Phil is in his 51st year of unbroken professional aviation – and has loved every minute of it! He joined the Fleet Air Arm at the tender age of 18, flew helicopters for 22 years, including the Falklands campaign and a squadron command. Just prior to transferring to jets, he purchased his own Tiger Moth, a type he first qualified on in 1970 and which he continues to fly to this day. Unusually, he commanded a jet squadron for the RAF before returning to the Royal Navy for his last 6 years, spent introducing the Merlin Helicopter into service – and commanding the Royal Navy Historic Flight in his spare time! He left the FAA in 2021, having accumulated 10,000 hours on 30 different types.
Phil moved straight into the airline business, flying the Airbus A320 family, first for GB Airways, a BA franchise and subsequently with easyJet….. where he remained until 2015, when public transport flying ended on age! In parallel with his airline career, he became involved in the niche world of ferrying and test flying, having been asked in 2002, to ferry an old Canberra bomber from Bournemouth to Canberra! He continues in this role to this day, mainly flying the Airbus.
He was involved in the vintage aircraft air display world for many years and was privileged to fly many remarkable historic aircraft, including some of the big piston warbirds and early jets. He retains some of these links and is the Chief Pilot of the Malta Aviation Museum.
Teaching is in his pilot’s blood! He went to the RAF’s Central Flying School at the age of 22 and has been teaching or examining almost continuously ever since. With many years of aerobatics teaching under his belt, the UPRT syllabus is right up his street!