Southend Light Aviation Centre

Operated from Jun 1968 to c.May 1979

Founder/Director – Mr Edward Clack

Another Southend flying school would emerge in the summer of 1968, when instructor Capt. Ted Clack broke away from Av-Air taking G-AVTK and G-AWCP with him. Assisted by his daughter, the company quickly grew and in May 1969 it had taken over competitor Av-Air. The fleet was also expanded and by the middle of 1972, the company had a total of five low wing training aircraft in its fleet and a D4 Link Trainer. Needless to say, most kinds of rating or training were offered including PPL, IMC, Night, Instructor, Aerobatics and Twin. In fact, during its 10 year life this centre would go on to gain several feathers in its cap one of which included CFI Clack training the very first lady to win the Piccadilly Trophy in 1969 and who would go on to take a number of other prestigious cups, awards and wins in other flying events. The Piccadilly Trophy was also taken again in 1970 by a Mr. R.G. Cole of SLAC.

Other tasks and collaborative efforts were also undertaken and in 1969, a temporary withdrawal of RAF SAR helicopters from Manston would see a number of local flying clubs taking up the reins of aerial coastguard, assisting the district’s R.N.L.I crews as and when required. SLAC would at this time, take over responsibility for the Lower Thames region and the mouth of the river. Meanwhile, a scheme was also being run in association with the local No. 1312 ATC Squadron which would help a number of its cadets to get airborne. Each weekend, two students were selected to help out at the club and during quiet periods, they would undergo flight training or use the Link Trainer if bad weather prevented this. Otherwise, SLAC would continue to operate up until the spring of 1979 when owner CFI Ted Clack renamed the company to Southend Flying Club.

 

Southend Light Aviation Centre fleet

Slingsby Nipper

G-AWLS – 9/68 to 12/68

Leased from Nipper Aircraft

Cessna C-150

G-AWCP – 5/69 to 11/69

Leased from Rogers Aviation

Beagle Pup

G-AXJI – 4/70 to 8/79

Leased until 6/72 – TFR to Edward Clack

Piper PA-23 Aztec

G-AWKZ – 5/73 to 2/84

Owned by Edward Clack

G-BCBM – 12/74 to 5/77

Leased from Anglo Normandy Airways

Piper PA-28 Cherokee

G-ASWA – 9/65 to 2/82

Leased until 6/72 – WFU and scrapped

G-ATVK – 5/68 to 8/79

TFR to Edward Clack

G-AVLT – 6/72 to 11/79

TFR to Edward Clack

G-AVPV – 7/69 to 8/79

TFR to Edward Clack

G-AWBH – 7/74 to 12/76

Sold to a private owner

Piper PA-30 Comanche

G-ATSE – 12/71 to 1/72

Leased, possibly to replace an aircraft undergoing overhaul

 

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, then please contact us on saadinfomail@gmail.com

Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.