Our Pilots

Have vast military and commercial experience. They come and fly our high performance aerobatic aircraft for fun and want you to have a good time too!

All of our instructors are current or former military fast jet pilots, many of whom have fought and flown operationally in The Gulf War or Bosnia.  They include former Red Arrows pilots, test pilots, Jaguar, Typhoon, Hawk and Harrier pilots, as well as Spitfire display pilots.  

They all work for us part-time as they have full time jobs, mostly flying for commercial airlines.  They come and fly for us because they enjoy it!

Select a pilot below to read their biography

Charlie is Chief Pilot Red ArrowsCharlie McIlroy

Charlie has over 10,000 hours flying experience including over 4,000 hours of military fast jet flying. He joined the RAF in 1975 on the same course as Bill Perrins and went on to fly the Lightning followed by a tour as a fast jet instructor on the Hawk.

He was the Hawk display pilot for 2 seasons and joined the Red Arrows in 1984. He flew as Red 8 and then joined the syncro pair for 2 years. This was followed by 5 years of flying Harriers, both the GR3 & GR7, mostly in Germany where he served as a flight commander on 4 Squadron.

Charlie is Chief Pilot for Ultimate High.

Close

Mark Ex-RAF Fast Jet PilotMark Greenfield

Founder and CEO of Ultimate High, Mark is a former RAF fast jet pilot, and ran the world famous Empire Test Pilot School for QinetiQ. He has been coaching aerobatics for 20 years, and established the Ultimate High Flight Safety Academy in 2001 to specifically deliver advanced flying training to private and commercial pilots.

Mark has been instrumental in developing the company’s Team and Leadership development programmes, particularly around the translation of the Fighter Pilot Mission Cycle into direct commercial relevance to facilitate the development of high performance teams and continuous improvement through effective debriefing, particularly in high risk environments.

He is an experienced manager of air-to-air photo, video and TV shoots, both as subject and as photographer, and is an aviation and motoring journalist. He holds an Unlimited Display Authorisation and flies an Extra 300L in singleton and formation displays at airshows around Europe.

Close

Flight Captain AirbusMags Cunningham

Mags flew the Falcon 20 with FR Aviation, providing electronic warfare training for RAF pilots and taking part in NATO exercises throughout the European theatre. Mags also worked for Flight Precision in Teesside calibrating navigational aids on the King Air.

Day job is as a Captain on Airbus 320 and 321 for British Airways, but first love has always been aerobatic aircraft. Mags has flown and instructed on the Chipmunk, Condor, Cap 10, Tiger Moth, Stampe, Super Cub, Pitts S2 & Christen Eagle, and of course the T67 Firefly and Extra300.

Close

RAF Jaguar PilotRich Esau

Rich joined the RAF in 1983 whilst on Southampton UAS flying the T67 Firefly and, after basic training on the Jet Provost, became a first tour 'creamie' QFI on the Hawk at RAF Valley. After this he was posted to the front-line to fly the Jaguar on 41(F) Squadron in the reconnaissance and attack roles. He then completed a further Hawk tour and 2 more front-line Jaguar tours at RAF Coltishall flying on operations over Bosnia and Northern Iraq.

He has over 4000 hours flying fast jets and was a QFI on the Jaguar as well as the Hawk and left the Jaguar force as a flight commander on 54(F) Squadron. Outside the RAF he has enjoyed flying and instructing in the YAK52 for many years but has now seen the light and is instructing on western aircraft. In his spare time Rebel occasionally drives airliners.

Close

RAF & Boeing PilotMark Grigg

Griggsy joined the RAF in 1989 and, after basic training on the Jet Provost and Jetstream, was posted to the front-line to fly the Hercules on 30 Squadron in the air transport and air to air refuelling roles, supporting operations in the Gulf region and on detachment in the Falkland Islands. After a tour as a co-pilot Mark attended CFS and was posted to Bristol University Air Squadron as a QFI on T67 Fireflys. After gaining his A2 Mark then became a staff instructor at CFS teaching new QFIs.

On return to the Hercules, Mark joined LXX Squadron as a captain in the tactical air transport role. Mark then completed a staff tour, where amongst other things he organized flypasts including the Jubilee Flypast in 2002. He then completed a further Hercules tour at RAF Lyneham flying on operations in the Congo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

He has over 7000 hours and was a QFI on the Hercules as well as the T67 Firefly and left the Hercules as a flight commander on LXX Squadron. Away from his normal job in the RAF he has enjoyed flying as an Air Experience pilot on the Chipmunk, T67 Firefly and Tutor. Mark now flies the 777 for British Airways.

