The BADA Committee

Image © Paul Johnson

Image © Paul Johnson

The British Air Display Association Committee is made up of eight members and two officials elected annually by the membership. The Committee represents a cross section of the UK air display industry with each having many years of experience in their particular field.

Chairman – John Turner

John TurnerJohn gained a Private Pilot License at the age of 17, joined the RAF while at York University and flew Phantom F4s in Germany before becoming a Flight Commander and instructing on the Hawk, during which he was awarded a ‘Queens Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air’ for safely landing a Hawk that suffered an engine failure just after a night takeoff.

Subsequently, John attended Empire Test Pilots’ School and commanded the Experimental Flying squadron at RAE Farnborough flying a wide range of aircraft including the Andover, BAC 1-11, Buccaneer, Comet, Jaguar, Hawk, Hunter, Varsity and PA-31.
John joined BAE Systems in 1990 as an experimental test pilot on Tornado, also gaining an Air Transport Pilot License and flying the company Cessna 421. In 1992 he became the lead test pilot on Eurofighter and was the first pilot to achieve 100 hours on type. John displayed the Hawk for 3 years before flying the first fully aerobatic Eurofighter display at Farnborough in 1996, followed by further displays at Berlin and Farnborough in 1998 where a show-stealing display also announced the Typhoon name.

John switched to the Nimrod MRA4 programme, becoming Chief Test Pilot Nimrod & Strategic Aircraft in 2003 with responsibility for all the large aircraft in the BAE Systems portfolio ranging from Nimrod MR2, R3 and MRA4, through BAe146/RJ and the turbo-prop ATP to RAF aircraft such as the Canberra and VC10. Between trials he also flew as a BAe146 captain for the company airline and occasional ferry flights in the ATP. He also managed and displayed the company’s heritage aircraft, a Blackburn B2, an Avro C19 (Anson) and a deHavilland DH60 Cirrus Moth on loan to the Shuttleworth Collection.

John became Director Flight Operations for BAE Systems in 2005 and, as the ‘Chief Pilot’ for BAE Systems plc and BAE Systems Inc., he was responsible for the governance of all flying activities conducted by or on behalf of all the parts of the company word-wide. He continued to test flying, completing a test programme on an MT-003 gyrocopter as well as overseeing and acting as ‘pilot’ for the first flight of the multi-engine unmanned Mantis platform. He also regularly displayed Shuttleworth Collection vintage aircraft and assisted on the Flying Control Committees (FCC) at East Fortune, Farnborough International, Clacton, Southend on Sea, Southport and Margate.

In 2010 John set up John Turner Aviation Consultants Ltd, providing a source of independent and expert advice on aviation matters. He is Flying Display Director for Farnborough International, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a member of their Flight Test Group, Liveryman of The Honourable Company of Air Pilots and their Director of Aviation Affairs and a member of the A|D|S Flight Operations Committee.

Vice Chairman – George Bacon MBE TD

George BaconGeorge holds a Commercial Pilot’s Licence/Instrument Rating and he has accumulated almost 4000hrs on around 20 different aircraft types. He is also a Civil Aviation Authority accredited Air Accident Investigator, Crew Resource Management Instructor, Flying Display Director and Event Commentator. By day, he is also the Manager of the Army’s Blue Eagles and Historic Flight Display Teams and selects Pilots for the Army Air Corps.


Geoff Brindle

Geoff BrindleGeoff served in the Royal Air Force as a fast-jet pilot, primarily on Lightning and Phantom aircraft. He was the last Station Commander at RAF Wildenrath and also served as the UK’s Senior Military representative in Oman. Geoff was the Lightning display pilot at the International Air Tattoo in the 1970’s before joining the IAT volunteer team as Flying Display Manager. Since then he has served on the Flying Control Committee and as Flying Display Director at RIAT and on the FCC at numerous other airshows including Sunderland, Eastbourne, Duxford, East Fortune and Al Ain.

John Davis

John DavisJohn completed a full career as a pilot in the RAF as a Test Pilot, Instructor and Staff Qualified. He then joined CAA in 1988 where he was responsible for regulating General Aviation flying, which included being responsible for issuing Permissions/Exemptions for all Flying Displays and associated events in UK. This included the inspection of Airshows throughout the summer months.Since 1995, he has worked independently as an FDD/FCC member at numerous events in UK and at Belgian and Dutch civil and military Airshows. He is also the civilian FCC representative for the RAF Waddington Airshow. John joined the ADA(E) in 1995 and was its Chairman for the last 8 years during which time he has directed numerous European Display Director Workshops.

Rod Dean

rod-1editedRod has been displaying civil aircraft since 1984 when he retired from the RAF after 21 years of service.

During his RAF service Rod spent his whole time flying on operational squadrons of training units, principally flying the Hunter and the Jaguar, but also the Jet Provost, Meteor, Gnat and Chipmunk. He left the service as a Squadron Leader as well as a Qualified Flying Instructor and Qualified Weapons Instructor.

Rod spent ten years as the Business Manager of a flight simulator training company before joining the Civil Aviation Authority. Leaving the CAA he joined the team of Farnborough International Ltd as the Flight Operations Consultant (and Flying Display Director during the Airshow) for Farnborough International Limited, the organisers of the Farnborough Airshow.

