Rate One Aviation is an ATO (Approved Training Organisation) authorised by the UK CAA to conduct instrument flight training. We were the first ATO to gain approval for CBIR, which comprise most of our activity. Unlike most ATOs, we focus exclusively on private pilots looking to gain the coveted EASA Instrument Rating qualification. We operate seven days a week and are flexible to fit with our customer’s availability.

Founded in 2014, the company is based at Gloucester, UK (EGBJ), one of the best suited airfields for instrument training. Our facilities include a recently refitted classroom, suitably equipped IFR training aircraft and an endless supply of free tea and coffee. Our regular staff instructors have extensive IFR training experience.

We are approved to conduct training on single (SEP) and multi-engine (MEP) propeller aircraft and on Single Engine Turbine (SET) aircraft.

Jim Thorpe, Managing Director and CFI

Jim has been an enthusiastic private IFR pilot for many years. He has owned some 12 GA aircraft types over the last 30 years, has managed light aircraft maintenance and charter companies, and has flown extensively around Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Australia. As chairman of PPL/IR, he was heavily involved with EASA in the development of the CBIR and EIR requirements and procedures. Jim holds EASA and FAA CPL, MEP IR, and is an EASA IR instructor and examiner for both initial IR skill tests and for revalidations. He is very keen to encourage more private pilots to become fully instrument rated and has worked extensively towards promoting that goal. He sits on the EASA CBIR review board which oversees the training scheme.

Roy Hitchon, Head of Training

Roy spent many years gaining 16,000 hours with British Airways as a flight engineer on 747s. During that time, he qualified as a flight instructor and examiner. He later became Head of Training for a commercial flight training organisation primarily oriented toward CPL and Multi-Engine Instrument Ratings. Now with over 4,500 hours of mostly IFR instruction, Roy still enjoys flying for pleasure including trips around Europe, US/Canada and South Africa.

Mark Bills, Flight Instructor

Mark has a long career in aviation. After serving as a navigator in the RAF, he joined the UK CAA as an instrument approach designer and an aerodrome inspector. He was operations manager at Bristol Airport for many years, and then moved on to become a full time Instrument Instructor and Examiner, based in Gloucester and Bristol.

David Chambers, Flight Instructor

David gained his PPL in 2010 then IR in 2013 and has used it extensively throughout UK, Europe and US. He has been an active member of several flying clubs encouraging PPLs to venture further and runs a popular Cross Channel class at various locations. An active committee member and currently instructing at both RAF Brize Norton and Gloucester involving everything from ab-initio (including flying scholarships), night to SE-IR but he especially enjoys the challenges of instrument training.

Jerry Marsden, Flight Instructor

Jerry retired as an NHS Consultant in 2016, having developed a parallel career as a flight instructor in both private and commercial aviation. He learned to fly in 1970 on an RAF Flying Scholarship, acquired CPL, MEIR, SET and FI ratings in the 90’s, and now focuses on instrument flight training.

Phil Mathews, Manager

Phil has been involved in aviation for just over 50 years. He joined the management team of Cotswold Aero Club, Gloucester Airport, in the late 70’s and is now the sole owner. He became Manager of Rate One Aviation in 2018 to look after its day-to-day running, and many of the background administrative tasks. Phil  is both a Flight Examiner and Radiotelephony Examiner and has over 25,000 hours experience in light aircraft.