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Flyby Instructors

Meet the team behind the best quality drone training you can buy! Our instructors all have a wealth of experience with plenty of anecdotes to tell! They are skilled in training pilots in a way that helps you take in and retain all the information effectively. Just look at these credentials...

Jon Parker MRAeS

Jon Parker MRAeS

Jon is the founder of Flyby Technology and is a former Royal Air Force flighter pilot and instructor. He has flown operational tours on the Buccaneer, Tornado and Sea Harrier whilst on exchange with the Royal Navy RN. He has 2 tours embarked on aircraft carriers and is one of the few pilots to have been qualified as a flying instructor, a tactics instructor and weapons instructor. Jon has been a drone pilot for a number of years and wrote some of the first papers on their use in the military.

Jon was also a designer on the new aircraft carrier project and set up a company to re-design the flying training for all 3 armed services on behalf of Lockheed Martin. Jon has 12000 flying hours and flies for an airline and is also a honeybee farmer. Jon has brought together capabilities of Flyby Technology and Pilotwise to offer the best drone pilot training on offer today.

Chris Keane - Chief Pilot

Chris Keane - Chief Pilot

Chris spent almost 23 years in the Army Air Corps, working his way up from groundcrew to Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI). Operational tours included Northern Ireland and the first Gulf War. He flew Gazelle reconnaissance, Lynx anti-tank and Squirrel training helicopters. Retiring from the army in 2003 he instructed on the Apache simulator, and then trained military students on the Squirrel as a civilian instructor. Health forced retirement from flying in 2011, by which time he had amassed almost 8000 flying hours. Chris designed the pilot type rating ground course for the AW169 for AgustaWestland, and now works for Bristol Groundschool, where he is the Deputy Chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor.

Dicky Bird  -  Head of Standards

Dicky Bird - Head of Standards

Based in Shropshire, Dicky Bird is an ex-RN and civilian helicopter instructor who remains intrigued with many aspects of aviation even after 40+ years in the industry.

He builds and flies his own drones as well as being Flyby Technology’s Head of Standardisation and is also responsible for Airworthiness. His tenet throughout his career has been “Small things make perfection but perfection is no small thing”. Ready to answer your questions!

Dan McAuley  -  Head of Safety

Dan McAuley - Head of Safety

Dan is excited to be Head of Safety for Flyby Technology and brings a wealth of experience and commitment to benefit our staff and clients. In his previous multi-rotor career before drones, Dan flew Chinook helicopters for 20 years for the RAF and operated from land and ships in many locations including Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan in support of national and coalition forces. He was a helicopter tactics instructor, instrument flying examiner, helicopter landing site examiner specialist, human factors facilitator and a training captain

He then specialised in developing performance and safety in high risk industries. This included running a specialist people development company, consulting on the Military Flying Training System for Lockheed Martin and a spell as Vice President Safety & Quality for a Hong Kong-based business jet start-up operation as part of a large Chinese corporation. Dan has consulted extensively in the UK nuclear industry and has worked with the aviation, motorsport, manufacturing, banking, finance, charity, IT and Space sectors. He is a professional executive coach, an accredited psychometric administrator, a CAA-accredited Crew Resource Management Instructor and is absolutely committed to helping great people work more safely and more effectively.

Andy Holland

Andy Holland

Andy has amassed a huge amount of experience in his aviation career. He joined the RAF after school and was selected to fly the Tornado GR1 based in Germany. A 4 year spell followed as an Instructor at RAF Valley flying the Hawk T1, where Andy was a Qualified Tactics, Flying and Weapons Instructor as well as a Central Flying School Accredited Examiner.

Andy then returned to the front-line on the Tornado GR4 and, to compliment his instructional duties, became an Instrument Rating Examiner and Air Test Pilot. With an inevitable ground tour looming, Andy moved to the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall where he worked in the Directorate for Targeting and Information Operations.

Andy retired from the RAF in 2008 and started working as a commercial pilot. After 5 years flying the Airbus A320, he moved on to fly the Airbus A380, which is his current role.

In his spare time, Andy is a volunteer pilot for the RAF Reserves and flies Air Cadets on air experience flights in a Grob Tutor.

