Skylane Flight Centre

Operated from c.1984 to c.1993

Founders/Directors – Johannes, Hans and Abigail Baumhardt

This family run business first emerged at Southend around the turn of 1984-85 and made a home for itself in the Skylane Centre building (SEN’s former ‘Greasy Spoon’ cafe). From early 1985 onwards, this company was offering the standard fare of flight training, although unlike most of the other clubs at the airport, SFC could also provide FAA written test preparation and offer both CAA/FAA instrument and commercial ratings using its Cessna 172s, Piper PA-23s or Beech 76s. The following year, Skylane expanded its operations at SEN further with the founding of Skylane Air Charter which initially saw a small number of twins being transferred into the ownership of this company where they would carry out charters and light freight flights. You can read more about this particular concern on the ‘More SEN Airlines’ page.

Moving forward towards the 1990s, Skylane continued to expand and grow and by the turn of the decade, it had more than a dozen aircraft in its fleet. As such, an small engineering company named LAMS had also been set up and this was tasked with maintaining the SFC/SAC fleet, although it is likely that this company also provided servicing and checks for third party customers. Sadly though, the economic slow down during the early 1990s witnessed the airline branch of the company first being wound up in April 1993, while the Skylane Centre itself would hold on a little longer and it is believed that this company finally closed its doors somewhere around the end of the same year.

 

The picture above was taken by local artist Robin J. Pinnock who took a flight with Abigail Baumhardt in Cessna 172 G-BIDF during the summer of 1986. The purpose of this very short flight was to get a pilot’s eye view of the approach to runway 24 for a commissioned painting. Robin sat in the left hand seat to get an authentic view while Abigail sat at the controls.

 

Skylane Flight Centre fleet

Cessna 150

G-BCFR – 12/86 to 10/93

Sold to Rentair Ltd

G-OSND – 10/84 to 6/91

Sold to Barmoor Aviation

Cessna 152

G-BFRL – 4/82 to 5/92

Sold to Gordon Naizby-Olson

G-BPFZ – 10/88 to 5/93

Sold to Mark Entwhistle

G-BPIY – 12/88 to 3/93

Sold to Rentair Ltd

G-LAMS – 6/88 to 8/93

Sold to Rentair Ltd

G-OBAT – 3/83 to 11/92

Sold to Mark Entwhistle

Cessna 172

G-BIDF – 10/81 to 11/93

Sold to Esmail Alexander

G-OIFR – 3/83 to 9/89

Sold in Germany

Cessna 177

G-BFAC – 9/87 to 10/94

Sold to Global Avionicare Ltd

Beech 76 Duchess

G-BGHP – 7/83 to 11/91

Sold to Net Supply Co Ltd

G-NIFR – 12/88 to 9/92

Sold to Transair (U.K) Ltd

Cessna 404 Titan

G-OHUB – 7/89 to 6/90

TFR to Skylane Air Charter as G-SKKC

Piper PA-23 Aztec

G-SATO – 11/86 to 10/90

Used by Skylane Air Charter – Sold to Skyshare Syndicate

Piper PA-31 Navajo

G-BBDS – 1/89 to 4/90

TFR to Skylane Air Charter as G-SKKB

G-FOAL – 2/89 to 10/89

TFR to Skylane Air Charter as G-SKKA

G-YLAN – 4/88 to 5/90

Used by Skylane Air Charter – Sold to Byrne Group PLC

G-YSKY – 1/88 to 3/93

Used by Skylane Air Charter – Sold to Clacton Aero Club

 

Do you have any other, interesting snippets of information about this company’s SEN history 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.