FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
28 August 2019
British Airways’ supersonic Concorde notched up an impeccable record of operational excellence thanks to the dedication and teamwork of flight and cabin crew, engineering and marketing and sales staff. Since Flight Operations began in January 1976 to the end of service in October 2003, it conducted almost 50,000 flights carrying more than 2.5 million passengers. This incredible feat has been recognised by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots in the 50th year since Concorde’s first flight by the award of the prestigious Brackley Memorial Trophy.
The Air Pilots’ annual Trophies and Awards are among the industry’s most prestigious because recipients are selected by their peers, who have experience in military and civil aviation around the globe. They will be presented at London’s Guildhall on Thursday 24th October.
This year the top Award of Honour, goes to Stuart King, who 75 years ago had the vision to see that aviation was key to bringing help and hope to people in the world’s poorest and remotest communities. While still in the Royal Air Force, King built Mission Aviation Fellowship, an organisation which has since grown to include 131 predominantly light aircraft in 27 developing countries from Mongolia to New Guinea, Sudan to South America. Every 4.5 minutes a MAF aircraft lands or takes off somewhere in the world carrying aid, medical, education, infrastructure and agricultural experts along with its missionary work of pastors, evangelists and bible translators. Stuart King will receive the Award of Honour for his lifetime achievement in aviation.
Military aviation has also been widely recognised in 2019’s awards, not least the Royal Air Force’s Tornado GR Force, which marked the end of the type’s 37-year service life in spectacular fashion. The aircraft and its crews achieved iconic status during the 1991 Gulf War, attacking heavily-defended airfields in dangerous missions which required immense courage. The loss of six of the deployed 60 aircraft in combat, with the dignified conduct of captured aircrew, helped to elevate ‘Team Tornado’ in the public consciousness. The type’s final homecoming and ‘Finale’ fly-past tour saw an outpouring of affection for an icon of the RAF. Characterised by excellence, commitment, dependability and understated professionalism throughout almost four decades of outstanding service to the United Kingdom, being awarded the Johnston Memorial Trophy.
Among the many hundreds of aircrew to have been involved in the Tornado during its RAF service, one outstanding Navigator has also been recognised with the Master’s Commendation. Flight Lieutenant Christopher Stradling amassed more than 6,000 flying hours, including more than 300 operational missions, 11 Tornado squadron tours and participated in nearly every Tornado campaign in its operational history since the type was deployed to the Middle East in 1990 prior to the Gulf War. His citation noted that whether flying on operations himself or guiding students through their conversion to the Tornado, whilst instilling in them his exceptional standards, the capability of the entire Tornado Force was significantly enhanced by his efforts.
The Central Flying School Trophy goes to 673 Squadron, Army Air Corps, for its outstanding work training every crew member flying the Apache helicopter during its 16-year history, during which it established a long record of instructional excellence, uncompromising standards and unparalleled output, flying more than 40,000 instructional hours at a rate of up to 19 sorties a day.
The hotly anticipated Hanna Trophy – awarded in memory of legendary air display pilot and former Red Arrows leader Ray Hanna – this year goes to Nigel Lamb. One of the most accomplished and respected pilots on the Red Bull Air Race circuit and World Champion in 2014, Lamb made a name for himself winning an incredible eight consecutive UK Unlimited aerobatic championship titles. But it is for his talent as a warbird display pilot, both with the Breitling Fighters and the Duxford-based Old Flying Machine Company, notching up more than three decades of air display flying, that Lamb receives this award. The Committee noted his dedication to safe but exciting demonstration of historic aircraft, conducted at all times with professionalism.
For further information please contact the Honourable Company of Air Pilots at:
+44 (0)20 7404 4032 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A full list of awards recipients is available at: T & A Winners List 2019
A printable version of this press release can be found here
Notes to editors:
1. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots ‘The Air Pilots’ was established as the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in 1929. It is based in London but has an internationally based membership of professional and private pilots. The principal activities of the organisation are centred on developing action and activities to ensure that aircraft are piloted and navigated safely by aviators who are highly competent, self-reliant, dependable and respected.
2. The Grand Master of the Air Pilots, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York and his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who is Patron, are both pilots and actively supported the recent grant of the Royal Charter. In addition, both the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are qualified helicopter pilots, making the Air Pilots unique among City of London livery companies in having active Royal participation in its profession.
3. The Air Pilots support the education and training of pilots from the initial instruction of young pilots to specialist training at the highest levels. Through its charitable activities, education and training, technical committees, aircrew selection, scholarships and sponsorships, advice and recognition of the achievements of fellow aviators worldwide, the Honourable Company keeps itself at the forefront of the aviation world.
4. The Air Pilots also provides expert, impartial input to regulators, government and media on areas including aviation and the environment, airport capacity in south east England, aircrew flight time limitations and the maintenance of piloting skills in increasingly automated aircraft. Air Pilots experts are also available to all media on request, to ensure accurate and fully informed reporting of any aviation events. If you need our assistance, please contact us on the number or e-mail addresses above.