Helicentre trainees awarded helicopter degrees
On 12 July three helicopter pilots graduated with the UK’S only operator-supported BSC (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice (Helicopter) Degree, which is delivered in a partnership between Helicentre Aviation Ltd and Middlesex University London. Barry Wilmott, Russell Sheriff and Andrew Thompson were the first students in the UK to graduate with this unique degree, which is designed specifically for helicopter pilots.
Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor at Middlesex University London said: “I’m very proud of our helicopter pilots, whose graduation marks a first for Middlesex University, and is the result of a lot of personal effort and commitment to an industry which needs graduates of this calibre to meet ever increasing skills needs. This was possible thanks to our excellent working relationship with Helicentre Aviation, an organisation that, like Middlesex, is responding to the increasing need to combine work with practice-based learning to meet skills needs now and in the future. I have no doubt these graduates will have fulfilling futures whoever they choose to fly with.”
Helicentre Managing Director Captain Sarah Bowen added: “At Helicentre we are committed to developing qualified pilots who know that when they join us they have access to the best knowledge and practice, and clear career options… We are incredibly proud of Barry, Russell and Andrew and look forward to seeing them flourish, develop and grow, whether they decide to pilot an air ambulance, transport VIPS, or fly tourists over some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks.”
Twenty-five-year-old CPL(H) Russell Sheriff, 25, from Duston, Northants, who graduated on the day his baby daughter was due to be born, said: “It’s amazing! Without the degree I wouldn’t have been able to do the flying itself, so definitely worth it! All the hard work pays off with today’s graduation.” Flight Instructor Andy Thompson from Doncaster concurred. “It’s so good to graduate with a degree today after three years of very hard work,” he said.
Forty-two-year-old CPL and soon-to-be Flight Instructor Barry Wilmott said: “A degree is something I never thought I’d achieve given the age I am, but it is the degree that has allowed me to get the helicopter licence. Today has been amazing. I am looking forward to adding the Flight Instructor Certificate to my licence so I can begin training new pilots.”
Helicentre Aviation is currently recruiting Commercial Pilots and Flight Instructors. Applications for the degree programme’s September, January and May intakes can be made directly to the company at: flyheli.co.uk
Helicentre's BSC graduates celebrate
Helicentre BSC graduates with Capt Sarah Bowen