Sunday 08 December 2013
The brief introduction is that I occassionally fly chaps around & will consider most things to raise cash for good causes. Ultimately I'm trying to fly Around The World in a very light aircraft and raise £100k for charity in the process.
Legal Brokers Ltd is funding all the costs and any monies you donate will go directly to charity. No monies will be kept aside to pay for the aircraft, fuel, insurance, hangarage, safety equipment etc etc.
The aircraft we have is a Flight Design CTSW Microlight which complete with all the avionics etc would set you back £70,000 - she's about 18 months old now.
In a nutshell we're doing a good thing for a very good cause & would appreciate any support anyone feels able to offer.
The current Round the World record is held by two overseas chaps. These lucky buggers were military pilots who had the support of their airforce. Unfortunately Bolton doesn't have it's own airforce (damn Coalition cutbacks) so I won't be able to call on this calibre of support.
If, like me, you've a short attention span & just want to see a few pictures... check out the following Facebook folders.
This first album contains pic's of a few guys who've made a charity donation & I've flown them around as a thanks. Facebook1.
This album has a few decent flying snaps. Some have been published in the Microlight magazines. One won the 2012 BMAA Picture of the Year Award. Facebook2.
The last album holds a few pictures of myself and a chap called David Gaskell. We were fortunate enough to win the GPS catergory of the 2012 Round Britain Microlight Rally. Facebook3.
To make a donation please go to www.justgiving.com/jon-hilton and, when you have, I'll gladly fly you around as a thanks.
Background blurb & Press information (very cringeworthy)
Apart from being a director of Legal Brokers Ltd I'm just a normal chap who's bright enough to run a business. Anything written below this line is just my "stuff". Not meant to be corporate or flashy. Certainly not LBL related.
The business does OK for itself. I'm not rich & I'm not poor. I have an overdraft like most folk.
I'm the eldest son of an Insolvency Accountant & Social Worker. A smidge under 6'1". 13 stone. Was a good looking kid. Not such a looker these days. 45 years have taken their toll. Querky personality.
My perspective on women ? Google "Billy Connolly & his Wildebeest sketch". The last 10 years of my life have been subject to the pull of two specific, feisty, females.... I am a Wildebeest. I shall say no more.
Plus, I'm a dad now. Father to a happy, very smiley, beautiful little daughter. At the time of writing she's two years old.
I left school with 5 GCSE's. Picked up an ONC in Civil Engineering, fluked the Mensa tests (couldn't manage it now) and passed the Chartered Insurance Institute Financial Planning exams (1, 2 & 3). I could once put the letters MLIA (dip) after my name.
In chronological order... a former YTS Estimator, Tunnel Engineer (very scary), Estate Agent (sorry), Mortgage Broker, Insurance Broker, Sales Manager for a House Building firm, Export Clerk for a lighting firm, Project Manager (lighting), Marketing Manager (lighting, again), Solicitors salesman & currently upsetting folk at LBL on a daily basis.
Workwise my two claims to fame are being the project manager for the lighting on the Thames "Wobbly Millennium Bridge" (secured the order & managed the installation) and I did the demo's and secured the Searchlight orders for the Eifel Tower project (more later).
Worked on the intank lighting for Europe's Deepest Water Aquarium (The Deep), the Kuwait PIFSS building, the Disney Cruise Ships (we designed a few fittings and I very nearly got fired for testing & breaking them) and the Copenhagen Opera House.... I even managed to blag my way into the Man United trophy room to fit a DMX light fitting.
Much more impressively I got a 25 yard swimming certificate at the age of 7. I've still got it.
Less impressively I managed the Bronze Duke of Edinburghs award and the Berlin, Paris, New York, Moscow, Rekjavik and LA Marathons. The San Diego triathlon. A sponsored bike ride around Beijing (and did a luge type thing off the Great Wall), the Pamplona Bull Run and the Ironman (I call it the Tinman because it's a damn silly name to call something). A relay Swim across the Channel and I, somehow, managed to pick up a Blackbelt in Ju Jitzu (three broken toes, broken finger, broken rib & foolishly a broken hand bone that needed surgery - completely my fault).
