Club History – Time Line
The Guernsey Aero Club, originally founded in 1934, reformed in 1966 with the main objective ‘to foster an interest in aviation’ and continues in that vein thanks to the great enthusiasm of its Committee and 300+ membership.
GUERNSEY AERO CLUB – TIMELINE
In July, Mr Alan Marriette places an advert in the local paper inviting a meeting with others interested in flying. 10 people respond and flying instruction is commenced by the Guernsey Branch of the C.I Aero Club.
Initially, aircraft and instructors are flown over from Jersey at weekends only. Auster, G-ARUY, is the first aircraft used, followed by C150, G-ATRN.
The Club begins with just 3 members, but this soon increased to 12.
Jim Walters, Airport Commandant, gives permission for the Club to lease a small two-roomed building to the East of the Terminal building.
Club president, Derek Wilson acquires a Percival Prentice, G-AOKO, which is flown by some members, but not for general Club use.
Training costs were £6/hour and a licence generally cost £270 to obtain.
In September, Ms Gladys Smith became the first woman in Guernsey to fly solo.
On the 8th August, the Aero Club’s first purpose built premises were opened by the Lieutenant Governor. The premises were located behind, what are now, the freight sheds (although the building has subsequently been demolished).
To celebrate the opening, the Aero Club hosted an Open Day and afly-in, which attracted 22 aircraft.
In August, the club purchased a Garden Horizon, G-ATJT.
Later in the year, the Guernsey Branch of the C.I Aero Club ceased and direct links with Jersey were ended.
The Channel Islands Aero Club (Guernsey) Ltd was established with a C150 and Mike Selwood as instructor.
In March, The Channel Islands Aero Club (Guernsey) Ltd sold the Horizon and purchased a C172, G-AZKZ.
The 1st Guernsey International Air Rally & Race took place between September 22nd & 24th, attracting 45 aircraft, including 11 race entrants.
The Aero Club moved to larger premises adjacent to the Fuel Farm (the building still exists today as a storage facility). This building included a kitchen, enabling the Club to cater for functions.
From this building the Guernsey Aero Club had its 10th International Air Rally with a record number of 300 rallyists and 97 aircraft attending.
Work started on acquiring a site for the Guernsey Aero Club for its new clubhouse, car parking, apron and hangar complex, due to Guernsey Aero Club having outgrown its previous premises, and due to impending development where it was located at that time. The search for premises was concluded by finding the present property and with the agreement of the Board of Administration (Airport Authorities at that time), the Island Development Committee, Building Control and the Fire Office, it was agreed for the purchase of the site and the construction of the Guernsey Aero Club, the car park, and the hangar and apron complex.
Applications were in the names of Guernsey Aero Club, as it was the Club’s initial aim to be able to afford the whole complex. Approvals were issued in the names of the Guernsey Aero Club and it was for the Guernsey Aero Club and hangar complex, for the use with Guernsey Aero Club members, with the use being for the private club complex and not for commercial use. The Guernsey Aero Club was to construct the whole complex but cost implications had a knock on effect and eleven club members came to the rescue, with what resulted in the Guernsey Aero Club complex with the clubhouse, access, and some parking being constructed by the Guernsey Aero Club. The remaining area funded by the eleven members was constructed by Guernsey Hangarage Ltd, basically in trust for the Guernsey Aero Club.
The Guernsey Aero Club, car parking, hangar and apron complex was constructed by Guernsey Aero Club and Guernsey Hangarage Ltd. with car parking was on the southern area of the Guernsey Aero Club land and on the easterly side of the Guernsey Hangarage Ltd land, parallel to the access driveway (the old La Planque Lane).
Official opening of the Guernsey Aero Club and hangar complex by the Governor, Air Chief Marshall Sir Peter Le Cheminant, in January 1981.
Flying Traing recommenced in Guernsey.1013 Ltd purchased a C152, G-BFZT.
The 1013 Ltd purchased a second C152, G-BGGP, and a C172, G-BKEV.
The two C152s formed the backbone of the training fleet, with the C172 being used for touring and more advanced training.
Many local airline pilots started their aviation careers on these aircraft.
Time line to be continued…….
June, a successful 46th Guernsey Air Rally
August Field/Overflow car park surfaced with a permeable PP50 & gravel surface.
June, a successful 47th Guernsey Air Rally
Spring Club closed during COVID-19 Pandemic
August, a successful first Wings and Wheels event with 2000 people in attendance