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HAAF – RESET and REBUILD  May 2023

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Over the last few weeks we have faced a number of challenges as a charity. As you are no doubt well aware these resulted in a need for all HAAF operations to stop. A number of individuals have left the HAAF, some voluntarily, but I am pleased to report that the majority of members have remained. The Board’s intent is now to work closely with all members to Reset the HAAF and to move forward with a shared purpose and direction.

As a Board we have spent the last six months working very closely with the Army to enhance and protect the HAAF’s future. We have sought endorsement for our HAAF Business Case from the AAC’s Regt Col and Col Comdt and beyond that to senior levels within the Army. In doing this, our intention is to ensure we become much more closely aligned to the Army’s wider heritage, commemoration and veteran initiatives. This will obviously have some impact on our previous external-facing activity. The most important part of the HAAF is its members, you, and our veterans. Our closer alignment to Army heritage and Army Aviation will focus on veterans and their wellbeing.

For the moment, and while we work through the Reset phase the following statement will be posted on our website:

Notification of Temporary Disruption to HAAF Operations

Please be aware that as a result of some organisational and personnel changes within the HAAF, together with the hangar move, there will be some cancellation and disruption to planned events and operations over the next few months.

Rest assured that the HAAF will return to full operational status at the earliest possible opportunity. We are sorry for any disruption and disappointment that this may cause. 

If you are unsure about whether a specific event or activity will be affected, then please contact me by email or mobile 07973 509357. 

Julian Hickman
HAAF Chairman

Organisation overview
The Board are the trustees of the charity and responsible to the Charities Commission for the correct operation of the charity, within the rules and guidelines set by the Commission. As trustees we effectively own the charity’s assets and must protect them as well as ensure the charity’s volunteers are looked after correctly. The HAAF’s board is shown below. If you wish to contact any of the trustees directly, their emails are included: 

HAAF Board/Charity trustees:

Working with the Board are two leads, one each for Engineering and Operations. We also have a Flight Safety Officer who reports to the board on all matters of safety. 

We are in active discussions to fill the role of Operations lead. We hope to be able to announce the appointment in early June. This person will then be responsible for all aspects of the HAAF’s flying operations, aircrew, and liaison with Middle Wallop Ops and the museum. 

Public Communications
I am pleased to report that Danny Frampton has kindly agreed to take on the running of our social media and alongside him Bob Gillan has offered to take the lead on our website. These are essential activities within the charity and we are very grateful to them both for taking on these key roles.

The Board will delegate to the engineering and operations leads an annually agreed budget. They will then have authority to buy products and pay bills as required within their agreed budgets.
We are currently working to review bookings that have been made for attendance at events (Duxford, Abingdon etc). Sadly, we will have to withdraw from many of these commitments. We are similarly cancelling museum-led introductory flying, and previous introductory flying days at the museum. In due course we hope to find an engagement lead to take on this role again.

We will keep aircrew manning under review. One of the first tasks for our new Operations lead will be to review all aspects of flying operations and aircrew; who is flying which aircraft and confirm requirements for replacement aircrew. 

In closing, I would like to thank you each and every one of you for the support you have shown to each other and to the HAAF. We are making progress in resetting the HAAF, although we are about to enter a period of displacement as Hangar 3 is emptied to allow asbestos to be removed.

With best wishes,

Julian Hickman
HAAF Chairman for and on behalf of the Board/trustees


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11 Replies to “Latest News”

  1. poppy-follower1944 4 September 2023 at 9:24 am

    Lest we forget (Daily Telegraph 4th September): Jacob Rees Mogg, the MP for North Somerset, attends the annual Double Hills Arnhem memorial service and parade at Paulton, in his constituency, to pay tribute to the 23 servicemen who died when a glider enroute to Arnhem crashed into a nearby meadow on Sunday Sept 17 1944.

    Not attending this year: The Historic Army Aircraft Flight. The Flight’s mission has been clarified above as, “to ensure we become much more closely aligned to the Army’s wider heritage, commemoration and veteran initiatives”. You managed to fly at the Double Hills commemoration last year, so what has changed? Jacob Rees Mogg may often be referred to as the Minister for the 18th Century but he did the right thing at Double Hills.

  2. poppy-follower1944 20 August 2023 at 11:20 am

    Looking forward to seeing you at this year’s Remembrance events. Will the website be back up soon so that everyone knows when and where you will be supporting these events?

  3. Are you guys still flying those lovely aircraft or have they passed to the Museum? Not seen much of you recently, more’s the pity.

  4. Really disappointed to hear this, I was so looking forward to my second flight with the HAAF which was cancelled back in early May and to have heard nothing back since, with no update as to monies already paid.
    Ideally I hope the RESET is a success and operations can begin soon for the sake of the HAAF, its staff, volunteers and public, both veterans and the paying public.

  5. As Douglas Admas so wisely observed, “For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.”

    The HAAF seems to have this largely on repeat, or have I missed something in the cosmos. Any progress imminent?

  6. Looking forward to seeing you again at RIAT this year. Last year was really great.

  7. Disgraceful. I can only hope that Lt Gen Borton and his Colonel in Chief are suitably ashamed of their charity and ensure that the serving AAC Colonels on the Board (Butterworth and Rundle) get a grip, and right now!

  8. To find out a week before our event that your reset has cancelled our booking at Kings’ School Summer Fayre is embarrassing. Our flagship event of the year is now in jeopardy, with much of the Winchester community looking forward to seeing the Sioux and Scout. Seven feeder primary schools have all been excited to view these historic helicopters and now all the children will be disappointed.

    To not honour existing bookings especially those that are so close to the events shows a lack of leadership and poor decision making. This is bitterly disappointing and leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

  9. poppy-follower1944 4 June 2023 at 1:39 pm

    Great display yesterday for Harwell”s D-Day event and much appreciation for the committed folk who stepped in to fill the gap after HAF’s late cancellation. Maybe the AAC colonels on the Board can help us understand how veterans and memorials didn’t apply here? What next, Remembrance Sunday?

  10. i heard the managers all left. then we tried to get a refund for our passenger flight we heard nothing and nobody replies to mail. not happy. we were told the haf has gone back to doing just a couple of events and no public flights or schools. thats terrible the guys were really good at fairford last year.

  11. I thought I was confused until I read this. What on earth is a Reset of the HAAF? From what to what? Sounds like reverse gear just got engaged, unless I have missed something.

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