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AOPA Training & Education Working Group

The AOPA Training and Education Working Group is a long established forum with membership from ATO's, DTO's, Instructor Members, CAA and other associations with an interest in flight trainingand safety.

AOPA has a very strong corporate membership, many of whom are involved in flight training.  In addition to this many of our pilot members are current flight instructors, chief flying instructors and examiners.  Until the inception of JAR, the forerunner of EASA, AOPA oversaw the appointment of PPL flight examiners; most of the PPL syllabus that pilots train to was written and produced by AOPA.  The Training & Education Working Group is responsible for all matters that revolve around training and flight safety.  The committee itself is made up of some of the UK's most experienced instructors and examiners, bringing with them great depth of knowledge across a broad range of training experience.

The working group normally meets four times a year and reports to the Board of Directors.

Over the years the Training & Education Working Group has developed a number of training modules for AOPA that extend pilot experience and safety.  These include:  The AOPA Aerobatics Course at three levels developed in conjunction with the British Aerobatic Association, the AOPA Ground Instructor Certificate and the AOPA Flying Companion Course. The Training & Education Working Group was also a prime mover in developing the IMC rating and the National Private Pilot Licence, producing the original concept document and syllabus for the NPPL and continues to offer advice to all pilot licence holders.

AOPA was the first organisation to receive CAA endorsement for Pilot Recognition for Operational Upskilling and Development (PROUD), the Training and Education Working Group having developed the criteria for the AOPA Wings Award Scheme.  This is intended to recognise and encourage the development of private pilots to further their experience levels and flight safety awareness.

It is a major provider of CAA-approved instructor refresher courses and offers discounts to instructor members who participate in these seminars.

  1. The Committee shall be known as the 'AOPA Training & Education Working Group' (T&EWG).  It shall consist of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman and a number of AOPA Members, at least half of whom shall be instructors in current practice, invited by the AOPA Chairman or AOPA Chief Executive Officer.
  2. The T&EWG will support the aims and objectives of AOPA UK and IAOPA in matters of flight crew training and training standards.
  3. The T&EWG will normally meet quarterly and report to the AOPA Board of Directors, providing advice and opinions on matters relating to flight crew training and education.
  4. The T&EWG will monitor future proposals for flight training and instructional requirements under consideration by the UK CAA and EASA and will aim to influence policy development where practicable.
  5. The T&EWG will organise Instructor refresher courses, which will be delivered as two day seminars.
  6. The T&EWG will be responsible for stewardship of the AOPA Wings Award Scheme.
  7. The T&EWG will publicise its activity in the AOPA UK magazine and elsewhere, if appropriate.
  8. Any T&EWG member who fails to attend four consecutive meetings without reasonable cause will be asked to reconsider their membership.



Nick Wilcock (Chairman) AOPA UK Board Member, AOPA UK & IAOPA Europe FCL advisor, ex-ATPL holder & PPL SEP/IMC Examiner
Brian Hamilton AOPA UK Head of Training
George Capon Seawing & Southend Flying Clubs, PPL IMC SEP MEP Examiner, FAA CFI and CFII, experienced glider pilot , Airline Pilot, Member of UKAB & CHIRP
Carol Cooper Head of Training and CFI, Andrewsfield Aviation
Mike Derrett
 Cambridge Flying Group Instructor and PPL FE (Tiger Moths), Classic Wings Duxford Instructor.
Jill Develin FI & FE SEP/MEP, IRE, FECPL, FIE mostly flying out of Redhill. Former BA Captain & Flying School owner.
Vicky Farmer CFI & Head of Training, Flyers Flying School, Elstree.
Pete Griffiths Simulator instructor, RAF Valley. Member HCAP FI working group. Former IRE, FECPL, FIE, Senior Examiner.
Mike O'Donoghue FI(H), FE(H), CE GASCo, Member of EASA ESPN-R, RAeS Rotorcraft Group and CAA Senior Leadership Team (Rotorcraft).  
John Richardson CRI ME/SEP, ME/IR, FAA IR.
Chris Royle CRI, PPL.
Dorothy Saul-Pooley
Former Head of Training, Pooleys Flying Instructor School
Nigel Willson Head of Training/CFI (Anglian Flight Centres, Anglian War Birds), Flight/Ground Examiner and Instructor.
Mark Young
CAA Flight Examiner (Aeroplanes).