Breen started his long aviation career when only 13 years old
at the Bristol & Gloucester Gliding Club.
joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) at 16 years of age and, during
his engineering apprenticeship at the No.1 School of Aircraft
Technical Training Halton, he became a gliding instructor at the
prestigious RAFGSA Centre, Bicester when only at 17 years of age.
Whilst training he won the Whitbread Bursary Award & Sir Phillip
Sassoon Flying Scholarship that started him on his professional
aviation career at the Airline Service Training School in Perth,
passed out of Halton with honours in 1971 and started work as
as a Junior Technician, servicing the Belfast heavylift aircraft
at RAF Abingdon.
preparing for aerobatics in his Acrosport and Pitts Special
& daughter Amy - who loves aerobatics!
saw him become one of the first people in the UK to successfully
fly a hang glider.
flying high on his first home made polythene & scaffold tube
was sponsored by the RAF to set many records including the first
Royal Mail to be carried by a hang glider and the first dual flight
from the summit of Snowdon.
Hang Glider Mail
along with Sqn Ldr Dave Willis were the first people to hang glide
from the summit of Ben Nevis (4,406ft), Britain’s highest mountain,
and he held the British and European duration record several times.
being hoisted by balloon for an attempt at the World altitude
record in 1974
1974 he left the RAF and set up a hang glider manufacturing company.
then started the Welsh Hang Gliding Centres at Crickhowell and
Ruthin, which became Britain’s largest and most successful schools.
1975 he co-authored the first British book about hang gliding
with the late President of the BMAA Ann Welch.
1976 he introduced powered hang glider flying to the UK and, by
1978, he had doubled the world non-stop distance record previously
held by an American.
World Distance Record flying the first UK microlight
went on to become the first person to fly from London to Paris
in the British Airways powered hang glider, which was the first
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) registered microlight in the UK
(G-BGNL) and the first microlight flight to carry Royal Mail.
young Gerry prepares to race Concorde to Paris!
was undoubtedly the first person to coin the word ‘microlight'.
much traffic on the roads in 1980! - photo taken for Sunday Times
1978 to 1984 he popularised the sport in the media through Breen
Aviation (then Britains largest centre) at Enstone Aerodrome so
effectively that he became regarded by many as the ‘father’ of
Breen Aviation Headquarters at Enstone in 1980
was the first microlight pilot to land in the centre of Paris
in the first London to Paris air race in 1982 and the first person
to fly a microlight over London Tower Bridge in 1984.
makes the first ever microlight flight over London in 1984
wins the Lands End to John O’Groats race in 1980
& the famous fighter pilot the late Sir Douglas Bader in 1981
has taken part in many films and television documentaries. They
range from flying as a stunt pilot to training pilots for a James
kayaks through Dettifoss Canyon - Iceland
most well known were: `Iceland Breakthrough’ featured in the National
Geographic Magazine in which he flew a microlight across the Icelandic
kayaks & supplies over Dettifoss Waterfall
`On Angels Wings’ where he and his late great friend Kelvin Wilson
were the first people to fly hang gliders from the summit of Angel
Falls, the worlds highest waterfall (3000 ft), in Venezuela.
photographs Kelvin next to the Falls
off on the Ice-lake used in the James Bond film
1983 he was the personal instructor to His Royal Highness Prince
Abdullah now King of Jordan
His Royal Highness King Abdullah of Jordan
in 1984 he set up a microlight school in Germany where he met
his late wife Manuela. In 1985 he and Manuela moved to the Algarve.
is the owner of the Algarve Airsports Centre at Lagos Aerdrome
and teaches both weightshift and three axis microlights, and aerobatics
in his Acrosport biplane. He also flies helicopters, seaplanes,
autogyros, sailplanes, hang gliders, paramotors and paragliders.
Cricketer, Ian Botham, takes his first flight with Gerry in 1982
has now amassed over 20,000 hours flying experience on more than
200 aircraft types.
One racing driver, Ricardo Patrese, takes his first flight with
retired from active flying and examining in January 2012 having
been flying for 45 years and a CAA Panel Examiner for over 25
years. He is undoubtedly one of the world’s most able and distinguished
immensly experienced - Brendan O'Brien - Television series 'FlightLine'
presenter flies with Gerry
and the family flew aboard the last Air France Concorde and they
were also allowed into the cockpit during an attempt to break
the altitude and speed record by climbing to over 60,000 feet
and flying at Mach 2.05.
& Karen aboard Concorde's last flight with his son Philipp
(the youngest on board) & daughter Amy were definitely the
focus of media attention
feet over the Atlantic (photo taken by Philipp)
quest for adventure continues on the sea and land also. Three
years ago he chartered a Volvo 60 ocean racing yacht to attempt
the Atlantic speed record. Unfortunately he was caught out
at the end of the hurricane season which destroyed three sails
and only managed it in 12 days! He is currently big into
cycling recumbents in preparation for his round the world journey
and also loves classic cars being the owner of his teenage dream
car a Rolls Royce Mulsanne.
takes the family helicopter flying
loves to collect autographs of famous people that he has met in
his travels and has signed photographs of Neil Armstrong (first
man on the moon) and Chuck Yeager (first man to fly faster then
the speed of sound) in pride of place amongst his collection.
happy family backstage with their favourite stars David Walliams
& Matt Lucas of Little Britain fame.