Educate | Inspire |Remember

Meet the team

behind Navy Wings

Meet The Engineering Team

Meet the engineers who are responsible for keeping our remarkable aircraft flying.

Jim Norris

Chief Engineer

Jim is a former Air Engineer Officer in the Fleet Air Arm who worked on Sea Harrier and Lynx squadrons during his naval career. His last appointment was as Cdr(AE) at RNAS Yeovilton. On leaving the Navy in 2009, Jim worked as an airworthiness and air safety specialist in the Defence Industry supporting a wide variety of MOD acquisition programmes including F-35 Lightning, P-8A Poseidon, E-7 Wedgetail, Apache and Merlin. His passion for vintage aircraft is long-standing and he owns and operates a 1939 DeHavilland Tiger Moth, which he loans to Navy Wings as an associate aircraft.

Bruce Ellis

Deputy Chief Engineer

Bruce is a highly experienced aero engineer who holds a CAA licence with type ratings for a wide variety of aircraft. He has worked in civil sector throughout his 34-year career in aviation, mostly focusing on vintage aircraft. He has rebuilt a wide variety of machines, including Spitfires and Hurricanes. His expertise in wood and fabric is proving to be of particular benefit to Navy Wings!

Mark 'Tug' Wilson

Aircraft Engineer

Tug has been with the flight for 10 years, having transferred across to Navy Wings from the previous MOD-run Royal Navy Historic Flight organisation. Prior to that he served for 34 years in the Royal Navy, leaving with the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Tug specialises in airframe and mechanical systems. He also runs our increasingly busy flight line.

Nick Bailes

Aircraft Engineer

Nick served in the Royal Navy as an Electrical specialist for 33 years, but continues to support the Royal Naval Reserve on a part time basis. He joined the Royal Navy Historic Flight in 2014 and transferred over to Navy Wings on 1st Jan 21. He currently works as our Logistics Manager, and works tirelessly in organising the vast amount of materiel that we inherited with from MOD.

Chris Hurford

Aircraft Engineer

Chris has over 23 years’ experience working on historic, military & commercial aircraft. He commenced his career as an apprentice at Boscombe Down, working on the wide variety of aircraft operated there. He then took a job in Saudi Arabia before making the leap into civil aviation, servicing civil airliners at Chicago O’hare airport. Whilst in the US, he supported the Collings foundation as a volunteer, touring the continent with their Boeing B-17G, Consolidated B-24J, North American B-25J & TF-51D Mustang aircraft. He holds a US Federal Aviation Authority licence as an Airframe & Propulsion mechanic.

Ashely Rollett

Aircraft Engineer

Ashley started his career as an Apprentice to Britten Norman before taking a job with Bournemouth Avionics as an avionics technician. He joined us in Spring 2021. While he continues to specialise in avionics he is already adept at the more traditional skills required to support vintage aircraft. The youngest member of our team, he has already found his niche in gaining access to parts of the aircraft that the older folk simply can’t reach! In his spare time, he works on his large collection of classic motorbikes.

Meet The Pilots

Andrew 'Mum' Davis

Chief Pilot

Andrew Davis joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1978 and was awarded his Nary Wings in 1979. Despite picking up an unfortunate nickname of Mum, he embarked upon CATOBAR fiying operations in HAS Melbourne privileged to enjoy over 250 arrested landings onboard flying S2G Tracker ASW aircraft. Upon the demise of Australian Naval fixed wing flying in 1984, he came to the UK for a RN exchange tour flying Seaking Helos, also in
the ASW role.

Andrew transferred fully to the Royal Navy in 1987 completing fast jet training in 1988. Sea Harrier FRS1 and FA2 operations including Op Granby and Deny Flight were interspersed with Flying instruction duties on Tucano, Hawk, Grob and SHAR. Ending his regular career as CO Naval Flying Standards Flight (FW) in 2004 and joining Virgin Atlantic Airways, he has continued in RNR (Air Branch) service enjoying Hawk T1 flying as a part timer for many years.

