Experience the thrill of flying in our vintage or modern aircraft

  THE PILOTS
Neil Westwood
Neil gained his private pilot’s licence at Shoreham in 1992 and very soon after was sampling the delights of vintage flying on aircraft such as the Tiger Moth, Piper Cub and T6 Harvard.  He began instructing in the summer of 2000 primarily on the deHavilland Chipmunk and a few months later started his airline career with Brymon Airways, flying their Dash-8 turboprop airliners. He spent several years as a Senior First Officer flying the Embraer 145 turbofan aircraft with British Airways CitiExpress and BA Connect. Leaving to join GB airways early in 2007, he then joined Easyjet in April 2008 when it acquired GB Airways and is now flying the Airbus A319/320/321. With his wife Lisa, Neil is one of the co-founders of RFC.  
Victor Peirce Victor Peirce
Victor started flying at Shoreham, completing his private licence in 1978 and developing an early interest in classic aircraft, including the T6 Harvard. A flying instructor’s rating followed in 1987. Sponsored through commercial training, he flew turboprop aircraft with CityFlyer Express. In 1992 a move to turbofans with Airtours, which subsequently became MyTravel resulted in a career in worldwide charter flying. He is rated on the MD83, Boeing 757/767 and currently Airbus A320/321 and A330. 2008 saw MyTravel become Thomas Cook, with which Victor is currently a Captain, instructor and examiner on the Airbus fleet.
Stuart McKinnon

Stuart McKinnon
Stuart began flying at Shoreham in 1992 and started working as a flying instructor in 1996. Within three years he had become a Flight Examiner and the Chief Flying Instructor of a large Shoreham-based flying school, a position he held until joining CityFlyer Express in 2001, flying Avro RJ100 turbofans. 2001 also saw him qualify as a Civil Aviation Authority Test Pilot and to date he has flown over 60 different aircraft types, including rare, classic and warbird examples, such as the T6 Harvard, Percival EP9 and Pilatus P2. At present Stuart is a Senior First Officer with British Airways, on their Boeing 737 fleet at Gatwick.

Mark Johns Mark Johns
Mark learned to fly at Shoreham in 1988 and qualified as a flying instructor in 1990, rising to the position of Chief Flying Instructor and Charter Pilot within four years. During this time he honed his tailwheel skills on the deHavilland Chipmunk and T6 Harvard aircraft before starting his airline career with Brymon Airways in 1997, where he became a training Captain on their Dash-8 turboprop airliners. Mark is currently a Captain and type rating examiner on the Airbus A319/320/321, having joined GB Airways in 1999, initially flying Boeing 737s and transferred to Easyjet when they acquired GB in April 2008.
Dave Cooke Dave Cooke
Dave was introduced to flying in 1985 courtesy of a flying scholarship in Leicester. He became a flying instructor the following year, when he began flying tailwheel aircraft. Whilst instructing, he also found time to work as a glider-tug pilot until joining British Airways in 1988, flying their Hawker Siddeley 748 and ATP turboprop aircraft around the Northern England and Scotland routes. In 1993 he transferred to BA’s Boeing 747 fleet and is now a Captain at Heathrow. Since 1994 Dave has owned several aerobatic aircraft and competes in aerobatic competitions at advanced level. He also is a T6 Harvard instructor.
Adrian Wilton

Adrian Wilton
Adrian began flying at Shoreham in 1995, flying PA38 Tomahawks and gaining his PPL on the first day of 1996. By 1998 he had obtained night, IMC and twin-engine ratings and he began gaining experience on Piper Seneca, Aztec and Beech 76 twins. He started training for a commercial licence in 1999, with the flying element taking place initially at Bournemouth on PA28 Warriors, then Southend. Adrian also gained an instructor rating at the same time and in 2000 qualified for night and applied instrument instruction. 2002 saw him training for and obtaining the much feared instrument rating and a year later qualifying as a flight and ground examiner. In 2004 he added a twin instructor qualification to his already substantial list of achievements. Since obtaining his instructor rating in 1999, Adrian has worked for several flying schools at Shoreham, attaining the position of Chief flying instructor, before joining the team at RFC in 2006 as a dedicated PA28 instructor/examiner.    

Gordon Harwell Gordon Harwell
Gordon began training for his PPL in 1980 under a flying scholarship at Dundee. He joined the RAF in 1981 and flew Bulldog aircraft with Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews Universities Air Squadron. In 1986 he began Jet training, initially on the Jet Provost Mk5, then the Bae Hawk. After gaining his RAF wings he flew the Tornado GR1, based in Germany and whilst on the Tornado, flew several missions during the first Gulf War. After a spell at Boscombe Down as a trials officer for Jaguar/Tornado, Gordon then completed two tours as a Flight Commander on the Tucano, both as an instructor and examiner. He left the RAF in 2001 and started his Commercial Airline career with Air 2000 as a First Officer on the Boeing 757. In 2002 he joined Easyjet, initially on the Boeing 737 and eventually converting onto the Airbus A319, on which Gordon is currently a training Captain, based at Gatwick. In 2003 he began instructing with a flying school in Gloucestershire on the Bulldog and Extra 300, joining the team at RFC in early 2007.
Chris Batt Chris Batt
Chris began flying in 1997 when he embarked on a PPL course, flying the Cessna 152 at Shoreham’s now defunct Southern Air, converting onto the Piper PA28 soon after completion. In April of 1999 he ventured into the world of tailwheel flying with a conversion onto the deHavilland Chipmunk and added a night rating to his licence in the same year, followed by an IMC rating in 2000. Around this time, Chris managed to acquire some flying time in other tailwheel types such as the PA18 Super-Cub and T6 Harvard. Early 2002 saw Chris sampling the challenge of twin-engine flying when he flew the PA 34 Seneca, on which he gained his multi-engine rating. 2002 also was the year he was first introduced to the SV4 Stampe, a type much favoured by Chris, which he has flown at RFC since it began operations at Shoreham in 2003. The road to a Commercial licence beckoned soon after and the flying side of the proceedings was completed using PA28 Warrior and complex Arrow types at Stapleford in 2006. Chris polished off an Instructor rating in 2007 and was able to join the team at RFC on completion.   
Matthew Hill