Close

UPRT InstructorChris Hadlow

Hadders has held executive positions within two Air Forces! He was an RAF Jaguar squadron Executive Officer and Flight Commander, and was also an Alphajet Flight Commander with the French Air Force, where his mastery of the language ensured that all of his students flew brilliantly.

He was previously a Qualified Flying, Tactics and Weapons Instructor on the Hawk, whicih followed a Jaguar tour which included Operational flying over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. He has additionally been a Jaguar Air Test Pilot and Electronic Warfare Instructor.

Hadders is one of a number of UH Instructors who is looking forward to this season's BAeA aerobatic competitions!

Close

Extra300 PilotSteve Hicks

Hicko learnt to fly with Cambridge University Air Squadron and joined the RAF in 1980. After training Steve was posted to No 41 Sqn, flying Jaguars in the reconnaissance role at RAF Coltishall near Norwich. He graduated first place in every RAF Flying Course attended. In 1985 he learnt to fly the Harrier, and whilst flying with No 4 Sqn at RAF Gutersloh in Germany became a qualified weapons instructor (QWI).

He left the RAF in 1989, joining British Airways to fly the 747-400 on long haul routes, changing in 2000 to short haul, flying the 737-400 around Europe. He is now a Senior Captain flying the Airbus A320. During the early 90s Steve built a small light aircraft in his garden shed which went on to win the best in class award at the PFA Rally and has enjoyed many years of flying it.

Steve is our Extra300 standards Instructor Pilot.

Close

Jet Provost PilotAndy Hill

Like many on the Ultimate High staff, Andy started his career flying T67 Fireflys on a University Air Squadron, and after excelling on fast jet training was 'creamed off' and went straight into instructing on the Jet Provost.

He then operated the Harrier GR5/7 in Germany. After flying the A340 and B757/767 his day job is captaining an Airbus.

He is a very experienced formation instructor and display pilot, and regularly displays the RV-8, Jet Provost and Hunter.

Close

CAA Examiner PilotDave Jones

An early starter, DJ started flying at 15 via the ATC, gaining his licence at 17. His background includes being CFI at Bristol Flying Centre for nine years and flying Corporate jets and Turboprops as a Training Captain with Air Hanson.

A yearning for some "fun" flying found DJ with the Police Aviation Services as Training Captain. During this period he flew in the Caribbean, working with the DEA and various Police agencies in anti-drugs and illegal immigration. On his return he attended the International Test Pilot School (ITPS) test flying course at Woodford, flying the Jet Provost, BAe 146 and the Slingsby Firefly. With over 13000hrs, he is an FI / FIC/ FIE /TRE /IRE.

Day job is as a Captain on Corporate jets and Turboprops, and the rest of the time he fills his boots flying for Ultimate High as well as the odd Yak trip.

Close

British Air Racing Champion PilotRobert Miller

Nitro flew Strike Canberras out of Cyprus and then instructed on Jet Provosts in Linton and SF260s and Strikemasters in Singapore. For two years Nitro was No2 to ex-Yellowjack Brian Nice in a 4 Strikemaster formation aerobatics team.

He has massive instructional experience including the JP, Canberra, Strikemaster, Chipmunk and most recently the T67 Firefly with JEFTS, where he was qualified as FI, FIE, FIC, TRE and CREIR. Nitro has over 5000 hours on tailwheel types alone and aircraft flown include the Tiger Moth, Hornet Moth, Auster, Taylorcraft, Condor, Jodel, CAP10, CAP20, Chipmunk, Pawnee, Provost, Miles Gemini, Stearman, Cub and the Pitts Special.

Nitro is an experienced air racer and was crowned British Air Racing Champion in 2003.

Close

chief test pilotPhill O'Dell

Pod is Chief Test Pilot and Head of Flying at Rolls-Royce PLC (Aero Engines), and also displays the Rolls Royce MkXIX Spitfire. Until November 2001 he was Officer Commanding the Research & Development Flight of the Fast Jet Test Squadron at DERA Boscombe Down. He flew Buccaneers and then taught as a Tactical Weapons Instructor and Flying Instructor on Hawks at Brawdy.

He then moved to the Jaguar and flew operationally over Bosnia and Iraq.

He was selected by the RAF to attend the French Test Pilot School at Istres in Provence and flew over 25 aircraft from the F-14 Tomcat to the Airbus A320.