Initially a volunteer pilot for Navy Wings, he became Chief Pilot in 2020 and now thoroughly enjoys being part of the day to day flying of all current Navy Wings aircraft.

Keith Copus

Compliance Manager and Wasp Pilot

Keith joined the Royal Navy as a Junior Naval Aircraft Mechanic (JNAM), at HMS Ganges in October 1961. After a year at Ganges, Keith’s training continued at HMS Condor in Arbroath, Scotland and in 1963 Keith was drafted to RNAS Yeovilton to work on the Sea Vixen. After a tour on 890 Squadron in HMS Ark Royal, Keith went to the Mobile Aircraft Transport and Salvage Unit (MARTSU) at HMS Daedalus, Lee on Solent. In 1968 Keith was selected for advanced engineering training and attended a 2 year Mechanicinans Course at HMS Condor. The intention was to align the Mechanicinans qualifications with the Artificer Apprentices. On completion of the Mechanicinans course Keith was drafted to the Engine Repair Shop at HMS Heron and then applied for a Commission as aircrew.

He successfully passed the Flying Grading and Admiralty Interview Board and Joined BRNC Dartmouth in September 1970. On completion of flying training on the Chipmunk, Hiller 12E and Whirlwinfd Mk 7 helicopters, Keith was selected to fly as a ‘Junglie’ and trained to fly the Wessex Mk5, joining 848 squadron in 1972. On completion of a tour on 848 he was appointed to the Inter Service Hovercraft Trial Unit at Lee on Solent as a trials pilot.
In 1976 Keith was appointed to fly the Wasp and after training at RNAS Portland, was appointed to be Flight Commander of HMS Yarmouth, a type 12 Frigate. In 1978 Keith retired from the Royal Navy and obtained his commercial pilots licence.

Keith has flown a total of 12 different Helicopter types in South Africa, Ras Al Khaimeh (UAE) and in the North Sea where he flew the Super Puma 332L with Bond Helicopters. He then focused his flying skills on Air Ambulances first flying a Dauphin A365N in Glasgow and finally Keith was instrumental in setting up the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance at Henstridge, flying a Bolkow 105.

In 2004 Keith retired from professional flying, bought a larger sailing boat and, with his wife Heather, sailed her to Greece and back, returning to the UK in 2013 after being, “Live-a-boards” for 9 years. Since 2013 Keith has been involved with Navy Wings in its various forms and is delighted to be given the opportunity to fly the iconic Wasp helicopter, the type that he last flew in 1978. The Wasp was the first purpose designed helicopter for small ship operations and they formed the basis of Lynx and Wildcat shipborne operations that the RN conduct today.

Al Mclaren

Volunteer Pilot

Bio coming soon.

Glenn Allison

Volunteer Swordfish Pilot

Lieutenant Commander Glenn Allison joined the Royal Navy in 1984 as an apprentice aircraft engineering artificer at HMS Daedalus and subsequently worked on Lynx helicopters at Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Portland and in 1990 he was selected for officer and flying training.

He followed the well-trodden path of a Naval helicopter pilot, through BRNC Dartmouth to Elementary Flying Training on the Bulldog at Topcliffe and thence to 705 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) Gazelle helicopters at RNAS Culdrose, where he was awarded “Wings” in 1992. Advanced and Operational flying training came on the Sea King Mk4 and he became a Commando “Jungly” pilot. Front line service included tours of duty in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Norway with 707, 845 & 846 NAS.

After 2 front line tours he was selected for Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) training, and joined the Defence Helicopter Flying School (DHFS) at RAF Shawbury in 1997. After completion of the QHI course he taught ab-initio pilots on 660 and 705 Squadron, qualifying as an A2 QHI on the Squirrel. He converted to the Lynx helicopter and was appointed as Flight Commander of HMS Cumberland in 2001. He had a varied two years in HMS Cumberland ranging from the Baltic with NATO, to a nine month deployment carrying out maritime interdiction operations in the Northern Gulf and Indian Ocean.

