I have the World’s Best day job, as a Fighter Pilot in the Royal Air Force. I was sponsored through Oxford University by the Royal Air Force (where I gained a love of flying, a First in Mathematics, experience of rowing for the University, and interests in beer and women), and then spent 3 years in flying training. Qualified as a Fighter Pilot, I was lucky enough to fly the F4 Phantom in Germany at the end of the Cold War. My final flying tours were on the Tornado F3, which included service over Bosnia, Iraq and the Falklands. Since then I’ve spent a year in Australia at Staff College, worked at the UK’s Joint Headquarters running operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and run the Harrier airfield at Royal Air Force Wittering (including a spell as the Commander of the Royal Air Force detachment in Kandahar, Afghanistan). I’m currently working in the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall, supporting operations around the globe and wishing I was still flying....
I also have the World’s Best holiday job, working as part of a Land Speed Record team. In 1994 I responded to an understated article in the Sunday Times, which mentioned that Richard Noble was looking for a driver for Thrust SSC, and life has never been quite the same since. Two World Land Speed Records and 11 years later, Thrust SSC remains the world’s first and only supersonic record car. In the meantime, I was also lucky enough to get involved with the JCB DIESELMAX project, which aimed to find out how fast we could go with a pair of digger engines in close formation. The answer, in August 2006, was 350 mph, making a JCB by far the fastest diesel car in the world. Like Thrust SSC, the DIESELMAX project was a great statement about the quality, innovation and expertise of British engineering - and I am proud to have been able to help with both.
Captain of the Royal Air Force Cresta team, Yachtmaster, aerobatic pilot (sadly, my flying is only at weekends now, and at my own expense), Harley rider, skydiver – the usual stuff to keep me entertained when I’m not at work or involved with a record car.
I also have the best wife in the world. Emma is an eye specialist at Moorfields Eye Hospital and is fully supportive of all the unusual things I get up to in my spare time. When we met in 2007 she had never even heard of the World Land Speed Record. That’s changed!