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Dorothy holds an ATPL (A) and a CPL (H), and is both an instructor and examiner on aeroplanes and an instructor on helicopters.
She is Head of Training for a school dedicated to running Flight Instructor courses at Shoreham. She is also a CAA Flight Instructor Examiner.
In addition, having qualified as a solicitor in 1982, Dorothy acted for many years as a consultant specialising in aviation and insurance liability issues, and has lectured widely on air law and insurance issues.
This highly unusual combination of qualifications led to her appointment as Honorary Solicitor to the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators (GAPAN). Dorothy is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a past Chairman and Founder of the GAPAN Instructor Committee, past Chairman of the Education & Training Committee, as well as serving on their Court since 2001. On 18th March 2014, Dorothy was invested as the Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (GAPAN’s new name following grant of its Royal Charter). She is also Founder and immediate Past Chairman of the Professional Flying Instructors Association.
In 2003 she was awarded the Jean Lennox Bird Trophy for her contribution to aviation and support of Women in Aviation and the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association). In 2013 Dorothy was awarded the prestigious Master Air Pilot Certificate by GAPAN’s Trophies & Awards Committee.
A regular contributor to seminars and conferences, Dorothy is the author and editor of a number of flying training books and has published articles in legal and insurance journals.
In 2015 Dorothy received from the BWPA, the Brabazon Cup awarded for “An Outstanding Achievement in Aviation” notably for her services to Women in Aviation.
On Tuesday 18th March 2014, Dorothy Saul-Pooley LLB (Hons) FRAES was invested as Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, one of the world’s longest-established independent pilots’ organisations.
It is the first time in the 85-year history of the organisation (formerly known as the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, GAPAN) that it has been headed by a woman pilot.
“I am of course deeply honoured to take on this role. To be elected to lead one of the world’s premier aviation organisations is a humbling responsibility, yet an immense privilege. Some may want to make something of the fact that I am the first woman to take on the role, but I think that this is merely a sign that it simply doesn’t matter whether a pilot is a man or woman. We have seen women succeed as fighter pilots, airline captains, astronauts and test pilots. I hope my year as Master will help emphasise that aviation is a career for all, while the Air Pilots also continues to promote the highest levels of professionalism, training and safety practices around the world”.
“I hope one of my personal achievements this year will be to add to that range of flying experiences” said Dorothy. “In fact for every new aircraft I fly in my year as Master of the Air Pilots, I will make a cash donation to a bursary fund, which I hope in future years will join the existing Air Pilots bursaries to help more young people to qualify as pilots or train as instructors.
“Every pilot, in whatever area of aviation they operate, will have depended at one stage on the skill, judgement and patience of a flying instructor. For over 20 years I have made it my business to champion flying instructors and campaign for improved status for them, to enhance the standards of instruction and to improve standardisation of instruction and training, I am dedicated to continuing this support.”
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