In 2003 Glenn was appointed back to Squirrel helicopters at DHFS where he was responsible for the training of student pilots from all three services in advanced helicopter flying techniques, such as low level navigation and mountain flying. After this tour he returned to the Commando Helicopter Force as a QHI in 848 NAS, where he was responsible for refresher and conversion training of pilots to the Sea King Mk4. At this time he joined the Royal Navy Historic Flight as a volunteer Swordfish pilot before, in 2007, being appointed to HMS Ark Royal as Lieutenant Commander Flying, responsible for the flying operations. Then appointed as Commanding Officer of 727 NAS, primarily responsible for pilot grading on the Grob Tutor aircraft, he also continued flying the Swordfish. After an exchange appointment to 5 Regiment Army Air Corps (5AAC) at Joint Helicopter Command Aldegrove in Northern Ireland, he joined RNAS Culdrose as a 750 NAS pilot flying the King Air 350ER Avenger. Having gained experience on a number of fixed wing aircraft, his most recent appointment is as an examiner with Naval Flying Standards Flight and he continues to fly the Swordfish and act as a QFI for the Navy Wings Heritage Flight.

Mark Jameson

Volunteer Pilot

Mark Jameson joined the Royal Navy in 1991 as a pilot and conducted Flying Grading on the Chipmunk TMk10. In 1996 he joined 702 NAS flying the Maritime Lynx for Operational Flying Training. His first operational appointment was to 815 NAS as a Flight Pilot serving onboard HMS Manchester, HMS Newcastle and HMS Endurance which took him to the Caribbean (West Indies Guard Ship), the Gulf (Carrier Escort/Patrol), Adriatic (Bosnia) and Antarctica.

In 2003 he moved over to 815 NAS as a Flight Commander and flying the Lynx Mk3 flew three busy Southern hemisphere summer’s in and around the South Atlantic, Falkland Island’s, Weddell Sea, South Sandwich, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsular in support of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hydrographic Service and British Antarctic Survey.

Following a tour with 750 NAS as a Beech King Air pilot, used to train Royal Navy Observers, he joined the Royal Navy Historic Flight in 2018 as the Commanding Officer and oversaw the transition to the Navy Wings Heritage Flight in 2019. He remains a volunteer Swordfish pilot for the Heritage Flight. Recently graduated from 115Sqn RAF Wittering and now with 16 “The Saints” Sqn RAF instructing Elementary Flying Training, he is one of the few QHI/QFI qualified pilots in the military.

Mark now has a total of more than 6200hrs airborne, 2903 successful deck landings, 683 of them at night and has served nearly 5yrs of his 29yr career (so far) at sea.

Sea Fury

Christopher Götke AFC

Volunteer Pilot

After attending BRNC Dartmouth and ‘grading’ on the Chipmunk T.10 Chris flew the Slingsby T67M Firefly in elementary training at RAF Topcliffe and at this stage was selected for fast jet and carried out the basic jet course on the turboprop Shorts Tucano. Advanced and Tactical weapons training followed on the BAe Hawk with 208 Squadron at RAF Valley, followed by a short stint at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, still flying the Hawk. Eventually, training on the Sea Harrier was completed in 1998 and he joined 800 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) in HMS Invincible, seeing service in Iraq and Kosovo, becoming Unit Test Pilot during this tour.

From 800 NAS he was selected as an Air Weapons Instructor and after the course joined 801 NAS in HMS Illustrious for Exercise Saif Serria II before returning to 800 NAS in HMS Ark Royal. His next appointment was to the Fast Jet Test Squadron at QinetiQ Boscombe Down, where he was lucky enough to get his hands on the Jaguar, Alpha Jet, Harvard and all marks of Harrier. He was employed as the project pilot for the VAAC Harrier, a unique ‘fly-by-wire’ test bed to investigate the control philosophy for the Joint Strike Fighter. The VAAC carried out the worlds first ‘hands off’ landing on a ship underway during 2006.