Matt Whitfield

Matt Whitfield

Spanning 20 years' and 4000 hours, Matt has a great deal to give to Flyby Technology. He is a senior military A2 Qualified Flying Instructor QFI, and a Civil Aviation Authority Flight Instructor. Matt's Naval fixed wing flying career as a fighter pilot saw him operate from all three Royal Navy RN aircraft carriers, flying the Sea Harrier FA2 by day and night, from the Americas to the Far East. He has been been a Royal Navy A2 QFI and Instrument Rating Examiner IRE since 2005, and a former Central Flying School agent for the RN and RAF. As a former Commanding Officer of RN Fixed Wing Standards and an A2 QFI on the Hawk and Chipmunk, Matt has displayed the RNHF Sea Hawk at Farnborough 2008, and the mighty Sea Vixen FAW2 as a CAA display pilot during 2008-13 (Frozen Airline Transport Pilot's License). Most recently Matt has served since 2011 in the Army Air Corps as an A2 QFI and IRE on the Islander; an unbroken operational 5 year tour for 5 Regiment AAC.

There can be no denying Matt loves flying and being able to assist others with their flying skill set, to coach, facilitate and instruct others in their quest to fulfil their aviation aims is where his enthusiasm and expertise lies. It is this that has given him the most professional satisfaction.

Tom Nash

Tom Nash

Tom joins us as the deliverer of our groundschool in Scotland. With over 1700 hours as a RAF Tornado GR4 navigator, he brings a wealth of instructional experience to the team. As a Qualified Weapons Instructor, Qualified Tactics Instructor, Electronic Warfare Instructor and RAF Central Flying School Accredited Instructor, with two tours on the Tornado GR4 Operational Conversion Unit, he is ideal to deliver our course content.

As the regulations regarding the operational use of unmanned aircraft systems in the UK continues to evolve, his experience of air safety risk management will also help us remain at the forefront of teaching and accrediting safe UAS operators. Since leaving the RAF, Tom has been using his vast instructional experience to author, define and deliver military flying training courseware to a global provider with high quality results.

Tom is married with two small children and lives in the beautiful Scottish Borders.

Kris Ward

Kris Ward

Kris finished his academic education at the University of Southampton where he read Oceanography with Mathematics. Sponsored by the RAF through University he then joined the RAF in 1995. After two years waiting to start flying training, he transferred to the RN where he completed his flying training and was sent to fly the Sea Harrier at RNAS Yeovilton. At the end of his first tour he was asked to become a pathfinder for the transition to Joint Force Harrier and was sent to RAF Wittering to convert to the Harrier GR 7.

Another frontline tour on 1(F) Squadron, RAF Cottesmore, saw Kris experience his first Operational tour to Afghanistan. After 2 years on 1(F) Sqn Kris was selected to attend the Qualified Weapons Instructors course. On graduating he returned to Afghanistan, for a short while before instructing Harrier pilots on 20(R) Squadron the Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Wittering. During this time the Harrier GR 9 was introduced to service, and he was instrumental in developing the conversion syllabus on 20(R) Sqn.

In 2007 he became a Flight Commander on the Naval Strike Wing back at RAF Cottesmore, where he completed a further two operational tours in Afghanistan. He became the Senior Pilot in 2008. He completed Advanced Command and Staff Course 2009 – 2010 and was then sent to Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood. His final tour was at RAF Waddington at the Air Warfare Centre. Here he was responsible for developing the Tactics Manual for the F35 Lightning.

When the Harrier was scrapped after the Security and Defence Strategic Review 2010, Kris decided to leave the Royal Navy. He secured a job with Jet2.com flying the Boeing 737 as a First Officer in 2012. He has been a base Flight Safety Representative for 3 years, obtained command in early 2015, and is currently training to become a Line Training Captain.

Matt Doncaster

Matt Doncaster

Spanning 26 years and over 4200 flying hours, Matt is a highly experienced ex-Royal Air Force Fast Jet and Multi-engine pilot with an operational background on the Harrier GR7 and Boeing C17 Globemaster III. He flew land based and carrier embarked Harrier missions over the Balkans and Sierra Leone in the 1990s, as well as C17 strategic airlift missions more recently in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As a Qualified Flying Instructor, Matt has taught at Basic (Tucano T1), Advanced (Hawk T1/T1A) and Test Pilot (Empire Test Pilots’ School) level during which time he has amassed over 1000 instructional hours, gained the Central Flying School Above Average A2 qualification on 4 aircraft types, been a fast jet and multi-engine IRE, taught and examined fellow instructors, and was the last RAF pilot ever to convert to the mighty Andover C1.

