Are you a Natural Born Flyer? Take up the Hover Challenge

Visitors to Coventry Airport's Fly-in on Sunday September 26 will be given the chance to test their natural flying skills by taking up the gauntlet of the Hover Challenge.

Holding any helicopter in a steady hover is one of the most difficult skills an airman has to master, but at the Coventry Airport Fly-in visitors will be offered the opportunity to take up the challenge and try to complete the feat themselves. With an instructor by their side, participants will be given a demonstration of the controls before being asked to keep the helicopter within a 20 metre circle for as long as possible.

“Many people imagine that as helicopters are designed to hover, keeping the craft airborne and stationary will be almost straightforward. In fact nothing could be further from the truth. Hovering is a particularly difficult skill and a fantastic measure of your natural flying ability, and we're looking forward to unearthing the best undiscovered pilots in Britain when they take on the Hover Challenge on Sunday,” said Sir Peter Rigby, whose company Patriot Aerospace owns Coventry Airport.

With large crowds expected at the fundraising event for Britain's wounded servicemen and women, the competition is expected to be intense as members of the public are invited to test their abilities at the helicopter's controls. A free introductory helicopter flight and flying lesson will be handed to the would-be pilot who manages to hover longest during Sunday's event, which plans to raise funding to improve the lives of the wounded servicemen and women treated at the Centre for Defence Medicine based at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Staged in partnership with the Armed Forces, the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Coventry City Council, Coventry Telegraph, CV One, Loop, Classic Flight Club and Heliflight, the Fly-in will see the ace helicopter jockey join a massive line up of flying heroes at Coventry Airport. With a host of iconic aircraft including the Vulcan bomber, and Tornado jet fighter slated to appear, crowds traveling to join in the fun will also see the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight roar into action.

For general information about Coventry Airport, please visit: or the Coventry Airport facebook page:



For more information/ images contact:

Beatrice Mocci: / Tel 0141 339 4175

Judy Groves: / Tel 0121 766 2594

Louise Acton: / Tel 07595 355 938

Ticket Enquiries: 02476 225 616

Notes to Editor

About Coventry Airport

Coventry Airport was acquired by Sir Peter Rigby’s aviation group, Patriot Aerospace, in April 2010. The strategic acquisition will create a vibrant, commercial regional hub for General Aviation, including leisure, business and freight; with passenger flights amongst possible future plans, alongside creating more jobs. The deal firmly establishes Patriot's status as a leading and fast growing General Aviation specialist in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. The acquisition of Coventry Airport dovetails with the Group's extensive national flight training, charter, sales and engineering operations.

Patriot Aerospace operates through three specialist aviation businesses: Patriot Aviation, Heliflight and London Helicopter Centres. Through these brands, customers have access to a nationwide and end to end general aviation service, including learning to fly, buying or chartering; refurbishment, avionics, engineering and maintenance; and affordable access to VIP business and leisure helicopter charter. It operates from six air bases: Cranfield, Coventry, Enniskillen, Gloucester, Redhill and Wolverhampton.

For more information about the Group visit

About Sir Peter Rigby

Sir Peter Rigby is a seasoned businessman and one of the UK’s top entrepreneurs with an international outlook and experience of working on a European and Global basis. He is a regional ambassador, vocal champion and major employer in the Midlands.

A recognised leader in the field of I.T. with a forty year career in the sector, he founded, owns and chairs one of the UK’s top ten largest privately owned companies, the SCH group, which has its international business headquarters in the centre of Birmingham. The Group employs some 7,000 professionals based in 7 European countries with affiliated partnerships worldwide.

Sir Peter was knighted in the Queen’s Jubilee honours for services to information technology and business in the community. Committed to investing in the Midlands, Sir Peter’s business interests have grown around his passion for aviation and hospitality. An enthusiastic and experienced fixed wing and helicopter pilot, he owns the Patriot Aviation Group which has bases at Cranfield, Enniskillen, Gloucester, Redhill and Wolverhampton. The Group acquired Coventry Airport in April 2010.

Sir Peter also owns the Eden Collection hotel group, which includes Mallory Court near Leamington Spa, and is joint venturing with the Royal Shakespeare Company to re-open Stratford-Upon Avon’s Arden hotel, in the Autumn of 2010.

His charitable foundation was established some 15 years ago (The Rigby Foundation) and he is Chairman and Patron or Trustee of several major charities.

About Serco

Serco is a FTSE 100 international service company which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos. It improves services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. Serco advises policy makers, designs innovative solutions, integrates systems and – most of all – delivers to its customers.

Serco is the only significant non-government provider of air traffic services in the world. The company has extensive experience of providing Air Traffic Control services and maintaining the serviceability of air traffic equipment in order to provide safe and timely service.

In addition to its work in the UK across a number of military and civil airfields, Serco operates 54 air traffic control towers for the US Federal Aviation Administration, and provides air traffic engineering, meteorological services, rescue and fire-fighting services, electronic and electrical maintenance services. In the Middle East, it successfully rebids for the contract in the United Arab Emirates – held since 1986 – to provide air traffic control and engineering services at the Emirates Area Control Centre in Abu Dhabi.

Contact: Beatrice Mocci
Phone: 0845 130 8992