Chris was appointed the Commanding Officer Royal Navy Historic Flight between 2013 -2018, a full time position managing and flying for the organisation he had supported voluntarily for ten years. Now flying Hawk aircraft for 736 Squadron based at RNAS Culdrose, Chris continues to volunteer to fly for the Navy Wings Heritage Flight. His time as a volunteer ‘historic’ pilot started when he converted to the Sea Hawk and flew it for the 2005 and 2006 seasons before converting to the Sea Fury at the end of 2006. He first flew the Swordfish in 2015. He Like all Heritage Flight volunteer pilots keeps his skill level up by training in a Chipmunk and Harvard.

Chris was awarded the Air Force Cross in 2015 for his handling of an engine failure in a Sea Fury at an air show in 2014.

William Dean

Volunteer Pilot

Bill joined the Royal Navy as a pilot in 1984 andl flew operational roles in the Royal Navy, firstly as a search and rescue helicopter pilot in Scotland and then, after fast jet training, as a fully operational Sea Harrier FRS1 pilot from HMS Invincible.

After completing the post graduate RAF GD Aerosystems Course, Bill was Flight Commander of the Sea Harrier OEU during operational test firings of the AMRAAM AIM120C from the upgraded Sea Harrier F/A 2. Bill was then appointed Senior Pilot 800 NAS flying the Sea Harrier F/A 2 from HMS Invincible during operations world-wide. After this operational leadership tour, he worked 6 years in the USA, firstly flying F/A 18C Hornet as an instructor at Virginia Beach and then flying the F/A 18C and AV-8B as an Operational Test Director at the United States Navy’s weapons test centre at China Lake California. His final two years in the USA were as the UK Test and Evaluation Lead at the F35 joint project office in Washington D.C.

On return to the UK in 2006 he spent his final tour in military service as Deputy Force Commander Joint Force Harrier at RAF Cottesmore including a 5 month appointment as Acting Station Commander. Bill then initially worked as an independent aerospace consultant working on F35 Joint Strike Fighter projects and other contracts before joining Rolls-Royce plc in 2011 as Chief Pilot (Defence Aerospace) based in Bristol.

Bill is a qualified CAA display pilot and previously flew the Rolls-Royce Griffon powered Spitfire Mk XIX PS853 at corporate events and airshows around the UK. Bill is also a part-time instructor with the Boultbee Flight Academy flying the academy's Mk IX Spitfires. Bill completed an MSc in Safety and Human Factors in Aviation from Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre in 2019.

Simon Thomas

Volunteer Pilot

Captain Simon Thomas MA RN (Red) began flying in 1972, on joining BRNC Dartmouth: he left the service in 2008. He served principally as a helicopter pilot flying Wasps. Sea Kings and Lynx at sea and ashore. He has a grand total of 3070 hours; 2660 are rotary-wing, with over 700 on the Wasp.

Dunno his Service career, Simon flew display routines and role demonstrations on all three of his operational helicopter types, Including leading a multi-national helicopter formation dung the Australian Bicentenary celebrations over Sydney harbour in 1988. Having had ships’ flight commands, ship command and having been Senior Pilot of a 9-aircraft Sea King squadron in HMS ARK ROYAL, he is well versed in the briefing, safety, and regulatory aspects of aviation.

Simon Thomas is the current CO of the Fleet Air Arm Squadron. This is an accredited military flying club, comprising retired and serving service pilots and some civilians: membership stands at around 120, of whom 70 own aircraft. The Squadron runs an annual Flying Standards weekend, which Simon ran for several years and over which he now presides.

Tim de la Fosse

Volunteer Pilot

Tim served as a Sea King pilot in the Fleet Air Arm and the Reserves between 1981 and 2001 and was aircraft carrier based for his first tour flying off HMS ILLUSTRIOUS and then went to the Naval Air Station at Prestwick. In Scotland Tim undertook both Anti-Submarine work and Search and Rescue duties for the rest of his Naval career and in the Reserves.

