The baron against snow topped mountains

Flying With Diabetes (FWD) aims to inspire & advocate positive messages about living & flying with diabetes. We do this by carrying out exciting aviation speed records, organizing FWD Days & FWD Weekends at aviation museums and airfields for children, adults and families with insulin-treated diabetes. All activities raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

2015 Events

The following events are taking place in 2015:

  1. 2 May - Flypast at Children With Diabetes Camp, Cotswolds.
  2. 4 July - Launch of 15-country flying project (details to follow in May).
  3. 8 July - Talk at Children With Diabetes Friends for Life Conference; Orlando.
  4. 29 August - Flypast at JDRF fund-raising event at Snowdon and Ben Nevis.
  5. September - Flypast at Aberdeen and Falkirk JDRF Walk to Cure fund-raising events.
  6. September - Diabetes Formation Flight USA; 3-day tour of US mid-west with 4 + aircraft


Flying With Diabetes Day 2014 - 1st November; IWM Duxford.

We enjoyed an excellent "Flying With Diabetes Day" on 1st November for over 100 attendees. A huge thanks to everyone for coming; to JDRF for advertising the event and registrations, to the speakers Kyle Rose, Malcolm Knowles, Dean Horridge, Claire Williams, Karl Beetson, Jo Brodie and Gavin Griffiths, to "Mad Science" for entertaining the younger members of the audience and to the IWM Duxford Airspace Conference Centre for the venue and catering.

Also huge thanks to to our Silver Sponsors Dexcom, Medtronic Diabetes, Nipro Diagnostics, Roche Diagnosics and Bronze Sponsor Sanofi Diabetes for making the event possible.

We're delighted to have raised over £2,500 for JDRF. A very enjoyable day!

We’re also delighted to report that this £2,500 brings the total raised for JDRF to over £100,000 since 2009 – a huge thank you to everyone for helping achieve this figure!

FWD Day Programme 2014

2014 Events

The following events took place in 2014:

  1. April 5, Speech at Association of Aviation Medical Examiners Annual Meeting.

  2. May 3, Flypast
    Children With Diabetes Cotswold weekend event

  3. May 31, Seminar at Sywell Aero Expo;
    "Flying With Diabetes" (13:30 – 14:15)

  4. June 14, Flypast JDRF Tour de Type 1;
    Harrogate at 5:30 p.m.

  5. June 28, Diabetes Formation Flight USA.
    A new speed record by six aircraft between Lincoln, Nebraska and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and landing at Fly Iowa 2014 annual airshow. (

  6. July 12, Flypast JDRF Tour de Type 1;
    Harrogate at 5:30 p.m.

  7. July 28, EAA Airventure Oshkosh Forum;
    "Flying With Diabetes" (Forum 5; 11:30 – 12:45)

  8. August 10, UK Diabetes Formation Flight. (delayed until 2015)
    A new speed record by two aircraft to land in all 38 counties of England between dawn & dusk.

  9. September 14, Flypast JDRF "Walk to Cure Aberdeen"
    Drum Castle

  10. September 28, Flypast JDRF "Walk to Cure Central Scotland"
    Falkirk Wheel

  11. November 1, Flying With Diabetes Day.
    At Duxford Imperial War Museum; an inspirational & educational event at the UK's premiere aviation museum.

Diabetes Formation Flight USA 2014

Diabetes Formation Flight USA ( a formation speed record by four aircraft was successfully completed on Saturday 28 June between Lincoln, Nebraska (KLNK) and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (KIOW).

diabetes formation flight planesAll aircraft were flown by pilots with type 1 diabetes; Douglas Cairns in a Beech Baron, Jason Harmon in a Cessna 172, Chris Isler in another C172 and Taylor Verett and Brian Strack in a Piper Archer along with Kathryn from Illinois, also with type 1 diabetes as a passenger in the Baron. Total time was 2 hours, 5 minutes and 15 seconds for an average speed of just over 113 knots.

Training was held at Council Bluffs Airfield, Iowa (KCBF), over two days immediately beforehand with two flights each day, practicing formation positions so we could all start and finish simultaneously for the speed record, and "break to land" at Iowa City where we started the "Fly Iowa 2014" air show at noon.

diabetes planes in flightSome humid Midwest weather and thunderstorms delayed training on Thursday 24th June, but on the speed record day itself, we were lucky as heavy rain and storms cleared southwest of Lincoln, and low cloud and visibility cleared in eastern Iowa as we headed towards Cedar Rapids. The first hour was spent in smooth and increasingly clear conditions, but we had to descend near Omaha and carry out much of the remainder of the flight under broken cloud base at 1500 feet above ground.

As ever it was an extremely enjoyable few days together, and an excellent example of showing what can be done with diabetes with a good system/protocol for flying in place.

dffusa 2014Many thanks go to Amy Francis and Michelle Wilson at Lincoln Airport Tower, Tim Ryan at Omaha Approach, and Greg Bardsley and Lawrence Darling at Cedar Rapids Approach and Tower respectively – your help was much appreciated. Thanks also to Advanced Air Inc., at Council Bluffs Airport for help with preparations and rental aircraft. It was also a real pleasure to have Kathryn with us for the speed record and parents Jenny and Rick during training (who dashed by road from Council Bluffs where we launched from to Iowa City to witness our break-to-land at Iowa City). We look forward to next year's project!