Campaign Week 10: Fly Welle
Fly Welle Ltd is a small flying club at Wellesbourne Airfield with a focus on dispelling the myth that flying is just the preserve of the wealthy.
The 18-member club has one aircraft and aims to cater for aviators from all walks of life.
Ex-commercial pilots and amateurs are members of the non-for-profit club, which maintains links with many other airfields across the British Isles including in Jersey and Ireland.
The group also supports Project Propeller, a scheme which provides air transportation for Second World War RAF veterans for special events across the country.
Graham Ruscoe, Director at Fly Welle, said: “It is not just rich people who are able to fly aircraft, I work 60 hours a week and I run this as a side line really. We are a flying club for like-minded aviators no matter what their income.
“We are one of the tenants of the airfield and as one of the tenants we have rights here. I actually live near Wolverhampton so my closest airfield is up there, but I come to Wellesbourne because it is one of the best general aviation airfields in the UK. If the worst happened and the airfield had to close Wolverhampton might be able to accommodate us but it would take the life and soul out of what we do. There would probably be other restrictions too and it would be hard for us to continue our involvement with the Air Corps.
“I came to Wellesbourne in 1988 when it was little more than a hole through a hedge, with few buildings here. I came because I was learning to fly and when my instructor moved to Wellesbourne, I came too and I’ve never looked back, it’s like my second home.
“We understand the airfield owners’ point of view, but so many pilots stationed at Wellesbourne lost their lives in the Second World War, it would be a tragedy if all we were to end up with at Wellesbourne was a concrete plaque saying ‘this was the site of Wellesbounre Airfield. ‘ We need to continue that living history here by maintaining it as a working airfield.”
Derek Warren, a member of Fly Welle, added: “I think it’s great that we take part in project propeller and are able to take veterans to these group events that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to make it to.
“There are other good airfields around don’t get me wrong, but Wellesbourne is just special, when I was looking at which airfield to fly from it was a real no-brainer to choose Wellesbourne.”