Upon leaving the regular Navy Tim joined British Airways where he flew the HS 748, BAe RJ, BAC 1-11, Boeings 737,747,757,767,777 and Airbus A320 series whilst also flying the Jet Ranger commercially. British Airways appointed Tim as Flight Ops Director of several of their subsidiary companies including Brymon Airways, British Regional Airlines, Manx Airlines and British Airways CitiExpress.

Apart from flying the Wasp with Navy Wings Heritage Flight Tim also flies the Grob Tutor as an RAF Reservist giving air cadets their first experience in the air. Tim continues to fly his own DH Chipmunk the type he first trained on in the Royal Navy at the start of his flying career.

Steve Collier

Volunteer Pilot

Steve ‘Skips’ Collier has over 10,000 hours under his belt ranging from helicopters, to fast jets, to executive jets.

Steve joined the Royal Navy in 1970 and served for some 29 years. His appointments were various including operational, operational support and training roles which included embarked operations on aircraft carriers and duties with 32 (The Royal) Squadron which involved transporting members of the royal family and government ministers amongst others. The aircraft types ranged from Wessex to Sea Harriers and from Jetstream to Hawker -700.

In 1999 he left the Royal Navy to continue flying in the commercial world, his first appointment being a VIP captain flying a private Dassault Falcon 2000 in the corporate role. Based in Egypt his duties covered operations throughout Europe, Scandinavia, North Africa, the Middle East and the former Eastern Bloc.

Steve continued as a VIP Captain based in Zurich, Farnborough and Luton flying the Gulfstream IV and 550 in the private and business roles, operating around the world until in 2014 he joined the Navy Wings team as a consultant overseeing the then newly formed Sea Vixen project.

With the Royal Navy recently gifting their heritage aircraft to Navy Wings to operate, Steve is now a volunteer pilot to the Navy Wings Heritage Flight.

Meet The Charity Team

Meet the team that works at the charity to raise funds to keep our historic aircraft flying.

Jock Alexander

CEO

Jock Alexander spent over 38 years in the Royal Navy, initially as a Seaman Officer and Ship’s Diver before gaining his pilot’s Wings in 1984 and spending the next 32 years in the Fleet Air Arm.

His aviation posts included the Helicopter Warfare Instructor on 819 NAS, the Senior Pilot of 820 NAS, the Commanding Officer of 819 NAS, the Staff Operations and Warfare Officer for FOMA, Commander Air of HMS Illustrious, the Staff Aviation Officer for FONA, Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Carrier Strike, the 1st Sea Lord’s Aviation Advisor and Commanding Officer RNAS Yeovilton (his last appointment as a Commodore). He also commanded HMS Kellington in the Fishery protection Role and, as a Captain, a Joint UK/US Training Team in Basra Province, Iraq. He took up his current post as Chief Executive of the FNHT on 29 Feb 2016 after retiring from the RN.

Sue Eagles

Communications and Major Donor Fundraising

Sue joined Navy Wings in 2010 and works closely with the Charity’s Ambassadors and major donors building lasting relationships and high net worth support.

Widely recognised as a leading strategic communications specialist, Sue served in high level policy arenas in the Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve for 30 years, combining a military and civilian career across the defence, aerospace, and charity sectors. Appointments at RNAS Yeovilton, RNAS Culdrose, Plessey and Westland Helicopters; coupled with command of the Royal Navy’s Media Ops branch for seven years, including two tours in Afghanistan, gave her career a strong naval aviation edge. Awarded the QVRM for ‘inspiring leadership and professionalism’ in 2008, Sue was Communications Director for the Centenary of Naval Aviation in 2009 and Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown’s commemorative event in 2016. In addition to major donor fundraising, Sue’s trademark skills provide strategic direction to the Charity’s wider marketing and fundraising campaigns.

Laila Sadler

Fundraising Manager

Bio Coming Soon

Dave Weatherley

Business and Information Systems Director

Bio Coming Soon

Penny Koheeallee

Finance

Bio Coming Soon

Nina Pearson

Administration

Bio Coming Soon