Matthew Hill
Matthew began flying gliders as an air cadet at RAF Syerston in 1982 and later in the year began his PPL course at Biggin Hill flying the Rallye 150, completing in 1984. Matthew then boosted his flying hours with the Tiger Club at Redhill, flying numerous types such as the Stampe, Tiger Moth, Condor and Turbulent, beginning a lifelong passion for tailwheel and aerobatic flying. Display flying beckoned when he joined the Turbulent display team in 1984 and in 1985 he began flying Piper Cub and Robin aircraft at Booker, engaged in towing gliders. He spent three years with the renowned Skyhawks display team, flying the delightful Fournier RF4 aerobatic motor-glider until 1991. During this time he gained a Commercial Licence, instrument and twin ratings, then in 1991 began displaying PT17 Stearman Biplanes for the Crunchie flying circus. During his four-year stint with them, Matthew amassed a considerable amount of flying hours on the Stearman, most of the time with a girl standing on the top wing! He became a flight instructor at Shoreham in 1995 and later in the year left to fly Britten Norman Islanders in Montserrat, returning to Shoreham in 1996. Among several other display appointments at the time, he flew Yak 52’s with the Red Star Team, displayed the Utterly-Butterly sponsored Antonov AN-2, Kia sponsored Decathlon and numerous Harvards until starting his airline career with Brymon airways in 1998 as a First Officer and subsequently Captain, flying the Dash-8 turboprop and then Bae 146 jets with BA CitiExpress, BA Connect and FlyBe. During this period Matthew regularly displayed Anthony Hodgson’s T-6 Harvard, also being fortunate enough to fly his Spitfire MkIX and Beech 18. He left FlyBe in 2007 to take up his current appointment with the airline Astraeus, flying the Boeing 737 and also returned to instructing in 2009 when he joined RFC back at Shoreham.     

Mark Vickers Mark Vickers
Mark learned to fly at Shoreham’s Southern Aero Club back in 1986, flying the Cessna 152. On gaining his PPL, he converted onto the Piper PA28 and in 1987 he bought a share in a group-owned Cessna 150, which he used to build up his flying hours. He added Night and IMC ratings in 1990 on the Grumman AA5 and in 1996 he gained his Commercial Pilot qualifications followed by an Instructor rating, which led to Mark working for a number of Shoreham-based Flying Schools over the next few years. In 1998, Mark was introduced to the DH82a Tiger Moth and honed his tailwheel skills on that famous aircraft type. Once this and an aerobatic instructor qualification were achieved, he was soon instructing on other tailwheel types, such as the Chipmunk, Super Cub and Decathlon. The year 2000 was busy, as he became a flight and ground examiner, also completing a Multi-engine rating and passing the dreaded Instrument rating, all on the PA34 Seneca. This led to Mark being employed to fly Charter and Scheduled services on both the Piper Seneca and Chieftain Aircraft from 2001 to 2006. In 2006, he joined the airline BMI Baby as a First Officer and flew the Boeing 737 until the company ceased operations in 2012. In 2010 he joined the team at RFC as an instructor/examiner and when he finds some time can be found flying his own Piper Super Cub.
   
  THE MANAGEMENT
Lisa Westwood Lisa Westwood
Lisa is one of the directors and co-founders of the RFC. Her background is in finance, which started in 1988 as a book-keeper in the manufacturing industry and following further education at college, she was employed in positions ranging from Assistant Financial Accountant, to Accounts Supervisor with major international insurance companies until 1998. From there she held the post of Accounts Manager for an international firm of engineering consultants and is currently employed as a Financial Controller for a local manufacturing company. Lisa also runs her own Financial Accounting Services business and still manages to find time to make up part of the vital management backbone of the Real Flying Company.
Iain Flitcroft

Iain Flitcroft
Iain became one of the directors at RFC in 2012, coming from a background in business and having owned a number of successful companies both in the catering and manufacturing industries. He began learning to fly with RFC in 2008 on the PA28 and has since progressed onto the tailwheel types, favouring the DHC-1 Chipmunk. Having been seduced by vintage/tailwheel aircraft, Iain has since managed to sample the delights of the Stampe, Stearman, Harvard and P-51 Mustang. He is currently completing his aerobatic training on the Chipmunk.

   
  OPERATIONS
Deborah Wenman
Julia Robinson

Deborah Wenman and Ella Bartczak
Deborah and Ella, together with Lisa, are our vital link between the customer and the pilot/instructor. These ladies are not only responsible for the smooth running of the day to day RFC operation but are also experts in customer care.

 

 

   
 
 

Hangar 7, Shoreham Airport, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, BN43 5FF.

Tel: 01273 440288
Fax: 01273 464259