Last update Jan 2004
Charles E McHugh AGAvA CFS(c) RAF
Helicopter Crewman & Aviation Artist:
Working for the Jamaican Defence Force circa 2001
Charles McHugh was born in 1959 at Whiston, Lancashire; and raised in Huyton below the flight path of Liverpool Airport in the UK. He joined the Air Training Corps at 13 years and was a Glider Pilot at age 16. Although not born into a military or aviation family, that was to be his life from a very early age, though motorcycles have always been a close second.
In 1977 (age 17) he joined the Royal Air Force initially as an Air Traffic Control assistant being employed in the UK and Germany. In 1985 he retrained to become a Helicopter Crewman working on the Puma HC I support helicopter. Qualified as a Helicopter Crewman Instructor (QHCI) in 96, he then instructed ab-initio crewmen using the Wessex HC II and in turn Bell Griffin HT1 (Bell 412EP) helicopter. As a Central Flying School A2 QHCI holding an NVG (Night Vision Goggles) A category; he is highly qualified in his trade, and 2004 sees him complete 27 years military service.
Coached by his father (who does have unexploited natural talent) though generally self taught, Chas received no formal art training, but instead developed a natural aptitude for painting over many years. His love of painting and a life long fascination for flying led to a specialization in aviation art. His is particularly fortunate in that his primary career enables him to be airborne most days and he has amassed over 4000 rotary flying hours, flying over most of Europe, East coast USA, Jamaica, and Central America (Belize and Guatemala). In addition to this he has flown in over 40 fixed wing aircraft types including the Hawk & VSTOL Harrier T4. Many people have encouraged him in his artistic career and particular thanks are due to Mr Dai Davies, Art teacher at Prescot Grammar School who nurtured his talent as a teenager, and Mr Dan Dare, an aviation artist himself, who convinced Chas to make the transition from pencils to oils.
Chas has 3 flying ambitions remaining: He
wishes to fly in a Hot Air Balloon, Supersonic, and
(Cheers British Airways ● NOT!)
and will gladly accept any offers!!
Final thanks are due to the members of Britain's Guild of Aviation Artists (GAvA) who are not known for avoiding true opinions on work presented to the senior members for criticism. It is as a direct result of contact within this organization that Chas has developed and improved his work. He has had work selected for inclusion in the prestigious GAvA "Aviation Paintings of the Year" exhibition at the Carrisbrooke Gallery in London in 1999 - 2001, and the Mall Gallery since 2002.
In July 2003; Chas formalised Global Aviation Art Ltd to promote and publish his own work. This was always intended to coincide with his retirement from the Royal Air Force, but has occurred earlier in response to public demand. Flying is beneficial to an artist that portrays aircraft and wherever possible, Chas will depict an air-to-air rendition rather than a viewpoint at ground level.
Chas will accept commissions, Email for details.
1969 Penzance Heliport Age 9 yrs, "I want to fly helicopters"
British European Airways S61-N
1996 Fort Pickett Virginia, not much has changed
US Army UH-60 Blackhawk
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Bell 412 Griffin HT 1
Defence Helicopter Flying School
NATO Tiger Meet 2003
Cambrai - France
Tiger painted by the artist