The Pike Trophy

Awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to civil flying instruction.
(amended Terms of Reference 2019)

2023 awarded to:  Anthony Cooke

Anthony Cooke is the Head of Training at the Cambridge Aero Club, where he has worked for the last 16 years, and he is regarded by all who have come in contact with him as a quite exceptional and exemplary flying instructor. He possesses skills and enthusiasm of the highest order, and he has encouraged and guided very many students into a career in aviation through gaining a Private Pilot’s Licence.

Anthony gained his Private Pilot’s Licence in 1985, gained a commercial licence in 2006, and became a full-time flying instructor in 2007. He has flown over 40 different types of aeroplanes and has amassed over 6,000 flying hours, of which 4,500 have been as a flying instructor. COOKE Anthony1,500 of these hours are on the Extra 200 aeroplane on which type he is regarded as one of the country’s leading aerobatic flying instructors. In this capacity, he has tutored and mentored many aspiring aerobatic pilots from scratch and provided them with the skills which have enabled them to compete at basic and intermediate levels in aerobatic competitions. In some instances, his pupils in their first ever competition have taken away prizes, which is a reflection of Anthony‘s own ability and instructional skills.

Anthony instructs on a wide range of aircraft types, but within the Cambridge Aero Club, in addition to the Extra 200, he has principally instructed on Cessna 152, 172 and 182 aircraft. His greatest strength as a flying instructor is his ability to identify and remedy problems being encountered by students. He is able to achieve this as a result of his own superlative flying skills which enables him to provide straightforward and easily understandable demonstrations of the highest standard, and by his ability and clear communication skills to simplify flying techniques and processes by explaining them in basic and understandable terms. Very many students have benefited from these skills, and have subsequently succeeded in their flying aspirations.

Anthony is also a quite outstanding leader of his team of 14 flying instructors, and another of his great skills and talents is his ability to assess and select talented instructors and to develop their skills in a uniform and standardised manner, thus achieving an exceptional standard of output from his entire team.

Anthony was also key to the process which led to the Cambridge Aero Club being the first flying school in the United Kingdom to achieve ATO status. He was the author of the ATO manual and its associated Safety Management System, and the safe and effective operations of the Cambridge Aero club are a reflection of his keen mind, his attention to detail and the exceptional and exacting standards set and maintained by him. In successive CAA audits, the standards maintained by the Cambridge Aero Club have been recognised as ‘exemplary’.

As a flying supervisor of student pilots, his own flying instructors, and more experienced, and accomplished pilots, Anthony is in a class of his own in which he sets high standards of safety awareness, linked to a culture driven Threat and Error Management system ensuring the highest possible standard of safe operations. As a result of initiatives by Anthony, a series of winter safety lectures by distinguished pilots is hosted by the Cambridge Aero Club each year between October and March culminating in an annual GASCo safety evening. Typically, these lectures attract between 60 and 120 participants, providing important information to club members as well as to the wider aviation community.

It would be very difficult to find a more enthusiastic, highly skilled or accomplished flying instructor who gains such respect from everyone who comes into contact with him, and Anthony Cooke is therefore a very worthy recipient of the Pike Trophy.

Previous Winners:

1963/64  L V Worsdell Esq

1964/65  Captain Charles William Cowan Hamilton

1966  not awarded

1966/67  J W (Peter) Peckowski Esq AFC ARAeS

1967/68  Rex A Smith Esq

1969  not awarded

1969/70  Captain F Kirk

1970/71  W H W Lucas Esq

1971/72  Captain C W Sweetman

1972/73  A E Bramson Esq

1973/74  E Claxton Esq

1974/75  Captain Douglas E Batten AFC DFM

1975/76  Captain R R Critchley

1977 - 197  not awarded

1978/79  Captain J Varley

1979/80  James John Forbes (Hamish) Logan Esq

1980/81  Miss Joan Lily Amelia Hughes MBE

1981/82  F C Hector Taylor Esq DFM

1982/83  Sqn Ldr R T Bowring AFC

1984   not awarded

1984/85  Sqn Ldr John B Gratton RAF (Rtd)

1985/86  Sidney Harry Parker Esq

1986/87  Colin Beckwith Esq

1987/88  F J Loveridge Esq

1988/89  John K Hill Esq

1989/90  Sqn Ldr R J Cutler

1990/91  Harry A A Smeulders Esq

1991/92  Captain P W Kennedy

1993  not awarded

1993/94  Captain Donald G (Archie) Kinch DFM

1994/95  Peter F C A Thorn Esq

1995/96  John C Cole Esq

1997  not awarded

1997/98  Harvey R Britten Esq

1998/99  Captain Leonard James Otley

1999/2000  Captain Peter David Godwin FRIN

2000/01  Captain Thomas Michael Dyson

2001/02  Michael Arthur (Rufus) Heald Esq MBE

2003  not awarded

2003/04  Captain George Arthur Bedford

2004/05  William Frederick Arthur (Bill) Ison

2005/06 Captain Andrew Gutteridge

2007  not awarded

2007/08  Richard William Kenneth Snell

2008/09  Captain Richard "Dickie" Bird

2009/10  Ian Bain Mackie

2010/11  Mark Woodhouse

2011/12  Gp Capt Christopher E Gould

2012/13  Andrew Dunstan

2014 - 2015  not awarded

2016  Captain Philip G Mathews MAP

2017  Piers Hugh Smerdon

2018  not awarded

2019  awarded twice: 
      Dorothy Saul-Pooley
      Carol Louise Cooper

2020  not awarded

2021  Primo Lonzardi

2022  Anthony Mollison

2023  Anthony Cooke