ABOUT CLOUDBASE AIRSPORTS

We are a well established paragliding and microlight flying school offering all levels of paragliding and microlight training from air experience flights upwards to Club Pilot and NPPL.

Microlight flying takes place at our airfield near Membury and paragliding training happens at a number of sites in the Thames Valley and abroad.

About Cloudbase Microlighting

 

There was a microlight club and part-time school at Redlands Airfield, near Swindon, since the early 1990’s. The school has grown steadily and operates year round; flying every day that the weather allows. In 2019 we relocated (due to development at Redlands) to Membury airfield right on the side of the M4.

 

 

 

At Membury, we have an office and shop, briefing room.

There is coffee and tea available all the time.

Naturally, we are a registered school with the British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA).

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In June 2017 the flying school was taken over by Cloudbase Paragliding Ltd to become Cloudbase Airsports teaching microlighting and paragliding under Lee Bligh and Fiona Burgess.

We chose Redlands Airfield not only for its prime position near major routes, but also for the superb facilities it has, as well as the wonderful atmosphere on the airfield.

Meet The Team

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Dave Cox’s

FLYING
QUALIFICATIONS
TEACHING

Microlighting CAA Flying Instructor (Fixed Wing and Flexwing Microlights)

CAA Examiner

Paragliding BHPA Senior Instructor, Hill Launch

Paragliding BHPA Senior Instructor, Winch Launch

MICROLIGHTING

CAA Private Pilot’s Licence (Microlight)

PARAGLIDING

BHPA Advanced Pilot, Hill Launch

BHPA Advanced Pilot, Winch Launch

BHPA Tandem Pilot

HANG GLIDING

BHPA Pilot, Hill Launch

ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS

CAA EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) PPL

CAA AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) Basic Acrobatics Certificate

NPPL (A)

Dave Cox

Dave (better known as Coxy) is our Chief Flying Instructor and teaches on Fixed Wing and Flex Wing aircraft. He is also our flight examiner.

Coxy’s Background

I was born in 1967 and spent my early years in Poole and Dorchester in Dorset. Educated at the Thomas Hardy Grammar in Dorset, I joined the Royal Air Force as an Airframe Engineer in 1985 and remained with the Services until 2006. Most of my career was spent working with the C130 Hercules fleet at RAF Lyneham, with various short tours and detachments including Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Cyprus, USA, Canada, and mainland Europe. I also had a very enjoyable posting at RAF Abingdon, working on Jaguar fighters, until Abingdon was closed as part of another round of relentless military cutbacks.

During my time in the RAF I was heavily involved in Powerlifting, being RAF Champion three times and setting a number of RAF records. I also dabbled with boxing (badly) and was generally involved with any sporting event that got me off duty!

Coxy’s Flying History

My first forays into the world of aviation were in the form of balsa wood models as a child, and after joining the Air Cadets I had my first ever flight in a Chipmunk trainer at Exeter and was hooked from then on. I first flew solo in 1984 in a Venture motor glider and soon after became involved with the RAF gliding clubs and continued to expand my experience.

In the early 1990’s I switched to paragliding as a more convenient way to bet airborne, and soon after began to fly hang gliders. I became a paragliding instructor then senior instructor and tandem pilot, working with a civilian school and the Joint Services association, in both the UK and Germany, and competed in many competitions in the following years, becoming the Joint Services alpine paragliding champion four times.

I then moved back into powered flight once again, gaining my microlight and full PPL licences, flying out of RAF Halton, Brize Norton and Lyneham. On leaving the RAF in 2006 I continued to fly at the Lyneham flying club, where I moved into aerobatics, flying the Bulldog and Firefly aircraft, until RAF Lyneham closed in 2012.

After leaving the RAF I continued to work with the local paragliding school, moving to Cloudbase paragliding when it was started by Lee and Fiona. At the same time I was working as an instructor and examiner at a local microlight school on fixed wing and weight-shift aircraft, and in 2013 moved to the school at Redlands, where I now operate primarily with the fixed wing training for the newly christened Cloudbase Microlight School. To date I have flown almost 4000 hours in powered aircraft and 3000+ hours in paragliders and gliders.

In 2014 I began building my own single seat sports aircraft, which I completed and first flew two years later, after 1200 hours of building and testing work.

And if the flying ever falls through, I could always get work as a Hobbit impersonator!!

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Chris Trow’s

FLYING
QUALIFICATIONS
TEACHING

Microlighting CAA Flying Instructor (Fixed Wing) 

CAA Ground Examiner

MICROLIGHTING

CAA Private Pilot’s Licence (Microlight)

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Lee Bligh’s

FLYING
QUALIFICATIONS
TEACHING

Paragliding BHPA Senior Instructor, Hill Launch and Winch Launch

MICROLIGHTING

CAA Private Pilot’s Licence (Microlight)

PARAGLIDING

BHPA Advanced Pilot, Hill Launch

BHPA Advanced Pilot, Winch Launch

BHPA Tandem Pilot

Chris Trow

Chris has 25 years flying experience and thousands of hours as an instructor. He teaches on Fixed Wing aircraft and classroom groundschool sessions.