Rod has flown a wide variety of World War II and immediate post-war piston fighters such as the Mustang, Corsair, Wildcat, Sea Fury, Bearcat, Hurricane, and Spitfire. Vintage jets flown include the Meteor, Vampire, Venom, T33, F86 Sabre and the Hunter. His CAA Display Authorisation covers all these aircraft and he is fully qualified to lead formations of any size.

Rod is also a CAA Display Authorisation Evaluator and has recently been appointed the flying display director of the popular annual RAFA Shoreham Airshow.

Ben Hardy

Ben_HardyBen works at Richmond Event Management, one of the UK’s leading outdoor event management companies, where he delivers a range of event management solutions for clients across the country, notably as Event Director of the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta – Europe’s largest annual hot air balloon event.  The Balloon Fiesta attracts 500,000 visitors each year and is one of the UK’s 5th largest events.

Outside of work Ben has a range of charitable interests. He is a Past President of the Bristol Junior Chamber, a member of the West of England Initiative, a member of the Anchor Society and Chairman of Young Bristol, a city wide youth organisation. Ben is also a Director of Bristol Festivals.

Chris Murray OBE

Chris MurrayChris Murray, OBE, served in the Royal Air Force for 35 years, retiring in 2007 as a group captain. Chris filled a wide range of appointments in the field of finance, project management, management planning, performance measurement and personnel administration during postings and operational tours in the UK, Germany, Sierra Leone and the Middle East. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2001.

Chris joined RAFCTE in 2007 as Company Secretary and Deputy Director Ground Operations; he was also Secretary to the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.  He became an Executive Director in 2009 and his current responsibilities include both air and ground operations. He is experienced in management planning, performance measurement and project management (PRINCE II) and has successfully managed a number of event-based projects.  He has experience as an assessor for the European Foundation for Quality Management.  He is customer focused and has considerable experience in event programming, showground design and infrastructure, bringing together the air and ground displays to deliver an all-round entertainment package.

Barry Neal

Barry_NealBarry joined the RAF in 1963 as an RAF Halton Aircraft Apprentice and graduated on a cadet-ship to the RAF College Cranwell.  Awarded his commission and pilots’ wings in 1968 he went on to a full RAF career specialising in air-to-air refuelling (AAR) (Victor K1 & K2 and VC10 aircraft, and KC-135 & KC10 aircraft on exchange with the USAF).  He was an AAR Instructor and a USAF Instructor Pilot, and was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air for AAR operations in the 1982 South Atlantic Conflict.  His last 7 years in the RAF were spent in flight/aviation safety during which time he gained a Certificate in Aviation Safety Management from the Southern California Safety Institute (Safety & Risk Management, Aircraft & Incident Investigation, and Human Factors), and was the UK representative to the NATO Flight Safety Working Group.  He also monitored military aircraft participation in civilian flying displays and, in 2003, became an Air Display Association Europe (ADAE) certificated flying display director.  On retirement from the RAF he founded, and is Managing Partner of, Aviation Safety Associates llp, an aviation safety consultancy specialising in safety & risk management, human factors, and flying display safety.  He was the display advisor for the 2000 Royal Military Tattoo, London, and the 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Visit to the Armed Forces, Portsmouth.  He has been flying display director at Guernsey (currently), Plymouth and Elvington, and on flying control committees at Guernsey, Kemble, Babbacombe and Dawlish (currently).  Barry is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and a former member of ADAE and a founder Member of BADA.

Mike Stanway

Mike StanwayMike joined the RAF from school having gained his PPL through a Flying Scholarship. He trained on Chipmunk, Jet Provost, Gnat and Hunter before posting to the Canberra for two tours. After a spell as the Hawk test pilot at Brawdy he spent 10 years flying the Tornado GR1, and GR1a during Gulf War 1. The majority of his career was in flying appointments and he completed his service as a Squadron Leader and QFI. It was during his first ground appointment in Flight Safety, some 17 years ago, that he first became involved in Air Displays. He has served as FDD or on FCCs at Cosford, Jersey, Windermere, Perth, Plymouth, Newtonards, Enniskillen and Manston.

Dave Walton

Dave WaltonDave has been around “aviation” and air displays all of his life, being the son of an RAF pilot who also volunteered for IAT at Greenham Common. He started his own aviation career in Recruitment where he was an account manager for the UK’s largest crew leasing company responsible for several overseas contracts including a major simulator training project and a VVIP Royal Flight.

Following a brief period travelling the world, he joined the full-time staff at the Royal International Air Tattoo, as the Aircraft Participation Manager responsible for attracting and supporting the hundreds of visiting aircraft and crew that attend the annual event.

During this time he was involved in staging 5 RIATs where his involvement included flying and static participation, movements planning and charter flights, as well as developing an aircraft participation and movements database with a software company. He also assisted with the planning, and subsequently became the Flying Display Director, for “Airbourne”, the Eastbourne International Airshow. Leaving RAFCTE in 2007 Dave joined Ray Thilthorpe and Ian Sheeley in forming TSA Consulting Ltd.