A retired RAF Warrant Officer, Ian spent 37 years as an Aircraft Propulsion Technician which encompasses, aircraft engines, aircraft fuel systems, fuel pressurisation and fire protection. He has worked primarily on Vulcan B2, C-130 Hercules, Jaguar GR1A, Puma HC1 helicopter, Tornado GR4A and handled a multitude of aircraft including Nimrod MR1, Buccaneer, Canberra, Shackleton MR2, Starfighter and Boeing 737 to name a few. During his service he has visited many extreme environments from the Arctic of Northern Norway to heat of the Arabian Peninsular and Afghanistan. He was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 1986, for service to the RAF community in Gibraltar and restoring the Gate Guardian, a Vulcan B2 from his first operational squadron, 35 Squadron.
Ian started his modelling career when he was 10 years old (1966) with Keil Kraft rubber-powered scale series aircraft. When he was 11 he flew a friend's plastic Keil Kraft Hurricane. He only lasted a couple of laps before he got dizzy and crashed it breaking the nylon engine mount. That cost him 7s 6d (37 1/2 p), three weeks pocket money in those days! Needing something more robust he built a Slick Schick combat wing from the Model and Allied Publications (MAP) plans service and powered it with a second-hand DC Sabre 1.5 cc diesel. At last, an aircraft that would bounce! He continued with Control Line for many years concentrating on Combat, Stunt and Scale. Indeed, at the tender age of 15, he built a MAP F4U-4 Corsair and entered it at the North West Area Rally at Woodford in Cheshire; he came 6th out of 20 contestants. He joined the RAF in 1973 and enrolled in RAFMAA in 1978 whilst at RAF Scampton, here he continued to fly Control Line with a Mercury Crusader and a plan built DH Mosquito.
In 1980 he bought his first RC set, a Fleet Custom III and a three channel trainer (Sancho). He taught himself to fly at RAF Halton, many front firewalls, undercarriages and a few pounds of epoxy later he eventually got the hang of it all. He took a three year break whilst at RAF Gibraltar due to extreme RADHAZ problems for RC gear and other diversions (see above). Returning to UK he dusted down his kit and started flying again at the RAF St Athan Club.
Immersing himself back into the hobby he started to fly aerobatics whilst at RAF Coltishall and passed his 'A' certificate (1992). He gained his ‘B’ certificate in 1997 becoming an Examiner in 2000. He has been Officer In Charge (OIC) RAFColtishall, RAF Benson and RAF Marham Model Aircraft Clubs. Additionally in RAF Model Aircraft association (RAFMAA), he has held the positions of; Secretary, Competition Secretary, Indoor Secretary, RC Power Secretary; again, sometimes all at the same time. He is currently one of RAFMAA's Chief Examiners and the Area Coordinator and an Honorary Member since retiring from his ‘day job’ in 2011. He became BMFA Representative for RAFMAA in 2016. Within RAFMAA he has been successful in winning a number of competitions in a number of disciplines and has held the Honorary Members Trophy for two years.
His civilian club for the past 30 years has been the North Norfolk Aeromodellers (NNA) where he has held the positions of Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary, sometimes all at the same time! He is currently Vice Chairman of the NNA. Over the years he has taught many people to fly RC and Control Line and examined candidates within the NNA and RAFMAA; one ‘A’ certificate being conducted on Ascension Island!
Ian still occasionally flies Control Line models; Stunt, Combat wings and Mini-Goodyear racers but, channels most of his time into RC Aerobatics and Scale. He has flown in displays with the RAFMAA team, namely Wings and Wheels, Old Warden and Ascension Island he can often be found flying in Warbird events. Additionally, Ian also enjoys Slope and Thermal soaring.