Willow Air Flying Club

Operated from Apr 1992 to early 2011

Founder/Director – Mr Stellios ‘Steve’ Papi

Unlike most of the other flying clubs and commercial operators at Southend, Willow Air ran both a flying club and a small airline, the latter of which you can read about on the ‘More SEN Airlines’ page. The flying club was initially located on the eastern perimeter near the former corporation shed and it continued to thrive even after the closure of the airline branch of the company which occurred in June 1996. The club operated and leased multiple types and provided both standard and advanced ratings in singles, twins and helicopters (the latter in conjunction with Iris Aviation) which included JAA certification, while it was also one of the first clubs to offer FAA Flight Training and Testing with a TSA certified instructor in the UK.

Willow Air would later up and move to a rented clubhouse just behind the old ATC tower from where it would continue to train pilots, even going on to provide training to a number of pilots from the Middle East including a member of the Qatari Royal Family. However, with this relocation came a substantial rise in overheads, part of this consisting of much higher parking costs being as the aircraft now had to stand on the rather pricey SEN apron and thus the decision was taken to wind the company up during the winter of 2010-11.


Willow Air Flying Club fleet from 1992 to 2010

Cessna 150

G-BDFI – 4/93 to 1/96

Re-reg to G-WAFC 5/95 – Sold to Tailwind Flying Group

Cessna 152

G-BPEO – ?/92 to ?/96

Leased from J.R.B Aviation

G-CPFC – 4/01 to 8/07

Sold to Falcon Flying Services

G-JEET – 4/01 to 9/08

Sold to Bulldog Aviation

Cessna 172

G-BGNR – 9/95 to 3/69

Sold to Aviator’s Flight Centre

G-SEXI – 1/02 to 2/02

Written of landing at Naylands Airfield 2/2/02

Piper PA-28

G-BOFZ – Unk. to Unk.

Owned by R. Harris

G-LUSH – 4/05 to 8/11

Sold to a private owner

Piper PA-34 Seneca

G-FLYI – 12/01 to 1/09

Sold to Falcon Flying Services

Schweizer 300

G-ECBI – 8/08 to 11/10

Operated in conjunction with Iris Aviation


Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this organisation or indeed any pictures that you would like to share? If so, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.