I’M a gyro pilot in Cornwall, in the early stages of preparing a book about the Brookland Mosquito, a wonderful little gyroplane invented by Ernie Brooks in his garage at Spennymoor, which was later developed into the Hornet by Cecil Golightly and Brian Luesley, trading as Gyroflight at Ferryhill.
Brian actually flew one of these tiny, open cockpit machines across the Channel in 1970, no mean feat.
Gyroflight also ran a flying school based at RAF Acklington, training students on the Gnat and Midge gyro-gliders before progressing onto the modified VW powered gyros. One of their instructors was a young ATC cadet called Denis Lee.
With the help of your readers, I’d dearly love to hear from anyone who might be kind enough to share memories of Ernie, Cecil, Brian, or Denis, and their Brookland or Gyroflight activities, especially anyone who actually worked or flew with them.
There was incredible global interest in this machine back in the late 60s/early 70s, which involves a very moving story spanning the length of the country and crossing five decades before it came to light - discovered (by pure chance) in a Cornish cellar by a gyro pilot/gyro-glider instructor who loves to write about gyros.
As the story unfortunately involves two fatal accidents, I’d like to add that I’ve no wish to upset anyone or open old wounds, but merely tell of the virtually unknown achievements of this small group of pioneers, and hopefully give them some of the recognition they deserve.
I have nothing but respect and admiration.
Owner/pilot of G-BVDJ, author of Short Hops
44 Redannack North