One of my earliest memories is going to visit my grandfather at his machine-shop business. We were just leaving when I heard an incredible noise and I turned to see a Harrier jet lift off into a hover a stone’s throw away. Lucky for me my grandfather’s business was just outside the fence at Whitman field, Oshkosh, home to the world’s biggest fly in, otherwise I may not have been terminally bitten by the aviation bug!
I’ve been a pilot myself for 16 years now, I’ve picked up my night and IMC ratings as well, so I can fly at night, in bad weather, which can be a real challenge. Flying is freedom, and you are the master of the situation – you have to be when you are up there as the only one who can bring the airplane back down is you. It sounds like pressure but it isn’t, at least for me, or rather it’s a pressure that I find gives me focus.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to pursue my interests and some time back I wrote a few articles for The UK Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association’s magazine, one of which led to me presenting on biofuels for aviation. I also had the very good luck to be able to write a flight test article of the Edgley EA-7 Optica observation airplane, which is a strange looking bird!