College of Air Training

Operated from 1960 to 1984

Main Base – Hamble

Founder/Director – Directors of B.O.A.C./B.E.A. & Ministry of Aviation

With an ever increasing number of new civil types becoming available during the mid to late 1950s and a serious lack of pilots available to fly them, B.O.A.C. and B.E.A. decided to do something about it and in association with the Ministry of Aviation, the Hamble College of Air Training was established. Training was open to both university graduates and promising school leavers regardless of previous flight experience who after acceptance, would then go on to undertake a two year course, although this was later reduced to 18 months. After 3-1/2 months of ground training the cadets would then take to the skies, first in single engined Chipmunks before finally moving on to more advanced, twin engined Apaches.

While the newly initiated left Hamble with a ‘suspended’ commercial pilots licence of sorts, this could be reactivated once the budding airline pilot in question had passed examinations set by the airline that they had joined not to mention, built up enough hours to be type rated. Needless to say, possessing more aircraft than many third world air forces, CoAT’s aircraft would invariably fly en-masse which often resulted in numerous aircraft descending on Southend at the same time. Indeed, monthly evening and night training flights became something of a regular occurrence at SEN from the early 1960s and allegedly even into the early 1970s too.

However, as the end of the decade approached, newer, more modern types were procured and by 1968 most of the Chipmunks had been replaced by Piper PA-28 Cherokees while the twin-engined Apaches had made way for Beechcraft Barons. The latter type would still frequent SEN although most of them arrived after dark and seemed quite content to do circuits or touch-and-goes rather than land hence their omission below. While the merger of B.O.A.C. & B.E.A. into British Airways in 1974 seemed to have little effect on this concern, come 1982 British Airways revealed their intention to close the training centre. By the autumn it had become Hamble Airfield Properties Ltd although still traded as CoAT and continued to operate as such until 1984.


College of Air Training fleet from 1960 to 1970

De Havilland D.H.C.1 Chipmunk

G-AMMA – 12/65 to 4/69

Sold in Denmark as OY-DHJ

G-AMUC – 6/60 to 6/72

Sold to East Midland School of Flying

G-AMUF – 6/60 to 11/71

Sold to East Midland School of Flying

G-AMUG – 6/60 to 7/72

East Midland School of Flying

G-AMUH – 6/60 to 3/69

Sold to D.H. Whalley

G-AOJY – 3/61 to 4/66

DBR at Lulsgate 24/4/66

G-AOTZ – 7/60 to 2/69

Sold to Altair Aviation

G-AOUN – 6/60 to 11/68

Sold in Belgium as OO-NCL

G-AOUO* – 6/60 to 4/69

Sold to M. Kennedy

G-AOUP* – 6/60 to 1/69

Sold to Wessex Flying Group

G-AOZP – 6/60 to 2/69

Sold to M.E. Darlington

G-AOZV* – 7/60 to 2/69

Sold to Addiscombe Aviation Ltd

G-APSB  – 1/62 to 6/69

Sold to T.J. Roberts

G-ARMB* – 4/61 to 9/84

Sold to P.A. Layzell

G-ARMC – 11/61 to 1/69

Sold to Audley End Development Ltd

G-ARMD – 4/61 to 8/82

WFU – Sold to D.M. Squires 3/99

G-ARME* – 4/61 to 3/66

Crashed on approach to Sandown, I.o.W. 29/3/66

G-ARMF – 4/61 to 2/82

WFU -Sold to L.W. Millgate 3/92

G-ARMG – 4/61 to 6/84

Sold to Chipmunk Preservation Group Ltd

G-ATEA – 1/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WG464

G-ATEB – 5/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WZ866

G-ATDE – 4/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WB733

G-ATDF – 4/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP850

G-ATDP – 4/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WG477

G-ATDX – 5/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WG463

G-ATDY – 5/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WG418

G-ATHC – 7/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP969

G-ATHD – 7/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP971

G-ATJI – 9/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP863

G-ATJJ – 9/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP921

G-ATJK – 9/65 to 1/68

Leased from RAF – Returned as WP927

Beech PA-23-160 Apache

G-ARJS* – 3/61 to 9/69

Sold to Skywork Ltd

G-ARJT* – 3/61 to 10/69

Sold to R.D. Dickson

G-ARJU* – 3/61 to 9/68

Sold to MacBurn Properties Ltd

G-ARJV* – 3/61 to 3/70

Sold to B.W. Homan

G-ARJW* – 3/61 to 10/68

Sold to Keenan Services Ltd

G-ARJX* – 3/61 to 3/70

Sold to Shackleton Aviation

G-ASDG* – 3/63 to 6/69

Sold in Iceland as TF-EGG

G-ASDH* – 3/63 to 3/67

Crashed near Netley Hospital 10/1/67

G-ASDI* – 3/63 to 10/68

Sold to A.R.I. Propaflor Ltd

G-ATOA – 1/66 to 9/68

Sold to Richard Lea & Sons Ltd


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.