Mike Miller-Smith MBE
I have always been obsessed by two things, the magic of flight and levelling the playing field. I began flying as a teenager, becoming a competitive glider pilot and instructor, gaining my powered aircraft pilots licence and then training to become a commercial pilot after university. Then came muscular dystrophy.
It was a challenge to keep flying as I became disabled, but where there is a will there is a way. I began to notice disabled people do not get the chance to do things like fly aeroplanes and became driven to change this. Disabled flying charity Aerobility exists to make sure everybody gets the chance not just to fly, but to participate in all aspects of aviation whatever the impairment or challenge and it is my privilege to be Chief Executive.
My philosophy to drive innovation including developing aircraft adaptions and hoisting tech have been key enablers for participants. Creating awareness is vital and has led me to develop iconic projects such as the Disabled Flypast at the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and setting three world records profiling disabled aviation, alongside the daily challenges of supporting over 600 disabled people every year to spread their wings and fly, to become part of the future of aviation. Current projects include helping industry work better with disabled people, and activities to support the accessibility of eVTOL and spaceflight.