Bader’s Bus Company was the first British air display team featuring pilots with disabilities
The team, created in memory of the World War 2 Spitfire ace and double amputee Sir Douglas Bader enjoyed their first performance at Blackbushe airfield on September 5th 2019 following a lengthy selection process and intense training.
The date marked the anniversary of Group Captain Sir Douglas Bader’s death and David Bickers, CEO of the Foundation, stated that “he could not have been more excited about the prospect”. David continued “We can think of no better way to honour his memory”. He added that he is certain that the creation of the first British air display team is a legacy of which Douglas would have been extremely proud.
The project was the brainchild of Charley Bickers, the grandson of Sir Douglas Bader, and it has been three years in the making. “Big Ideas don’t happen overnight, and this is a very ambitious project”, Charley explained. “Even just selecting the pilots has been a long process.”
The team performed at airshows throughout the UK inspiring others and demonstrating what people with disabilities are capable of achieving.
Flying in formation goes against everything a pilot is taught and takes enormous courage, trust and teamwork.
It was incredibly exciting to create the first British Air Display Team featuring pilots with disabilities in Sir Douglas’s name and memory. The team flew at some prestigious venues, and also performed with Bader’s Big Band.
Bader’s Bus Company eventually disbanded but 2 of the pilots are keen to continue as an aerobatic team rebranded fittingly as Team Phoenix. We’ll keep you updated with any news…