Teaching Experience

UK and France (both for British schools). 15 years teaching on 14 different microlight aircraft types and a number of airfields.

Ground and 'Revalidation' CAA examiner.

Flying Career

I began with a trial flight from Popham in 1997 which ended with me immediately signing up for a course. I flew a syndicate aircraft from Popham for my first 150 hours which convinced me that I wanted to teach. I then took an instructor course with Gerry Breen in Lagos, Portugal and qualified as an Assistant Flying Instructor. One year later I gained my upgrade to full Flying Instructor and have been teaching ever since. I have ferried three brand new C42 aircraft from the manufacturer in Germany and have undertaken numerous trips into Europe with students.

I also have time on flex wing aircraft, gyrocopters and paragliders but have never felt the desire to pursue any of these at a formal level.

Other Experience

I'm an IT specialist and also spent many years as a London based DJ. This gave way to many years working for the British Open Paragliding competitions and then 15 years with the Paragliding World Cup mainly in charge of safety. More recently I look after most of the electrical requirements of the Cloudbase aircraft and work as a freelance web developer.

Lee Bligh

Lee is the co-owner of Cloudbase Airsports and has been flying since 1987

Lee is busy being the boss but has promised to write something to go here as soon as he gets time!

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Fiona Burgess

Fiona is co-owner of Cloudbase Airsports and is a keen paraglider pilot

Like Lee and Coxy, Fiona is also ex-RAF but has kept flying in her blood and finally took up paragliding after several years of living in Wiltshire and watching the paragliders soaring over the local hills.

Fiona doesn’t instruct but joins the team out paragliding whenever possible in Britain and overseas and is always happy to chat on the phone or out on the hill to help other people.

Fiona and Lee created Cloudbase Paragliding in 2009 to bring the joys of paragliding to anyone who is willing to listen to them. In June 2017 they expanded the business when they took over the microlight school at Redlands Airfield near Swindon and now moved to Membury.

 

OUR AIRCRAFT

Find out all about the aircraft we can teach you to fly

 

IKARUS C42

Three-Axis Fixed Wing

For Three-Axis (Fixed Wing) training we use an Ikarus C42.

This is a conventional aircraft and is controlled using a centre mounted joystick and rudder pedals.

The seating is side by side within an enclosed cockpit ensuring no frost bite in the winter!

Powered by a four stroke Rotax engine the aircraft cruises at around 80mph and has a maximum fuel capacity of 65ltrs burning around 12 ltrs per hour giving a very respectable range.

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PEGASUS 912

Flex Wing

Our flex wing aircraft is a Pegasus 912.

This aircraft stems from the early microlight designs where an engine was attached to a hang glider. Nowadays they have fantastic performance similar to that of the fixed wing microlight aircraft.

The seating arrangement is front to back and the cockpit is open.

Flying suits are worn for extra warmth as well as helmets and headsets.

These aircraft are controlled in the same way as a hang glider using weight shift.

TESTIMONIALS

Some of our recent feedback from our students

I just wanted to express my thanks for the very enjoyable flight I had yesterday with Dave. The efficient ground operations meant that we were quickly in the air. Dave’s relaxed, professional and informative approach added greatly to the enjoyment of the flight and I will gladly recommend Cloudbase to anyone who wishes to experience a microlight flight in expert hands.

Peter HAir Experience Flight

Had a great flight bought for me by my sister, friendly people, relaxed but reassuringly safe, really made sure it was MY flight by offering to take me over my house and things I wanted to see. 10/10 would microlight again! Thanks!!!

Pete M

Air Experience Flight

Wonderful experience flying with Cloudbase Airsports. Can’t thank the team enough. The whole day from beginning to end was absolutely awesome. I totally recommend to anyone wanting to learn new skills within a lovely setting. The team were reassuring, enthusiastic and the training was delivered in a truly professional manner with great banter and fun. I never thought before I got up in the air, just how much of a buzz it would give me. Want to do it all again. Thanks so much to everyone at Cloudbase. 5 stars. Excellent service.

Elaine C

Air Experience Flight

Had a great flight bought for me by my sister, friendly people, relaxed but reassuringly safe, really made sure it was MY flight by offering to take me over my house and things I wanted to see. 10/10 would microlight again! Thanks!!!

Pete MAir Experience Flight

Can’t rate these guys highly enough! I was given a gift voucher for a half hour lesson microlighting for my birthday and I decided to go for the fixed wing microlight rather than the flex-wing as it was my first time. We arrived at Redlands an hour or so early so we could watch people doing their parachute jumps and the atmosphere was great, very relaxed. My instructor Dave was very professional yet friendly and he talked me through everything he was doing during take off, flight and landing. During the flight, he pointed some places of interest on the way and we could see the Isle of Wight on the left and Wales on the right, and Poole Bay in the distance. I even took the controls at one point which was really exciting – you think ‘I’m flying a plane!!’ and I could have stayed up in the sky all day. But we eventually had to come back down and now I can’t wait to visit again and fly the flex-wing. Maybe even have a go at paragliding. Thanks for everything Dave, you were brilliant!

Tracy C

Air Experience Flight