The first opportunity I had to join the ATC (Air Training Corps) age 13 years and 3 months I joined 2077 (Pontyclun) Squadron. I was enthusiastic to learn the theory behind aerodynamics, different airframe designs and methods of developing thrust in both military and civil aircraft.
Only after passing these exams was I able to take the back seat in a De Havilland Chipmunk. With a few simple aerobatics flown by my instructor, I was given control to carry out basic maneuvers (pitch, roll, yaw), and how to set up the aircraft using throttle, trim & flaps.
After further flights in the Scottish Aviation Bulldog and Viking T1 gliders my enthusiasm grew, and at 15 years old my focus was to become a fast jet pilot on the RAF’s Tornado. A dream quickly crushed after feedback from a medical at RAF Cranwell – My height made it impossible to safely eject from a Tornado should an event require it.