On a couple of my trips I've had to sleep rough. I don't advise sleeping on the streets in Berlin (during the Autumn) or Paris or even Pamplona. Not pleasant experiences. You fear for your safety all the time, are cold and generally feel hellishly tired.... Plus folk look down at you and snear. Can't help themselves. Not a nice experience. The moral of this paragraph ? Please give to those who need support. Buy a Big Issue occassionally.... Anyway.
With work, and generally, I've been to Canada, Ten US States (NY is the most impolite place on the planet), Scandinavia (the Copenhagen "Mermaid" is rubbish), most of Europe (the Trevi Fountain was very impressive), Kenya (got chased by muggers late at night), Australia (nearly got swept out to sea off the Gold Coast), China, the Middle East (got briefly taken into custody by the Dubai customs chaps) and Iceland.
As incidentals I've had the Glastonbury and Silverstone Grand Prix experiences. We put a few Xenon searchlights at the top of Sunderlands Stadium Of Light hence I got invited to the VIP opening of the Stadium. I worked, a little, on the Millennium Dome and wandered around the James Bond set, at Pinewood Studios, whilst dropping off some kit.
I've done the Tough Guy Challenge (hardest thing I've ever done - my "cojones" nearly fell off) and climbed to the very top of Canary Wharf Tower (after you've navigated past all the air conditioning machinery there's an access hatch in the roof void) and poked my head out. At the time it was Europe's highest building.
In flying, or general airborne terms, I've Bunjee jumped, held my Hang Gliding and Sky Diving licences, US PPL, UK PPL, IMC rating, Night rating, RT rating and Multi Engine ratings. I had enough flying hours to go Commercial.
Please note I passed the IMC and Multi engine flying & written exams but didn't have the funds to pay for the licences themselves hence when I stopped flying I let these ratings lapse.
I've flown, on my little lonesome, into Daytona International (directly above the speedway which is very cool to look down on), Freeport International (through the Bermuda triangle and onto the Bahamas), along the runway at Cape Canaveral at midnight (where the Space Shuttle used to land) and twice into Orlando International (very intimidating).
I've witnessed two night time Space Shuttle launches. Which were abso,bloody,lutely amazing experiences. Awe inspiring.
I took my aircraft to see the Alps & the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Castle. I fluked the GPS category of the 2012 Round Britain Microlight rally and came away with the trophy.
The wrong place to add this but for 1 second I held Michael Jackson's attention, 22 years ago, when I was forced to go to Aintree and watch him perform. Half a dozen of us were a couple of rows back from the stage. Everyone was singing Billy Jean or some such. I'd got into the swing of things by then and was singing my lungs out. Unfortunately I got the lyrics completely wrong and was singing / shouting when every one else damn well wasn't. Michael looked over. So did everyone else. I felt like such a burke...
I've done the African safari thing & to my eternal shame the Marlin fishing "thing" in the West Indies. We didn't catch anything big (the plan was to put it back if we had) but we did snag a little tiddler. It's one of my great regrets that I didn't stand up to the boat crew and tell them to put the bugger back over the side. I should have had bigger balls. I won't go into more detail but that's been my "silence of the lambs" moment for the last couple of years.... Bloody 'orrible it was.
I set up Legal Brokers Ltd, approx 7 years ago, with a £300 over draft, and our turnover reached £1million. It's since dropped back with the cancellation of HIPs. The focus now is to make the business more profitable even if that means reducing the turnover.
Not sure what else I've got to prove to myself these days... I guess I wouldn't mind getting into the Guinness Book of Records... and have ambitions to break the Guinness Mile Pogo stick record. Yes. I accept that sounds bonkers.
I have every expectation of completing the RTW flight but I'm currently battling insurance issues, fuelling issues, overflight issues hence this is an ongoing goal.
Why have I done any of this ? Please read "If" by Rudyard Kipling. The answer's in there somewhere.
Having read this twaddle would you mind making a donation please via www.justgiving.com/jon-hilton ?
Top Left; New style microlight (ie. mine) and older flexwing model behind.
Top Middle; Two neices. Abs foreground. Keira holding up the wings.
Top Right; The LBL team in late 2009. I'm middle'ish.