Tayside 55

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We had the opportunity to catch up with Lovat Fraser, the founder of Tayside Aviation, and here's what he had to say about the exciting 55th anniversary celebrations.


"The strength of Tayside Aviation (which was formed on 28th February 1968 as Aerosport Limited by me, and two other aviation enthusiasts) has always been the high quality of the staff, and this is exemplified by Marjan Bledowski who is still employed by the company, and who I taught to be a flying instructor in 1986 when I was first approved by the CAA to conduct flying instructor training - Marjan was on my very first Flying Instructor Course (FIC).


I must also mention two of the aircraft engineers who are still with the company, John Anton and Ian Fraser (no relation!) who I think have been with TA since we started aircraft engineering when the current hangar was built in 1982.


When the company was formed in 1968 I would never have contemplated that it would grow to, at a stage, operate 22 aircraft from three sites (Dundee, Glenrothes and Perth).


One of the significant milestones was when Ted Girdler joined the company in 1975 having spent his last RAF tour as a Red Arrows pilot. Ted later left the company to form TG aviation at Manston Kent, and was subsequently killed taking part in a flying display. Another former Red Arrows pilot Mike Phillips joined the company later.


In 1978 TA was awarded the first RAF Flying Scholarship contract and in 1994 became the sole UK contractor for the Flying Scholarship Scheme (FSS) training over 500 cadets per year with the support of seven sub contractors throughout the UK.  


It is a great source of satisfaction to me to know that many of the people who trained with Tayside Aviation pursued successful flying careers in the military and/or civil commercial aviation. 


I am therefore delighted that the company is going from strength to strength and it only remains for me to offer the new owners my very best wishes for the future and lots of smooth landings."