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Meet The Pilots
Flying Experience:
over 8000 hours
Displays Flown:
940
Martyn Carrington

From the age of 9, Martyn knew flying was for him the moment he went for his first flight from his little local airstrip. He had been lucky and taken seriously enough to be given a job helping out at the local flying club. He ended up working there for many years and in return, earned all of his flying lessons. He would spend every spare moment he had there, even working summer evenings after school!

Gradually, Martyn learned to fly and passed all of his flight tests by time he was 16. He then had to anxiously wait until his 17th birthday to be legally allowed to fly solo which he managed at around 7am that day. He then went on to complete a total of 8 hours solo flying attempting to reach his qualifying target of 10 hours. Unfortunately, his plans were to be thwarted when the sea fog rolled in, preventing him taking off for his final navigational flight. He managed to get his licence in his hand a few days later.

Martyn has always enjoyed flying vintage types of aircraft. He went on to become a flying instructor, examiner and eventually worked at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford where he flew for many years. This amazing environment helped him develop a new area of interest in airshows and display flying.

As chance would have it, he saw a job advertised with Aerosuperbatics which he was lucky enough to get. Here he started learning lots of new flying skills including close formation flying, the art of landing on a trailer (Kia Cars Team 2000 - 2001) and wing walking.

Martyn thoroughly enjoys display flying. He generally flies as a wingman in most of the teams displays as he enjoys the challenge of keeping his Boeing Stearman in formation. His favourite manoeuvre is the 'Mirror' formation as he loves the thrill of hanging upside down in an open cockpit aeroplane!

 
Flying Experience:
over 4100 hours
Displays Flown:
1470
Vic Norman

Born in 1947, Vic caught the flying bug at a very young age from his father as he owned and flew an aeroplane which Vic frequently flew in.

Vic never really considered himself to be an 'academic' person after failing both his 11+ and then his common entrance exam at 13, he much preferred the practical aspects of his schooling and went on to be in the swimming team and to captain the under 11's rugby team. In his spare time, Vic would also race go-karts and says he was even chosen to be in the British team but unfortunately was not allowed to race as he wasn’t yet the minimum age of 16.

After gaining a few 'O' levels, he left school and went on to enroll at the Chelsea College of Aeronautical Engineering on the Kings Road – he says that this was a good place to be in the 1960’s! Around this time, he met and fell in love with his now wife, Anne. Between his aeronautical studies, Vic managed to somehow find the time to pursue his other passions in life. He used to re-build and race vintage cars and was also a keen soapbox racer, which he still does at least once a year to this day. He also found the time to learn to fly at Stapleford Aerodrome where he eventually gained his full flying license.

In the late 1970's, Vic bought his very first aircraft which was a Stampe bi-plane - he used this to polish up his flying technique and learn new aerobatic skills. In 1982, he took the next step and bought a Zlin 50 which was a highly aerobatic machine indeed. Vic used this to perform in at over 800 public displays including the 1984 Monaco Grand Prix and British Grand Prix. This was to be the start of rather a large collection.

Vic has successfully managed to earn a living in the display industry for over 28 years now. He says that he still loves flying the Stearman’s and still gets the same buzz from every display. He is a very experienced and established display pilot and holds a Civil Aviation Authority display pilot examiners authorization. Despite his flying achievements, Vic maintains that his greatest achievements are his 3 amazing children (all with their own flying licence) and the fact his wife Anne has stuck by his side for the last 43 years. He boasts that his last but not least achievement is, he has never had a 9-5 job and is unfamiliar with the concept!

 
Flying Experience:
3500 hours
Displays Flown:
700
David Barrell

As a child growing up near Duxford airfield David saw many airshows, WW2 aircraft were a common sight in the skies during the summer months. It was the combination of watching vintage aircraft flying overhead and a back seat ride in a WWII Harvard that first gave him the incentive to learn to fly.

He eventually gained his Pilots Licence at Cambridge Aeroclub in 1995, initially cutting his teeth flying a parachute jump aircraft in East Anglia. It was at Swanton Morley airfield in Norfolk that David came across the Stearman on which he quickly built his 'taildragger' hours and soon gained a Display Authorisation.

David wanted to fly wing walking aircraft after seeing the Aerosuperbatics Team perform many years ago. Fortunately, after answering an advertisement, he was selected for the team at the beginning of 2007. He then quickly started his intensive program of training under chief pilot Martyn’s watchful eye and guidance and was taught to be an effective team 'formation lead' pilot.

David absolutely loves flying the displays. He enjoys so many different aspects of being on the team, especially the teamwork and travelling with his team mates. He has many favourite manoeuvres during the display, but the one he enjoys the most is the 'mirror' as he says it's very tricky to get it perfect in such a small window of time. It's a great feeling when the 'mirror' goes well he says. David loves the dynamic nature of the team show and much prefers displaying sunny weather with no bumps!

