Lonmet Aviation


Operated from Apr 1970 to circa Dec 1976

Lonmet (also later known as Southend Aero Club) initially started out as a flying school with bases at both Southend and Biggin Hill, both of which employed single engined trainers. At the beginning of 1971, the company acquired its first twin and while this would initially be used for multi engined ratings it would also find a good amount of work as an air taxi flying from SEN. In April of the same year, operations were expanded further to Ipswich where ‘Ipswich Flying School’ became the official name of Lonmet’s operation at this airfield and as such, the majority of the single engined types would be dispatched to this location, while the twins would for the most, remain at Southend.

Up until February 1972, Channel Airways had held the lease of Ipswich Airfield where it had also operated a small flying club. With Channel’s demise, Lonmet would take over both the lease and the club and as far as the latter was concerned, its elderly Austers would soon be replaced with more modern equipment. The fleet was expanded further towards the end of 1972 and during 1973 and 74, Lonmet made serious attempts to substantially increase its air taxi operations while more in the way of pleasure flying was undertaken too, especially by G-AZYE which became something of a permanent feature at SEN.

Later in August 1975, Lonmet was awarded a CAA contract to educate trainee, ATC personnel. This work would continue through to December of that year. The exact details behind this company’s demise are unknown, however, it would appear that the end came quickly and by the time Lonmet disappeared at the end of 1976, it still had a considerable number of aircraft in its fleet which were then subsequently sold off.


Lonmet fleet from 1970 to 1976

(Only those aircraft that were based at SEN have been listed below)

Cessna 150

G-AXSK – 8/71 to 10/71


G-AXVX – 5/72 to 10/76

Sold to March Air

G-AYRK – 1/71 to 3/72

Sold to K.A Learmonth

G-AZVR – 5/72 to 7/73

Sold to C.H Slaughter and Co – Returned to Lonmet from 12/74 to 10/75 – Sold to A Pascoe

G-BAAC – 7/72 to 2/76

Sold to Sold to K.A Learmonth

Piper PA-28

G-AVLG – 10/70 to 10/76

Sold to R and C Lord

G-AXXA – 4/70 to 11/72

Sold to Spencer Aviation Ltd

Socata Rallye Club

G-AXHG – 11/72 to 9/74

To Southend Aero Club – Sold to Froggatt Bower Ltd

Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six

G-AVLS – 4/76 to 12/76

Sold to K Dando

G-AZYE – 10/73 to 11/76

Sold in Belgium

Cessna 177

G-AZKH – 8/73 to 8/76

Sold to F.B Spriggs

G-AZTU – 4/72 to 10/76

Sold in Norway

Piper PA-23 Apache

G-ARLI – 2/71 to 7/72

Sold to K.A Learmonth

G-ATJP – 11/72 to 10/73

To Southend Aero Club – Sold to A.F Aviation, Stansted – 11/76

Piper PA-23 Aztec

G-BBLP – 10/73 to 11/76

Sold to Chesterfield Air Touring Group


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this company’s SEN history or indeed, any pictures or paraphernalia that you would like to share? If so, please post submissions below or contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.