Awarded for outstanding flying achievement in General Aviation.
2019: Awarded to Captain Jeffrey Milsom BSc(Hons)
In 2004 Jeff Milsom decided to form a 9 aircraft Tiger Moth formation team along the lines of the Diamond 9 which had stopped flying in 1998. Using a core of pilots from the Diamond 9 and training up some others, the Tiger Nine were ready for the display season of 2005 and have been performing at airshows large and small, mainly in the South of England ever since.
In order to achieve nine aeroplanes at any given show around a dozen aircraft and pilots are needed to cope with work and social commitments and also the temperamental nature of elderly aeroplanes. To join the team, flying ability is obviously paramount but combability with the group is also important and Jeff uses his energetic and professional approach coupled with great charm to achieve these requirements. Pre-season training is done at Jeff’s base, a private field in Wiltshire and every practice and display is meticulously briefed before being walked through. Jeff’s military training is very evident here.
The Shoreham accident resulted in a lot of new rules and restrictions. Jeff had by then earned a reputation as the leader of a very well-run team and was able to negotiate some alleviations to allow the team to fly a bit nearer the crowd so that the pilots were actually visible.
In 2018, to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force, the committee at RAF Cosford asked if the team could fly and figure ‘100’ at their June display. Jeff put in a great deal of work to find another six pilots and aeroplanes and get them trained up and qualified but eventually the idea was vetoed because it involved flying over the crowd at 1000 feet to provide the proper perspective.
However, because so much work had gone into the idea, it was decided to go ahead with the planned rehearsal at RAF Henlow which was a success. This attracted some interest from the display organisers at Duxford and they, along with Jeff, managed to persuade the CAA to allow the team to overfly the crowd, a permission that is not granted lightly. There were, of course, hurdles to clear, such as planning for an engine failure to any aircraft at any time so that the safety of the crowd was not jeopardised. Despite less than perfect weather, all went accordingly to plan and was very well received. For his outstanding flying achievement in General Aviation, Jeff Milsom is awarded the Myles Bickerton Trophy.
2014 The Blades
2015 Squadron Leader Gary Coleman RAFR
2016 Major Ryan D Chute USAF
2017 Donatella Ricci
2018 Not Awarded
2019 Captain Jeffrey Milsom BSc(Hons)