Originally from Northern Ireland, Simon first flew in small aircraft at the age of 6 with his father, who was a Flying Instructor. Hooked on flying, he took every opportunity to fly with whoever he could convince to let him in the cockpit, eventually going solo on his 17th birthday. He went on to complete his PPL within the following few months.
Simon joined the Royal Navy as a pilot in 2002 and completed flying training in 2005, he was one of the last pilots to complete the final ab initio Lynx HAS.3 course where he was awarded his Wings. He converted to the Lynx HMA.8 a short time later. He subsequently served with a number of frontline small ships flights deployed on operations around the globe and in the UK as part of 815 Naval Air Squadron.
His first foray into display flying was as the 815 NAS solo Lynx display pilot in 2010. He joined the Royal Navy Historic Flight in 2010 where he first flew the Swordfish in 2011 and is now the lead Swordfish display pilot with RNHF.
After his time on the frontline, he completed the Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) Course at RAF Shawbury in 2012, before returning to 702 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton, as a QHI teaching ab-initio and ‘refresher’ courses for pilots flying the Lynx. In 2014 Simon subsequently moved to 700(W) NAS which later became 825 NAS and is now a QHI on the Royal Navy’s newest helicopter, the Wildcat HMA.2.
In his spare time Simon enjoys flying a wide range of aircraft and has displayed a number of civilian types including Piston Provost, Chipmunk, Yak-52 and RV-4 to name a few. He has flown everything from weight shift microlights, through many different general aviation aeroplanes, to vintage aircraft helicopters and jets. He has his own aircraft and has been restoring it to an airworthy condition over the last few years. So far, he has accumulated flight time in over 80 different aircraft types to date, of which 25 are taildraggers. He setup the Czech Mates Display Team with owner Andy Twemlow in 2015.