Latest News


(See comments on this post at the bottom)

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, albeit briefly. A number of individuals have left the HAAF, 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, our veterans. Our closer alignment to Army heritage and Army Aviation will focus much more 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 weeks.

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. 

The engineering team look after all aspects of aircraft maintenance and operations. Currently we have nine volunteers, (Kerry, Nick, Mick, Dave S, Dave C, Phil, Guy, Will and Steve). Key points: 

  • An Engineering Manager has been agreed and appointed, (Steve Harris). We are busy working to secure the Engineering Stamp extensions that we need, which will include duplicate inspections and PMR for our RW aircraft.
  • The HAAF’s Deputy Chief Engineer is Phil Russel. Weald has granted a PMR stamp to him for RW aircraft.
  • Kerry Thompson has been appointed as HAAF Maintenance Manager. In this role Kerry will look after our daily engineer tasking, forecasting, spares purchasing, line-management of the hangar, and be the lead interface with Weald and Aerofab on routine maintenance issues.
  • We will review activities in the coming months and look for a replacement Chief Engineer.
  • Routine of attending H3 every Friday, 0900 to 1600, will continue.

Spares, Tools and Publications Team
I am very pleased to report that our excellent spares, tools and publications team of Ivor and Alison will continue to provide us with the outstanding level of support that they do.

Engineering news

  • CAMO review in hand to reassure we are operating safely and in a compliant manner.
  • Contracts with Aerofab and Weald are confirmed and remain suitable for purpose. Aerofab and Weald visiting soon to discuss.
  • Sale of P&W Wasp Junior engine and Beaver spares set stopped.
  • Negotiations for the gifting of a Gazelle from MOD to the HAAF continue.

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 any 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 good 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 – there’s always something!

With best wishes,

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

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Reader interactions

7 Replies to “Latest News”

  1. Companies House shows the chairman at:

    Dr Julian Hickman,
    Pankridge Street,
    Surrey, GU10 5QU.

  2. Breach of contract against the directors for damages? Their details are all on Companies House website for all to see. Just saying …..

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

  7. 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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