 
Flying Experience:
over 14600 hours
Displays Flown:
over 300
Steve Hicks

From a very young age, Steve always wanted to fly - he started gliding 36 years ago. His first solo in an aeroplane was 32 years ago whilst he was at University, courtesy of the Air Squadron. He has also tried his hand at hang gliding, paragliding and hot air ballooning but not yet been brave enough for a parachute jump!

Steve flew in the RAF for 9 years, flying Jaguar and Harrier fast jets. He then left and joined British Airways in 1989 flying 747-400 & 737. He is now a Training Captain on the new Airbus A380 and flying long haul routes from Heathrow Airport.

As captivated by flying as he was on the first day, Steve says he still thinks it's magical to have the great freedom in a 3-dimensional world looking down on the countryside. His fondness of flying led him to even build his own aeroplane at one stage. He currently shares a 4-seater with some pilot friends so he can fly whenever he wants to.

Steve likes the challenge of display flying. He says that it is great being cautious and disciplined but at the same time, enjoying low level flying!

His favourite manoeuvre is the Stall Turn as it requires a lot of precision when aiming skywards until the wind stops, cartwheeling around and pointing at the green fields in exactly the opposite direction on the way back down! His least favourite thing is when he has to fly in bumpy conditions as the Stearman is really tricky aeroplane to keep information as the wingman. He really enjoys the challenge and nostalgia of flying these old biplanes - especially with pretty girls on the wing.

 
Flying Experience:
over 15000 hours
Displays Flown:
over 1000
Al Hoy

Al is in his 6th season with the team as a part-time pilot. His full time job is as an A340 Captain with Virgin Atlantic based at Heathrow Airport. Prior to commercial flying, Al served in the RAF where he flew Jaguars, was an instructor on the Hawk and spent 3 years with the Red Arrows.

Since leaving the RAF Al has kept himself busy displaying lots of different types of aircraft including the Vampire, Venom and Pitts Special. He now really enjoys flying the vintage Boeing Stearman during the team displays even though they are a bit slower than he is normally used to!

Al normally flies as a wingman during the team displays. His favourite manoeuvre is the formation loop as he finds it very challenging in the Stearman. His favourite formation position is on the right hand side as he spent most of his time there in the Red Arrows.

 
Flying Experience:
over 1500 hours
Displays Flown:
750
Nick Barnard

Nick was born into a total aviation family, as both his father and uncle were test pilots in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Nick's father was a test pilot with Rolls-Royce, so he was immersed in the wonder of flight from a very early age.

Nick started by flying gliders as soon as he could reach the controls, and at the age of 17 was awarded an RAF flying scholarship, and so gained his Private Pilots Licence at the same time as his driving licence. After three years with the Cambridge University Air Squadron (with fellow Breitling pilot Steve Hicks) he was selected to represent Cambridge in the annual flying competition against three other universities, including Oxford of course, and won the coveted De Havilland Trophy. After leaving university he concentrated on writing and publishing, but before long returned to flying, and especially close formation aerobatics and solo unlimited aerobatics.

Nick is a co-founder of the Yakovlevs and the Redstarz display teams, and has displayed at airshows for over 16 years, flying a Yak 50, Yak 52 and the Sukhoi 29. Nick was introduced to the style and grace of the Stearman when test flying and reviewing this classic biplane for Flyer magazine. It was love at first sight, and Nick has been looking forward to flying with the team ever since. Nick loves the size and the power of the Stearman and relishes the challenge to fly smoothly and precisely, any way up. When not flying air shows, Nick also enjoys flying the family bush plane - a 1955 Cessna Skywagon, which is also known as an aerial pick up truck. Pretty soon he’ll be teaching his children, Max and Emily, to fly the Cessna; but Emily has other plans - to be a wingwalker of course. When not flying or dreaming about flying, Nick is co-founder of Rude Health, and author of many books, including his latest cook book, Eat Right.

 
Flying Experience:
over 2000 hours
Nick Wakefield

As a schoolboy Nick spent every summer going to as many airshows as he could and at the age of 17 started learning to fly when he was awarded an RAF Flying Scholarship. Within four weeks he'd gained his Private Pilot's Licence.

At Cambridge he spent 3 years with the University Air Squadron flying Bulldogs, but spent far too much time at the airfield and only just scraped through his engineering degree. However, he had now acquired his taste for aerobatics.

In 1983 he joined British Airways as a software engineer, latterly working on the airline's fleet of Flight Simulators. He left BA in 1995 to join Brian Lecomber's Firebird Aerobatics team as a full time display pilot and spent 5 years flying the Pitts S2B and Extra 300L in displays at events throughout the UK and France.

Nick started competing in aerobatic competitions in 1989 flying the CAP 10B, before moving on to a variety of types including the Pitts Special, Sukhoi SU26 and CAP232. He is a former British Advanced Aerobatic champion and British Freestyle champion, and has been a member of the British team at the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships and Unlimited European Championships.

Nick is a flying instructor and aerobatics coach when he is not flying with the Breitling Wingwalkers. He really enjoys flying the Stearman, particularly the challenge of presenting a precision formation display in a big biplane!