The material on these pages forms a (very) brief history of the BMPA. Much of it is taken from “British Medical Pilots Association, A History: 1974-1996”, written by Alan Gardiner and edited by David Rowe. If you have memories or recollections of a particular meeting and would like them to appear here please send them in.
The BMPA was established on 26th March 1966 by a handful of interested people who met in London at the Royal College of Surgeons. A President, Dr J. McClory, was elected and an Autumn meeting took place that October in Portsmouth. The first winter meeting was held at Farnborough in 1969. The subscription was originally £2 per year but was raised to £5 from April 1st 1978, to £10 on April 1st 1987 and to £15 from April 1st 1995.
In the summer of 1974 “THE BRITISH MEDICAL PILOT” was published by the then Hon Secretary, W B Wilkinson, to mark the joint meeting in Jersey with L’Association Aero-Medicale de France. It consisted of 14 pages, six of which were advertisements and included photographs of some of the 60 aircraft attending, with a special picture of Dr Wissfield’s machine, which lost its undercarriage on landing. Twenty of the aeroplanes were British-flown, carrying 62 members and friends, while there were 130 from L’AAM.
In May 1975 a joint meeting took place with the Flying Physicians of America, with over 1000 guests arriving mainly in 2 specially chartered Boeing 747s. The meeting ran from Sunday 18th May to the following Thursday, with accommodation a the Grosvenor House Hotel. Events included numerous visits to aircraft centres around London, including Filton where there was a full commercial mock-up of Concorde (due to enter service 2 years later). The Harrier jump-jet was on display at Dunsfold and the Oxford Air Training School, Farnborough, Boscombe Down, West Drayton and Martin Baker Aircraft Co. (Ejector seat manufacturers) all welcomed BMPA and FPA guests. For the non-aeronauts, Goodwood, Arundel, Hampton Court, Windsor and Stratford were all on the itinerary.
The BMPA corresponds with its French and German counterparts, with members visiting each others’ meetings since 1976 (France) and 1983 (Germany). This correspondence has become increasingly irregular and infrequent in recent years.
You can find details of our past events on the meetings pages.