‘The HAA has an honourable history, but it has regrettably become seen as a somewhat moribund and less effective organisation than desired, lacking the widespread influence or recognition within the historic aircraft community’

At their December 2016 regular council meeting, the Historic Aircraft Association (HAA) decided to launch a comprehensive review, having reached the conclusion that changes were needed to make the body truly representative again.

It will cover the HAA’s aims and objectives, membership composition (and how to get more warbird owners to join) and management structure.

A top-to-bottom overhaul, it is hoped, could give the association a new focus, after becoming ‘somewhat peripheral’ since the CAA took over responsibility for air show safety and pilot display approvals.

‘The HAA possesses expertise in display flying, in the maintenance and operation of Annex II aircraft, which fall outside of regulation by EASA. However, it was considered that the Council did not know what the historic aircraft sector really wanted from an association,’ read a statement.

It was no longer meeting the needs of the community, the announcement continued, particularly display pilots, who have grown concerned that their professional voice was being ignored.

‘The terrible accident at Shoreham in 2015 has been a game-changer for the display industry and has had far-reaching consequences for the historic aircraft sector. Many displays were cancelled or scaled down in 2016 and the air show calendar is not looking much better for 2017.’

The HAA has appointed eminent aviators from the historic aircraft world to form a Strategic Review Task Force. They are: display pilots Air Marshal Cliff Spink, Phil O’Dell, Roger ‘Dodge’ Bailey; aircraft inspector and test pilot Phill Hall; and owner and pilot from the Gnat display team Edwin Brenninkmeyer.

The task force is expected to put forward its recommendations at the HAA AGM in March 2017.

If you have any views or suggestions, please email HAA Secretary Malcolm Ward, who will support the task force, at mward57@t-online.de.


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