Not all of Matt’s career has been spent in the air as he has spent time as a Desk Top Publisher of flight safety critical aircrew publications with Handling Squadron at Boscombe Down, and his last tour of duty saw him acting as the Fast Jet/Air-Land Integration Subject Matter Expert at the UK Air Support Operations Centre, also at Boscombe Down.

Qualified on 19 aircraft types, with handling experience of a further 24 (including what is believed to be the UK’s oldest privately owned aircraft, a Klemm Kl 25), Matt brings a wealth of aviation expertise to the team. He owns his own company operating SUAS, and hopes to join a major civilian airline soon having just gained his EASA ATPL.

Gareth Bird

Gareth Bird

Gareth is an ex-RAF fast-jet pilot who now flies the Boeing 757 and 767 for a UK airline and occasionally conducts post maintenance test and delivery flights for third parties.

He has in excess of 5000 flying hours, accrued over 17 years, on a variety of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. He has been flying drones for a number of years and has operated them in numerous locations around the world.

In his spare time, Gareth is a keen aviation and landscape photographer and an adventure sports enthusiast.

Tony Dalton

Tony Dalton

Tony spent over 20 years in the RAF and flew Tornado GR1, Hawk and E3D Sentry. After leaving the RAF he has flown in a number of roles around the world. Initially flying business jets then B737. He then took a short break from aviation and became a commercial maritime skipper running his own wildlife cruising business in North west Scotland. After this, a spell as a ground school and simulator instructor on the RAF’s new Hawk T2 then a trip to Ghana to head up surveillance training on the DA42. Currently he is the head of training and chief pilot in a company that operates high performance UAV’s. In this role he flies 2 types of UAS each capable of speeds in excess of 450kts and at altitudes between 15’ up to 40,000’. These high performance UAS’s are flown line of sight and utilise additional over the horizon links to ensure full manual command and control. Throughout his aviation career he has spent the majority of the time in an instructing and examining role. As an CFS A2 QFI, Tactics Instructor and instrument rating examiner he has an understanding and empathy with pilots new to the aviation business. Although based in York, Tony spends a lot of time in the Western Isles of Scotland and has intimate knowledge of the area.

Bruce Graeme-Cook

Bruce Graeme-Cook

Bruce spent 17 years with the Royal Air Force flying the Jaguar aircraft in the low level photo reconnaissance and ground attack roles, gaining over 3000 hours' experience. He was a qualified Weapons Instructor and an Instrument Rating Examiner/Instructor.

He did two tours with the Jaguar Operational Conversion Unit and one with the Royal Air Force of Oman, along with several operational tours. He retired from the RAF in 1998 and since then has worked as a long haul commercial airline pilot flying the 777.

Bruce lives in the West Country and hobbies include cycling, sea swimming, walking, camping, photography and ski-ing.

Kevin Dennington IRE/CRE/CPL FE

Kevin Dennington IRE/CRE/CPL FE

Having always been interested in Aviation, Kevin made a career change and became a Commercial Pilot in 1992. During his time as an aviator he has specialised in the training of Professional Pilots both Civil and Military.

Kevin became a Senior Flight Instructor and Flight Safety Officer for the world renowned Oxford Aviation Academy, amassing approximately 10,000 hours of instruction in both aircraft and simulators.

He now works independently providing examining services to the UK CAA and contract flight instruction to various Approved Training Organisations and individuals operating under the EASA umbrella.

Any spare time is spent walking dogs, gardening and because it is a way of life, flying unusual and historic aircraft.

COMBINED FLYING HOURS
YEARS COMBINED EXPERIENCE
LOCATIONS ACROSS THE UK

Flyby Technology course options

Flyby offers a 2 day Course, allowing you to learn the theory then go away and complete the other elements in your own timeframe; a 5 day fast-track Course to complete all the elements within a week and an option for professionally trained pilots to skip the groundschool theory. Professional pilots who do not require flight skills training can also complete a 3 day fast-track option. All our courses culminate in a flight skills test, completion of an operations manual and an application for your PfCO - Permission for Commercial Operations.

You will be the proud graduate of Flyby Technology Drone School - with your Initial Drone Pilot Standard (IDPS) and Permission for Commercial Operation under your belt, the world is your oyster! Holding the IDPS will be an indicator of the high standard that you have achieved and of the professionalism with which you approach your flying.

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