Tom Cassells

Tom - the current BAeA Vice-Chairman - is 47, married with two children, Hannah and James and lives near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire. Tom’s main career is Managing Director of Reed Boardall Transport Ltd. During most weekends he operates an Aerobatic training company - Skyboard Aerobatics on - which trains beginners through to advanced. Coaching begins on a Slingsby Firefly T67m160.

In 1970 Tom left school at 15 and joined the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corp. Aged 17 he joined his regiment13th/18th Royal Hussars. Tom returned to civilian life in 1976 driving heavy goods vehicles and cattle trucks. While big lorries provided a living, and developed into a successful career, they were not agile enough for someone who also enjoyed moderate success racing motorcycles. The added dimensions of airflow and gravity had to be overcome, and Tom gained his PPL in 1983. Since then he has flown some forty types, accumulating around 3,500 hrs experience. Some of this was spent as a parachute drop pilot, operating his own BN-2 Islander for 5 years and also participating in AFF (accelerated free-fall) parachute drops. The late Pete Clark introduced Tom to Aerobatics in 1992. Flying Pete's Slingsby Firefly, he won his first contest at Breighton that same year. The following year the success continued with a fine win in the Tiger Trophy for Standard level pilots. At the end of 1994 a Zlin 50LA was acquired, with which he won the 1995 UK Advanced level Championship. Tom’s current aircraft is a CAP-232, acquired in August 1998, and in which he placed second in the 1998 Nationals held at Swansea in 1999. In January 1999 he flew a Slingsby Firefly 200M back from Cairo, this very real 'cross-country' involving 25 hours of flying over 4 days. Tom won the Icicle Trophy in the same year and he also placed third in the British Nationals. At the European Championships, held in Spain, Tom was placed 24th overall and was top British Pilot, winning the Len Perry Trophy. In 2000 an excellent 24th position - and was the highest placed Brit - in the World Aerobatic Championships at Muręt in France and a second Len Perry Trophy. Unfortunately he was unable to compete in The 2001 WAG in Burgos due to work on a new contract at work. 2002 has been the best year to date, finishing 15th in the 13th European Aerobatic Championships in Lithuania. Finishing the year, at last, winning The Neil Williams Memorial Trophy and becoming The British Aerobatic Champion.

Profile updated October 2002

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