The baron against snow topped mountains

Past Events


Flying With Diabetes Day – 20 October 2012; Duxford Imperial War Museum

Last October we had our Flying With Diabetes Day - an inspirational and educational day at Duxford Imperial War Museum on the 20th October, for 150 children and adults, families and friends with diabetes. Speakers included three pilots with type 1 diabetes, a marathon runner & Olympic Torch bearer (Colin Roland) plus a cyclist (Melissa Ford) also with type 1 diabetes, and a leading Endocrinologist and Senior Lecturer at Bristol University, Dr. Rob Andrews. A number of companies exhibited along with JDRF (

Sanofi Diabetes and Dexcom

medtronic logo

threadneedle asset management

Sanofi Diabetes, Dexcom and Threadneedle Asset Management Ltd were Gold Sponsors, and Medtronic Diabetes was a Silver Sponsor for the event.

Attendees were able to peruse some of the UK's most historic aircraft at Duxford Imperial War Museum both before and after the event.

Flying With Diabetes (FWD) is a series of diabetes awareness-raising and fund-raising flying projects to convey the message that diabetes need not limit the scope of people's dreams and ambitions, while raising funds for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Previous projects include a round-the-world flight in 2003 and a world speed record to the North Pole by Douglas Cairns in 2011 ( plus a national speed record in 2011 around Britain's coastline by Douglas and Karl Beetson. FWD activities also include Flying With Diabetes Days, with inspiring talks and flights by pilots with diabetes for children, families and friends with diabetes.


UK Diabetes Formation Flight - 1 September 2012

Six of us set a new national formation speed record on 1st September between Derby and Southampton in 1 hour 22 minutes and 38 seconds. Huge thanks to Solent Radar who cleared us directly to Southampton Airport's overhead and to both Derby Airfield and Solent Radar for recording our start and finish times. Also to Nottingham Airport for hosting us for the launch. A very enjoyable day had by us all - Douglas, George, Damian, James, Karl and Matt flying the aircraft, and Charlie, Malcolm, Tim and Thomas as passengers, all with diabetes! BBC covered the launch, interviewing Damian, which was much appreciated.

diabetes formation flight UK diabetes formation flight UK team
UK Diabetes Formation Flight James D'Arcy, Damian Fessey, Douglas Cairns,
Karl Beetson, Matt Ponsford and George Duncan.


UK CAA Makes Breakthrough Announcement - 13 August 2012

On 13 August 2012, the UK Civil Aviation Authority announced the introduction of flying with insulin treated diabetes for commercial flying and also private flying. (The link is included below.) This is terrific news!!! Our Pilots With Diabetes group has been communicating for almost five years with the UK CAA and we are very, very appreciative of the changes that have been made. A few finer details around the announcement still need to be clarified - hopefully this development can help efforts elsewhere including the USA and Australia!
Please see the announcement below.
CAA to issue medical certificates to pilots and air traffic controllers with insulin-treated diabetes.


Diabetes Formation Flight USA - 26 June 2012

I'm delighted to report that last week's flying project across the USA by two twin-engine aircraft flown by three pilots with diabetes in formation was a resounding success, raising over $27,000 for diabetes research so far and setting a new simultaneous transcontinental USA world speed record.

Please see a one-minute "taster" video below for a 15 minute documentary being released in two months' time.

We departed Daytona Beach, Florida at 0857 Hours local on Tuesday 26th June in close formation, initially working hard in cloud as we steered though some of Tropical Storm Debby's downpours and out over the Gulf of Mexico to avoid thunderstorms before returning to the planned mainland track.

We took 12 hours & 37 minutes to cross from Florida to California, mostly in blissfully clear conditions and tailwinds after Florida. Two refuelling stops were made in eastern Texas and El Paso, western Texas before making a high-speed low-level arrival at a San Diego airfield where we were met by CBS and Fox News for interviews.

The project raised $27,000 (approx. £17,000) for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (, including a US-based foundation matching donations. Many thanks to everyone who supported this exciting project.