Lasham Gliding Society

  • Insured to £3M
  • Minimum age:            13yrs
  • Minimum height:         5ft                  
  • Maximum height:        6ft 4in
  • Minimum weight:         7st (44.5kg)
  • Maximum weight:       16st 4lbs (103kg)
  • Maximum group size: 10 students. Two adults must accompany the group.
  • Further information can be found on their website   Gliding 2
  • Contact Sharon via telephone 01256 384900 or

Booker Gliding Club

  • Insured to £3M
  • Minimum age:            14yrs
  • Minimum height:         5ft                  
  • Maximum height:        6ft 3in
  • Minimum weight:         7st (44.5kg)
  • Maximum weight:       16st (102kg)
  • Maximum group size: tbc – contact Booker to discuss. Two adults must accompany the group.
  • Further information can be found on their website
  • Contact Tel 01494 442501


Fee Subsidy

The commercial rate for a flight in a glider is usually around £90. However, with charitable support and volunteer instructors, the Gliding Clubs reduce this to £55. The Livery Companies contribute a further £47, so the cost to each student is only £8, which is either paid on the day or invoiced to the school. The £47 contribution is invoiced by the Gliding Club directly to the Air Pilots Benevolent Fund. If the accompanying adult wishes to arrange a flight with the Gliding Club on the day, this will be provided for a special price of £70, payable to the Gliding Club on the day. It will be the school’s responsibility to organise transport and refreshments.


Application Process

The Head Teacher or lead teacher for the scheme should notify the Air Pilots of their interest in the scheme by contacting Zoë Gell ( or 07881 385848). The Air Pilots will approve the application by ensuring that charitable funds are available and that the Gliding Club has space available. The school will then be advised to contact the Gliding Club directly. All subsequent arrangements for dates, numbers of students, etc, should be made directly with the Gliding Club. When the school has arranged a booking with the Gliding Club, the school should contact Zoë Gell again to secure the additional funds.

Schools are strongly encouraged to contact the Gliding Club quickly and to confirm an agreed date. If the school is unable to confirm a date with the Gliding School within a reasonable time, it is only fair that the opportunity will be offered to another school. If weather prevents flying on the day, the school and gliding club may be able to arrange another date.              

Cancellations.  If, after making a booking to fly, a school has to withdraw, it is essential that the gliding club is informed as soon as possible. The gliding club will have to cancel arrangements and it is also important so that another school can be offered the opportunity. Failure to inform the gliding club may result in the school being denied the chance to take part in the following year.


For more details about London Schools Gliding Days, please contact:

Zoë Gell       email:   Tel: 07881 385848



Honourable Company of Air Pilots – Scholarships

The Honourable Company of Air Pilots also offers several Scholarships to encourage and support young people who are interested in aviation and details are on this website. Entry for these is open between January and March 28th 2018.

Details and links to application forms also on Twitter   Twitter@AirPilotsCo


Air Pilots Gliding Scholarships

In addition to the group gliding days the Honourable Company of Air Pilots are also offering residential gliding scholarship courses from July 30th to August 3rd, August 13th to 17th, August 27th to August  31st and August 28th to August 31st 2018. The scholarships are open to students who will be 16 or older on 1st July 2018. It is not a requirement to have any flying experience or to have attended a schools gliding day. The courses will be run by BGA approved gliding clubs at Dunstable, Derbyshire and in Lee on the Solent. Between flights students will help with the ground handling of the glider. The scholarships are inclusive of accommodation and food but do not cover transport to and from the gliding clubs.  Application forms may be downloaded from the Honourable Company of Air Pilots website at:


The application forms should be scanned and submitted by email with a closing date for applications of March 28th 2018. The applications will be assessed and a group candidates will be invited to interview for the final stage of selection. Interviews will take place on May 8th or 9th 2018 at the Company office in London.

In keeping with Air Pilots Company policy there will be no means testing. The selection team will choose the most suitable and deserving candidates for the award.

Reports from 2017 Air Pilots scholarship winners can be seen at -

There are reports from several gliding scholarship winners in this section, including:


For more details about scholarships, please contact:

Captain John Towell       email:       Tel: 01276 476050