father Rev. William Ashburner, [Rector of Dodington], mother Georgiana Alder [Rinder]
m. 1926 Gladys Violet [Sheriff]
prev a Planter in the West Indies
The Imperial War Museum has a 1971 audio tape of him: "REEL 1 Aspects of training as officer cadet with Royal Flying Corps, 1917: early interest in flying; period in army, 1917; basic training at Hastings; technical training at Denham. Period on flying training at RAF Eastchurch, 3/1918: reaction to former Royal Naval Air Service; first flight in Avro 504 K, 20/4/1918; opinion of instructors during dual flying training on DH6 and Avro 504 K; story of nearly throwing instructor out during loop; first solo in Sopwith Pup, 13/6/1918; influenza attack; first solo on Sopwith Camel, 28/7/1918; course as flying instructor at RAF Manston. Period as flying instructor at RAF Eastchurch, 1918: story of nearly flying out in loop; two-seater Sopwith Camel; method of recovering from spin. Demobilisation, 1919.
Period as sugar planter in British Guiana, 1920-1929. Passing air license during membership of Bristol and Wessex Flying Club, Filton and Whitchurch Airfields, Bristol area, 1929-1930. Period as rancher in British Guiana, 1930-1935. Period as member of B&WFC and Leicester Flying Club, 1935: aircraft flown; flights to various flying club airfields; Armistice celebrations, 11/11/1918-12/11/1918; development of commercial flying using flying boats in British Guiana; story of giving parents flights. Period prospecting for gold in British Guyana, 1935 -1938. Period flying with B&WFC, 1938-1939: failed attempt to rejoin RAF; question of communicating with control tower. Period as air traffic control officer at Croydon airport, London, 1938-1939: prior training course; question of competition between Imperial Airways and other airlines; types of passenger aircraft; use of Morse code to communicate with aircraft; use of map and pins to record aircraft position; method of landing aircraft by ear; flights of Air France aircraft in bad weather.
Period at Heston airport, London, 1939: review of services and aircraft; army cooperation exercises. Period as air traffic control officer at airfields at Perth, Aberdeen and Whitchurch, 1939-1943: initial rejection due to reserved occupation prior to acceptance on unpaid part-time basis as Class 1 aircraft ferry pilot with Air Transport Auxiliary, 4/1941; opinion of various aircraft flown. REEL 2 Continues: opinion of various aircraft flown; conversion course as Class II aircraft pilot; opinion of Spitfire; story of arrest by military police due to lack of uniform; near accident due to fatigue whilst flying Spitfire and consequent end of control tower duties, 9/1943. Period as fulltime ferry pilot with ATA, 1943-1945.
1977, "Flight"; "Lionel Ashburner from Sywell, Northampton was awarded the John Player Award for Achievement in General Aviation trophy and a £350 cheque for long service in Air Traffic Control. 'Ash' officially retired as an airways controller at Preston in 1963, but then became controller at Sywell, a post he held full-time into his seventies, becoming part-time only this year. He has long been known for an almost magic ability to talk 'temporarily uncertain' pilots into Sywell, aided only by his keen knowledge of Midlands geography."
d. 9 Feb 1986 - Bristol
See also http://www.sywellaerodrome.co.uk/