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8th Episode – Richard Browning, Gravity Industries

In this episode we spoke to Richard Browning from Gravity Industries.  He is the Founder and Chief Test Pilot of Gravity Industries which designs, builds and flies Jet Suits, pioneering a new era of human flight. The company was founded in March 2017 to challenge the perceived boundaries in human aviation and to inspire others to dare to ask “What if?”. Prior to founding Gravity, Richard was a Royal Marines reservist for six years and an Oil Trader with BP for 16 years where he discovered and implemented major new technologies winning the BP Group innovation Award.


7th Episode – ‘Drone Special’

This episode of Leaders, Pioneers and Professionals concentrated on Drones. It looked at the use of drones across various industries especially the Police and the benefits it has yielded in fighting crime. Our special guests were Sion Roberts, CEO of Eagle Eye Innovations and RUSTA and Kevin Taylor, Senior RUSTA Instructor and Chief Drone Pilot for Lincolnshire Police.

6th Episode – Farnborough Friday – Inspirational Women in Aviation

This year, Farnborough Friday was held as a virtual event. It showcased the very best in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and was designed to give students, apprentices, graduates and young professionals considering a career in aerospace unprecedented access to the industry in a virtual setting.

With inspirational speakers from across aviation sharing their stories and offering advice on careers and next steps, Farnborough Friday was the perfect platform to get acquainted with the world of aerospace and aviation.

The Air League CEO, Nick West, hosted a session ‘Inspirational Women in Aviation’. He spoke to Kirsty Murphy, Patricia Mawuli Porter and to Ellie Carter about how they have made their aviation dreams a reality and how others can get involved in the industry. The discussion can be viewed below.


5th Episode – Farnborough Friday Celebration – Boeing’s Diversity in STEM panel discussion

To celebrate Farnborough Friday, the Air League filmed a special episode of Leaders, Pioneers and Professionals with a panel from Boeing who discussed Diversity in STEM.  The panel was made up of: 

Thant Phway, PhD – Quality Engineer

Thant has worked at Boeing for 4 years working. Initially, she was a Business Improvement Specialist and as PMO Lead. Prior to Boeing,  she spent nine years working in the Oil and Gas Industry where she spent around 18months working on Oil Rigs in the North Sea. She enjoy various aspects of Engineering and tries to broaden her scope where there is opportunity. She studied Mechanical Engineering and has a PhD in Electromagnetics but because she wanted to broaden her scope, she has worked in various areas of engineering during her career ranging from Manufacturing Engineer, Process Engineer and to various roles in Quality Engineering, which is her favourite due to it’s scope

Thant will be joined by her colleagues from across the globe.








The Air League would like to extend a huge thank you to the team at Boeing for organising this opportunity and highlighting the importance of Diversity, especially across STEM disciplines.

4th Episode – Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty CBE

The 4th Episode of Leaders, Pioneers and Professionals took place on the 6th July 2020. We had the pleasure of speaking to Air Cdre McCafferty about the Air Cadets and her military career. Accompanying Nick West and the Commandant Air Cadets, was an award winning Air Cadet who provided a young person’s view to the discussion.

For further information about this episode and for Commandant Air Cadets’ bio, click here. The full episode can be viewed below.

3rd Episode – Mark Johnston – Group Chief Engineer of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group

We spoke to Mark Johnston, Group Chief Engineer of the Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group on the 23rd June 2020 at 5 pm. Marshall has been offering apprenticeships for the past 100 years and we are keen to find out about current and future opportunities with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group as well as discussing the latest developments in Aerospace Engineering with Mark. For a full bio, click here.

Thank you to the Marshall Group  for organising this opportunity and also our young panel members Josh and Francis for their time and input.

In case you missed it, you can watch the Q&A here.

2nd Episode – Pete Stratten, CEO of the British Gliding Association

Love gliding? Ever thought about trying it out?

The next edition of Leaders, Pioneers and Professionals will take place on the 16th June 5pm via Facebook Live. The Air League will be talking to Pete Stratten, the Chief Executive of the British Gliding Association. Our focus will be on skills, employability and the amazing experience you can gain from gliding and aviation, in general. Some of our younger members will be joining Pete and Nick in the discussion.

Pete was introduced to aviation through gliding at aged 14. With a passion sparked (and in 1979 there were not that many options for a Grammar school boy in rural Lincolnshire!), Pete joined the RAF as an Aircraft Engineering Technician. Having joined the RAF during a period of huge investment, Pete was employed in support of Hunters and Jaguars at Lossiemouth, and then the mighty Tornado at Marham, Laarbruch and Cottesmore. Throughout that period, Pete built up a lot of gliding experience in his spare time at gliding clubs on RAF bases, both as a gliding instructor and competition pilot. He was the Deputy CFI of his local gliding club at 23. The disbandment of the Tri-National element of the Tornado Training Establishment at Cottesmore in the early 1990’s was an opportunity (as described by the Squadron boss!) for many people to apply for their dream jobs. Pete was fortunate to be asked to join the Joint Services Adventurous Training (Gliding) establishment at RAF Bicester – and didn’t look back.

The JSAT(G) unit tasking involved annual delivery and development of adventurous training gliding instruction to some 300 tri-service military personnel on week-long courses, delivery of other aviation-linked personal development opportunities, and last but not least maintenance of a large fleet of supporting GA aeroplanes and gliders. All the staff were serving RAF with huge amounts of sport gliding experience. Pete served in most roles during his long tour, including nearly four years as Chief Flying Instructor.

During his time serving in the RAF, Pete also took on a number of volunteer roles in gliding, including as Chairman of the BGA Safety Committee.

In 2004, Pete was employed by the BGA in a newly developed role as Chief Executive Officer. He heads a small professional team of support staff that, with the additional vital support of expert volunteers, deliver the whole range of support needed by the UK’s 80 gliding clubs, their membership and some 2300 aircraft. As an advocate of proportionate and where possible self-regulation, Pete was a member of the Governments GA Red Tape Challenge team and has represented the UK’s interests on EASA rulemaking working groups. He is currently the co-chair of the APPG on GA Airspace Group. Outside the day job, Pete is a keen soaring and racing glider pilot, instructor and examiner, and occasional GA aeroplane pilot.

You can view the episode below.

1st Episode – Major Tim Peake

On the 4th May 2020, we had the great honour of doing a live Q&A with Major Tim Peake. He shares his thoughts on a variety of topics including advice to aspiring astronauts and aviators.

Tim is a former Apache pilot, flight instructor, test pilot and a European Space Agency astronaut. A veteran of eighteen years military service, Tim has flown over 3000 hours on operations worldwide. For a full bio of Tim’s career, click here.

You can watch the Q&A below.

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