Dr Jaclyn (Jackie) Bell Jackie is a Senior Teaching Fellow for Equality, Diversity, Outreach and Public Engagement at Imperial College London. Believing aviation was a hobby and career only the very wealthy could afford, Jaclyn always admired aircraft from the ground, learning from books and TV programmes how these beautifully designed and engineered machines worked. In early 2017, Jaclyn had the opportunity to try her hand at flying a Robinson R44 helicopter while filming BBC Two’s “Astronauts: Do you have what it takes?’ For this she was selected as one of 12 finalists from over 3,000 applicants to take part and to undertake tests similar to those used in the astronaut selection process at major space agencies. This was the first time Jackie had ever been in a helicopter, and despite the nervousness and difficulty of trying to master a hover in just 15 minutes, she instantly fell in love with the feeling she got from being in the air. Since then, Jaclyn has continued to train towards her astronaut dream and has been working towards her PPL(h) with HeliAir, Gloucester under the instruction of Capt. Tamzin Evans. She hopes to gain her licence within the next two years and that it will help her stand out when she applies to ESA to become their next British European astronaut. Jackie was the first person in her family to go to university and is a proud alumna of the University of Liverpool, graduating with a PhD in theoretical particle physics (2016), MSc in Mathematical Sciences (2011) and BSc with Honours in Mathematics (2010). Having a passion for improving opportunities for young people where she grew up in Liverpool, and with her keen interest in STEM communication and inspiring more young people to get into the sciences, Jackie feels that Fly2Help has very similar strategic goals to her own: “I’m delighted to have been invited to become an ambassador of Fly2Help. The impact Fly2Help is having on people’s lives is inspiring and I am looking forward to working with the team, helping support Fly2Help’s initiatives in enabling young people from underrepresented and marginalised groups enjoy and feel they can have a career in aviation”. Jackie has won several prestigious awards and scholarships, including most recently being named the North West, Wales and Ireland’s ‘STEM Rising Star’ at the 2018 Forward Ladies Regional Awards. She has three research publications in Physics Review D, and has over 11 years’ experience working with children, young people and under-served communities in various capacities. Jackie is regularly invited to present at events across the UK and in her past role as the Space and Physics Project Manager at the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres (ASDC), Jaclyn managed a host of national space and physics education programmes in partnership with organisations such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and UK Space Agency, most recently contributing to the development of a new programme with STFC to engage more widely, reaching in to marginalised and underrepresented communities to build positive relationships and inspire young people and families with the physical sciences. Twitter: @sciencesummedup Instagram: @drjackiebell BBC – Photographer: James Cheadle
Alice Butler is a commercial airline pilot based at Birmingham flying an A321 for a UK airline.
From a young and impressionable age, Alice was exposed to aviation as her father did his PPL(H) at Gloucestershire Airport on a Hughes 300C helicopter, G-BOXT. When the weather allowed in the summer, he would often fly it home for the weekend and land in the neighbours field, allowing them to then fly over the weekend for a few short stints. As it was the summer, and aircraft get rather hot. You could take the doors off BOXT, and there was nothing more fantastic that feeling the wind in your hair for real.
These are some of Alice’s earliest memories of flying, igniting the passion for flying, and pathing the way for the dream of becoming a pilot herself and a career within the industry.
Alice chose her GCSE’s and A-Levels at school, with this career path in the forefront of her mind and was part of the CCF (combined cadet force) as a school activity. Thanks to the CCF, Alice did her first solo at 17 on a Grob Tutor after a week long Gliding Scholarship at RAF Halton.
Alice left school after her A-Levels, and worked at her fathers engineering company for a couple of months and started training towards her PPL(A) (Private Pilot’s License – Aeroplanes).
In the search of a flight school for the commercial stage of training, Alice visited Aeros, based at Gloucestershire Airport, who also had a vacancy for operations staff. Alice applied and soon began working for Aeros and carrying out her flight training.
Alice completed her training in September 2016 at the age of 22, and got offered a position with an airline in the November of 2016.
Alice has seen fly2help’s fantastic work on both the Aim High weeks and the Air Smiles days whilst being based at the airport and also volunteering for the charity. She is delighted to have been asked to be ambassador for the charity and hopes her passion for flying and enthusiasm for the charity values can be of help both aspects of fly2help.