The BCal Light Aircraft Project 2
led by Laurie Price & Richard Heywood
Following the successful work undertaken on the original BCal Light Aircraft Project which saw the BCal colours take to the skies in January 2017 on G-RECW.
Sadly that aircraft is no longer available as hoped, and the BCal Light Aircraft Project 2 is now underway in 2018.
August 2018 : Update
Fresh from paint and decaling, here we have a photo of G-CHIP the new BCal Light Aircraft, kindly sent in by Richard Heywood. More photos soon
June 2018 : Update
An announcement has been issued from the project team, it takes a moment to download and open click here for a copy
May 2018 : Update
We are almost there with the Light Aircraft Project Mark 2. The purchase of G-CHIP will be completed on Wednesday 30 May 2018. In order to save on costs, the registration will remain unchanged for the moment, and Laurie and I think that an appropriate use of the acronym CHIP is “Caledonian Honours Its People”. We haven’t come up with a word for the G yet. Any ideas?
The application of the BCAL livery will not be done for a few weeks due to waiting times at aircraft paint shops, but hopefully it won’t be too long.
We still want to encourage more shareholders to come on board, If you are interested and would like more information, please contact Laurie Price on firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Heywood on email@example.com
April 2018 : Progress Update
G-CHIP is likely to go in for her Annual Maintenance check in Shoreham next week. It was delayed due to lack of hangar space. If she passes that, then we will be going ahead with the purchase and re-paint into BCAL Livery and re-register her as G-GLCT as you know. The team are still working on finding the right paint shop who have capacity and are willing to do it competitively. We also have a vinyl decal team quoting, so may do part paint part DECAL. We are making steady progress with Shareholders, but the team would really like more to come onboard. If you are interested in the scheme and would like more information, please contact Laurie Price on firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Heywood on email@example.com
March 2018 : A suitable aircraft has been identified
Following lots of investigations and checks it looks like PA28 Archer, G-CHIP is suitable and moves are underway to secure her. She will be painted in BCAL livery and re registered G-GLCT to show the association with Golden Lion Children’s Trust.
Feb 2018 : Invitation to potential shareholders
Dear Friends and former Colleagues,
This year is the 30th Anniversary of British Caledonian being taken over by British Airways, which finally concluded in April 1988.
Many of you will be aware of a groundswell amongst former BCAL staff, family and friends to recognise that occasion, to celebrate the memory of a truly great airline, the ethos, spirit and legacy that it created. One that lives on to this day.
Three highly successful recent local Beach Boyz Tribute Band Concerts featured up to five original Caledonian Girls in uniform performing on stage to the lyrics of the Caledonian Girls advertisement whilst the band played Californian Girls. These are testament to the strength of feeling, affection and support for BCAL that still exists.
You may recall that in advance of the anniversary, we had written an article for the BCAL Newsletter some two years ago suggesting that we aim to acquire a light aircraft and have it painted in the iconic BCAL livery as a physical, lasting testament to BCAL and its contribution to UK civil air transport.
This aim was achieved by our collaboration with Robin Washington that resulted in his Piper PA 28 Archer G-RECW being painted in BCAL colours, which was launched in January 2017 at a superb event hosted by our good friends Biggin Hill Airport, attended by over 100 BCAL staff, family and friends. Thousands of pounds were raised for the Golden Lion Children’s Trust and the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice at the event.
We are now seeking to acquire another similar aircraft, which would ideally be owned and flown by former BCAL staff. This aircraft would be used to attend events where opportunity exists to raise funds for the Golden Lion Children’s Trust. It would also be used to give former colleagues and friends the chance to fly once again in an aircraft boasting the iconic livery of British Caledonian Airways.
The plan is that an aircraft is bought and operated by a limited company, with 10 flying shareholders who would pay a capital sum and monthly fee to cover fixed costs - insurance, fixed maintenance, parking etc. We have a number of pilots already interested to invest, but we need others.
In addition, there would be another group of non-pilot shareholders who would be guaranteed one flight a year in return for a much lower shareholding and who would pay no monthly charge. We have already had interest from former BCAL staff in this aspect of the scheme. The number of people in this category will have to be limited to about 40 in order to be able to guarantee their annual flight.
In both cases, there would be a register of shareholders and an expectation that on sale of shares, capital would be reimbursed at par or market value. Values for well-maintained light aircraft types seem to stay consistent or increase.
The capital raised would allow us to buy and refurbish an aircraft in BCAL livery, whilst including a significant contingency.
We would aim to re-register the aircraft G-GLCT, in recognition of her role to support the Golden Lion Children's Trust.
We would expect all maintenance support to be undertaken by light aircraft aero engineering specialists Transport Command at Shoreham Airport, where the aircraft would primarily be based.
The purpose of this correspondence is to gauge interest from former BCAL staff, family and friends in such a scheme, from those who might wish to join the group as pilot investors and also those who would like to join as non-pilot shareholders, but who wish to secure a tangible part of the BCAL legacy.
If you are interested in the scheme and would like more information, please contact Laurie Price on firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Heywood on email@example.com
We look forward to hearing from you to help preserve the memory and contribution of BCAL and all that she stood for.
Laurie and Richard