Close

RAF Tornado PilotBill Perrins

Billy P has nearly 15,000 hours of flying experience, having flown tours on Tornado F3 fighters, Vulcan bombers, Jet Provost and Hawk aircraft. Bill is currently flying as a Training Captain on B747-400 aircraft and displays the Rolls Royce Spitfire Mk XIX and the mighty Vulcan.  He also flies various smaller aircraft including the Yak 50, Yak 52, and instructs on the T6 Harvard.

He has a long association with vintage aircraft having over 500 hours flying Air Cadets in Chipmunk aircraft within the RAF Air Experience Scheme and previously owned a Bucker Jungmann biplane.

Close

Steve Chief Aerobatics InstructorSteve Johnson

Jos is Ultimate High’s Chief Flying Instructor. He flew Harrier GR3s operationally in West Germany, the Falkland Islands & Belize and was then selected to fly for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team or RAFAT, better known as the Red Arrows. Jos flew his third year with the Reds in the prestigious position of Synchro Pair Lead.

He joined Team Toyota after leaving the RAF and displayed a Pitts Special as part of a 4-ship aerobatic team around the world with Nigel Lamb. He also displayed a variety of warbirds including the Spitfire, P-40, P-47, P-63, Hurricane, Wildcat, Hellcat & the F-4U Corsair. Jos is a highly experienced Airline Training Captain and currently pilots the Airbus with a leading British airline.

He has been instrumental in helping to develop and deliver the Ultimate High Academy’s Industry Leading All Attitude Recovery Training (ALART) programme. In his time off Jos relaxes by flying his shared 1943 Piper Cub.

Close

Jim Ex-RAF Jaguar & Hawk PilotJim Gosling

Jim joined the Royal Air Force in 1980 and has over 2000 hours on the Jaguar in the attack and reconnaissance roles and was a flight commander and executive officer on 54(F) Squadron.

Jim flew on Operation Warden over Northern Iraq and Operation Deny Flight peackeeping missions over Bosnia. He had previously taught air combat and tactics at RAF Chivenor where he was a Qualified Weapons Instructor on the Hawk.

Following his flying in the RAF Jim did a ground tour as part of the RAF presentation team before joining the airlines where he currently flies the Airbus A320/330 for Thomas Cook.

Close

Gordon Ex-RAF Tornado and Jaguar PilotGordon Harwell

Gordo gained his PPL at age 17 under a flying scholarship. He joined the RAF in 1981 and flew the T67 Firefly with Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews Universities Air Sqn winning the regional aerobatic competition. After gaining his RAF wings he flew Tornado GR1 based in Germany with IX Sqn and flew 14 missions during Gulf War 1.

He then flew a desk at Boscombe Down as a trials officer for Jaguar/Tornado, providing clearances for weapon aiming and mission systems mainly for operations in Bosnia. He followed this with 2 Tucano tours as Flight Commander, both as a Pilot Navigator Instructor and as a QFI and IRE. Since leaving the RAF Gordo has flown Boeing 757/767and 737 and is now a Training Captain with EasyJet on the Airbus A319 and A320.

Close

Neil Ex-Royal Navy Sea King & Harrier PilotNeil Jones

Neil started his flying career flying Sea King helicopters with the Fleet Air Arm. He belatedly realised the error of his ways and moved onto an aeroplane where the wings did not move faster than the fuselage!

He flew two tours on the Sea Harrier when the Royal Navy had a fixed wing air capability; they are currently enjoying a ‘capability holiday’ until the first QE2 carrier is built and the F35 enters British military service. Jonesy also flew the Hunter and Hawk aircraft whilst with the Navy.

He is a keen pilot and also flies and instructs on the Harvard as well as all of the Ultimate High aircraft. He is an extremely experienced Airline captain, flying as a Training Captain with a leading British Airline on the Airbus A330/340. Neil is an enthusiastic biker and has the best coordinated collection of leathers on the Ultimate High team.

Close

Sam Worthington-LeeseSam Worthington-Leese

Sam joined the RAF in 2009 where he flew the Grob Tutor, Shorts Tucano and T67. The Strategic Defence and Security Review resulted in many pilots exiting the RAF in 2012, and after leaving he threw himself into civilian flying training.

Sam's particular aviation passion lies with Aerobatics and Vintage Aircraft. Since leaving the RAF he has flown well over 1000hrs on many different aircraft types including the Tiger Moth, Stampe, Piper Cub, Chipmunk, Extra 300, T67 Firefly and Harvard.

His ultimate goal is to become a Warbird Display pilot and he hopes to replicate his Grandfather’s WWII fighter flying, which he is well on the way to doing.

Close