Chris Burwell charts one man’s career in aviation from joining the RAF in 1969 aged 18, to having responsibility for training pilots for the world’s major airlines nearly 50 years later.
After training at RAF Cranwell and RAF Valley and a tour as a flying instructor on Jet Provosts, he joined the Harrier Force, flying on front-line squadrons in the UK and Germany during the Cold War and as an instructor on the Harrier Conversion Unit. Detachments to Belize in 1977, the Falklands (twice), ejection from a Harrier GR3, introducing FLIR and NVG to the Harrier front line and operational missions in Northern Iraq are all covered in entertaining detail.
After 30 years of service, the author spent 12 years with Cobham, managing their Teesside base and flying the Falcon 20 on operational training for the military and the King Air 200 on international flight calibration tasks. Finally, he spent four years in Spain with Flight Training Europe (FTE) Jerez with responsibility for the flying training of a new generation of pilots.
Through his experience as a pilot, leader and manager gained over many years, his valuable insights into military and civilian flying operations are both engrossing and noteworthy. Highly recommended to readers of both disciplines.