Take to the skies and experience true Freedom

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Welcome to Freedom Aviation. We are a friendly flying school based in the Cotswolds, specialising in training for the Private Pilot's Licence (PPL). If you already have a PPL, why not try your hand at learning tailwheel, aerobatics or perhaps an instrument rating? We operate from mainly Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire and use Oaksey Park Airfield in Wiltshire as our satellite airfield.  The benefits of two airfields are invaluable, Cotswold Airport operates a FISO service and has just over 2,000 metres of hard runway as well as a grass runway. Oaksey Park has a radio service and just under a 1000 metres of grass.

 

Hour Building
Wishing to pursue flying as a career? We can offer mentored hour building packages too. Rather than flying in circles, you could fly to Europe, the Scottish Highlands and Islands as well as exploring rarely visited parts of the UK. Mentored hour building will broaden your aviation experience and sharpen your skills, ready for your CPL training. Take a look at some of the photos taken from previous hour building trips to see what you can experience.

 

Flying Instructor Courses
Freedom’s Head of Training, Dave Jelly, is qualified to conduct Flying Instructor Courses. This can provide a further level of progression for those wishing to establish a career in aviation.

 

Ground School
We offer one day ground school for all subjects in the PPL/LAPL syllabus. At the end of each day you will have the opportunity to sit the exam whilst the information is fresh in your mind. We have a variety of ground school instructors including a current 747 pilot. Future course dates can be found here.

Meet the team

Sarah Letheren

Director
Sarah is responsible for the smooth daily running of the flying school. She’s always on the end of the phone to answer any queries. Sarah manages the...
Sarah is responsible for the smooth daily running of the flying school. She’s always on the end of the phone to answer any queries. Sarah manages the aircraft, maintenance, bookings, instructors, ground school, airfield liaison, social media and social events.

Prior to starting Freedom in 2006 Sarah worked in Television Production working on many primetime TV Shows, latterly concentrating on quiz shows where accuracy and attention to detail are essential.
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Dave Jelly

Head of Training and Examiner
Dave was in the British Military for 22 years and has served on many operational tours. He is a PPL/IRI flight Examiner, CAA Ground examiner and FIC...
Dave was in the British Military for 22 years and has served on many operational tours. He is a PPL/IRI flight Examiner, CAA Ground examiner and FIC Instructor.
He has led many light aircraft expeditions around Europe, including Berlin, Orkney Islands, Outer Hebrides, Norway, Romania and frequently flies to mainland Europe and The Channel Islands. Dave has an infectious enthusiasm for all types of general aviation flying and with his wealth of knowledge, relaxed manner and impeccable approach to safety and standards he ensures his students enjoy every hour of flying they share.
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Bob McPhee

Flying and Ground School Instructor
Bob started flying powered aircraft in 1990 immediately after leaving school. Since then he has operated as a Royal Air Force C130 Hercules pilot during the...
Bob started flying powered aircraft in 1990 immediately after leaving school. Since then he has operated as a Royal Air Force C130 Hercules pilot during the Afghanistan and Second Gulf conflicts. Bob now flies the Boeing 747 and in his spare time teaches ground school and instructs at the Club.
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Blake Thomas

Flying Instructor
Blake joined Freedom Aviation in 2013 and completed his PPL & Night Rating with Dave. During his time at Freedom he has been on many expeditions, and has flown...
Blake joined Freedom Aviation in 2013 and completed his PPL & Night Rating with Dave. During his time at Freedom he has been on many expeditions, and has flown around Europe. Prior to Blake pursuing his aviation career, he worked for Lloyds Bank as a Senior Personal Banking Advisor, understanding the importance of customer service and satisfaction! Blake has had a passion for aviation since a young age, and now wants to share his enthusiasm with prospective pilots, ensuring that they have an exhilarating and safe flying experience. Blake joined Freedom Aviation as an Instructor in Autumn 2015.
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Chris Wales

Flying Instructor
Chris began flying with Freedom Aviation in 2013 and got the flying bug. He went on to gain his PPL, night rating, IR(R), tailwheel and aeros rating with Dave....
Chris began flying with Freedom Aviation in 2013 and got the flying bug. He went on to gain his PPL, night rating, IR(R), tailwheel and aeros rating with Dave. Chris then successfully passed his ATPL exams and CPL before returning to Freedom to complete his Flying Instructor Course.
Prior to learning to fly Chris successfully ran his own business in Gloucestershire for 10 years, enjoying boats and rally car driving in his spare time. After starting to fly he decided on a complete career change after joining Freedom on one of their European flying trips ….…. the rest is history.
Chris is now a full time Instructor at Freedom Aviation and is thoroughly enjoying his new life teaching people how to fly and enthusing others about flying further than the local airfield.
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Ben Boulton

Flying Instructor
Ben started instructing with Freedom in 2017. Having gained his PPL in 2013 Ben went on to complete his night rating, ATPL theory, CPL, MEP and ME(IR) before...
Ben started instructing with Freedom in 2017. Having gained his PPL in 2013 Ben went on to complete his night rating, ATPL theory, CPL, MEP and ME(IR) before completing the Flying Instructor course. Prior to instructing with Freedom Ben had a successful engineering career specialising in gas turbine engines. When not flying you will usually find Ben underneath an aircraft in the Woodside 7 hangar or in his spare time out on his mountain bike in the Forest of Dean.
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Laura Mayer

Operations Manager
Laura completed her ‘A’ Levels at Katherine Lady Berkeley School in 2015 and also gained her PPL licence with Freedom Aviation in the same year. Laura joined...
Laura completed her ‘A’ Levels at Katherine Lady Berkeley School in 2015 and also gained her PPL licence with Freedom Aviation in the same year. Laura joined the Freedom Aviation Team as Operations Manager in the summer of 2015. She hopes to continue her career in aviation and is currently gaining experience in all aspects of aviation whilst working at Freedom. 
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Mark ‘Pods’ Podbery

Flying Instructor
‘Pods’ gained his PPL in 2010 and continued to fly regularly gaining experience before becoming a Class Rating Instructor in 2014. After gaining his ATPL in...
‘Pods’ gained his PPL in 2010 and continued to fly regularly gaining experience before becoming a Class Rating Instructor in 2014. After gaining his ATPL in 2016, he now flies commercially for a charter company flying Cessna 310, 402 and 404 multi-engine aircraft delivering cargo and carrying out aerial survey work. Pods has carried out all the complex planning for all Freedom flying expeditions across Europe, including Ireland, Majorca, Norway, Romania and Sardinia.

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