Great aviation heritage

Welcome to Yorkshire Aviation Academy, based at Leeds East Airport formerly RAF Church Fenton. The airfield and local area is steeped in aviation history, pilots have been training and learning to fly here for over 50 years. Our flight training organisation has been established to build upon and continue this great aviation heritage. 

Whether you are considering becoming a Private Pilot and flying for pure enjoyment with friends and family or have your sights set on becoming an Airline Pilot, we are here to help you!

Enjoy the thrill of taking control of an aircraft while taking in the stunning views of Yorkshire with one of our trial flying lessons. It’s the perfect way to start your aviation journey!

Our advanced training courses include restricted instrument and night ratings, all designed to help you enhance your pilot skills.

We offer guidance and mentoring to all pilots, whether you are just embarking on your initial training, undertaking further training or pursuing your commercial licence.

We aim to deliver a training program that fulfills the specific requirements of our customers.

Leeds East


Trial Flying Lessons

Take control of a light aircraft and fly over the Yorkshire countryside. As a one off experience or the first step towards an Aviation Career. Your experienced instructor will explain the basics of controlling the aircraft and then allow you to take control.

Meet the team

Our team of instructors have over 100,000 hours of flight and instructional time between them. Their experience encompasses the whole array of civilian and military flying. Including UK Airlines, World Wide passenger and freight operations and RAF fast jet training. Every member of our instructional staff has a passion to instruct and meet the individual needs of the student pilot. Everyday we all learn something new about flying – there’s no such thing as a silly question here at YAA!


Nick Denby


Born in West Yorkshire Nick has always had a passion for all things flying, building and flying model aircraft and taking his first flight in a light aircraft from Oxenhope International Airport. He started his aviation journey proper with a RAF Flying Scholarship at Skegness in 1989, then joining East Midlands University Air Squadron flying the Scottish Aviation Bulldog, completing his PPL in 1991.


Jon Forsyth


Jon’s love of flying started when he tied a plank to his bike when age 7, and pedalling like fury down a north Leeds street, tried to emulate the Wright brothers. After all, how hard can it be? After being given a trial flying lesson by his wife, as a birthday present in 1993, Jon’s aviation career took off.


Tim Simpson


Coming from an aviation family, it was only natural that Tim Simpson should follow his father’s footsteps and join the RAF.  He completed his basic and fast-jet flying training on the Jet Provost and Hawk before going back to instruct on the JP at RAF Church Fenton, now Leeds East Airport.


Andy Smith


Andy started his aviation career aged 15 spending every weekend flying gliders, before being awarded an RAF Air Cadet Gliding and Flying scholarship which allowed him to complete his PPL in only one month.

tom davis pilot

Tom Davis


Born in the North East, Tom moved to Yorkshire at the age of 10. He started gliding at the age of 14 and gained his PPL at the age 17 through a RAF Flying Scholarship. Tom was fortunate to join the University Air Squadron before graduating with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and becoming an Avionics Systems Engineer.


Roger Wills


Roger started flying age 16 at Doncaster Aero Club, spending many an hour cleaning the aircraft and helping around the Aerodrome. Soon after attaining his PPL he amassed hours to begin instructing and started on the road to commercial aviation.


Kerry Wilton


Kerry’s the odd one out, though it may be hard to spot. He’s from New Zealand, where he decided to become a pilot soon after finding out about aircraft at age 4. This was allegedly some time ago.


Harry Tait


Harry is the first aviator in the Tait family, starting his PPL at 14, and being let loose on his own on the cold morning of his 16th Birthday. He decided to jump straight into ATPLs after his A-levels, and scored very highly, even after having to complete 10 exams in a single sitting!

Our Fleet

53°50’7.584″N  1°11’53.016″W

Ready for
take off?