See what old friends and colleagues are up to now!

Pals Reunited Table for 30 Squadron Association
Name Text/Comment
Nick Nicholls I arrived on 30 Sqn in the autumn of 1974, fresh faced from the Thorney Island OCU and sporting my shiny new F/E’s brevet, not realising just what a brilliant 6 years lay ahead of me. During those two tours I was privileged to fly with some outstanding aviators, make lifelong friendships and experience one or two epic adventures. At the end of my second tour I was dragged, kicking & screaming, to the OCU in the Simulator and finally on to be Eng Ldr on the Ground School. I left the RAF and Lyneham in October 1987 to join Catahy Pacific Airways and had a brilliant 10 years on the Boeing 747, L-1011 and then as the Fleet Technical Officer for the introduction of the Boeing -777 to the airline’s inventory. My final three years was spent on Cathay’s 747 Freighter fleet “Hauling rubber dog turds out’a Hong Kong.”  I retired from aviation in 2000 and returned to Wiltshire where I set up and ran a couple of business ventures. Motivated by a minor heart attack in 2006 I decided to fully retire and now live in the village of Coltishall. I have recently joined the local ATC Squadron as a civilian instructor (CI) teaching Airframes, Propulsion and Comms to the next generation of aviators.
Peter Brook (Wg Cdr, OBE FRIM MRAes CITP MBCS CEng (RTD) 30 Sqn Navigator 1975-1980.  Then went to A&AEE Boscombe Down and onto 115 Sqn before getting lost in MOD Operational Requirements for years.  Spent the last 5 years in NATO in SHAPE and Ramstein and retired in 2007.   I am now working at the CAA.     
Pete Keeble

After my two years on 30 Sqn I moved to the OCU first as a sim instructor then as a Hercules Flight Instructor. Five and a half years and a war later I got my requested posting back to the unit I began my Hercules career on, XXIV Sqn, this time a Senior Training Captain.

My love of sailing led me become OIC Lyneham Offshore Sailing Club which in turn saw me leading a number of  sailing expeditions with JSSTC craft from Gosport and with BFYC Kiel boats in the Baltic. It was while I was away on one such exped that I made the life-changing decision to take early retirement and move into boat-building!

I moved to Lowestoft in late 1996 and took a year's course in wooden boat construction at the local college after which I spent a couple of years in the trade. At the end of 1999 I bought a boat to live aboard and ended up spending the next few years restoring the vessel! Still at it but back in a sensible house again!

Always keen to hear from old friends and ac  quaintances - if you're in the area you will be most welcome to drop by and sample East Coast hospitality.

Ray Evans

I started on 30 in 1975 as copilot. then captain for two tours. Posted to ATFF flying piston and turbine Islanders, Pilatus Porter, Cessna 206 in the adventure training parachute role. Posted to a ground tour in Germany 6 weeks after getting spec aircrew as a Harrier tasking Officer. Managed to get several rides in the Harrier and did PARA droppping down at Bad lippsringe. Did 3 descents myself including AFF from 14000 feet. Back to L:yneham, 30 sqn of course, 2 more  tours as a Captain then across to Test flight. Got extended to 58/60 and posted off test flight to 24 sqn..(spit!). Did just about 2 years before Bowel cancer was found. Got a medical discharge in 2001. Did over 10.000 hours in total.

Since retiring, now a case worker for SSAFA Forces Help, PRO and Standard bearer for Wantage and district RAFA, President of the Wantage Target shooting club, work part time for Pearsons who run the exams for the DSA, RCGP, LNAT, IFA and others. This latter pays  for my private flying at RAF Benson Flying club and down at Popham. Still read a lot( loadies will remember my bag of books!!), 3 telescopes for astronomy and various digital cameras used at all the functions I attended with the association.....Still got all the gagdets, including a new electric motorbike (Vectrix)...Living it large I think is the phrase!!

Laurie Ramage Hi everyone. I was on the Sqn, on and off, from '82 to '96. Left and joined Virgin Atlantic where I got my command in '05. I've had a fantastic time with both the RAF and Virgin Atlantic but, unfortunately, I lost my medical license following a stroke in Jan '08 and that was the end of that! I now work as a Multicrew Co-operation Instructor on the 737-400 simulator at Oxford Aviation Academy.. I see it as a third career and I most certainly won't grumble at that!
David Bright

I was an eng on the Sqn from 73 to 77, enjoyed lots of exciting things such as Jatfor, Sunday para detais at Weston on the Green, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Happy Hour in the Mess at Masirah,  sausage and chips in the Blue Lagoon in Gan etc etc. Being tired of such excitement I joined BA, did some time on 707's then a lot longer on 747's, eventually after 9/11 they offered me early retirement and it was difficult to say no.  

Mike Nichols

After leaving 30 Sqn in 1980 I served ground tours at Upavon, Northwood and Stanley. Following transfer to Specialist Aircrew in 1984 I was posted to 70 Sqn, followed by a spell as 242 OCU NavLdr, then Staneval. In 1992 I moved to TQF at Benson and, following its demise, paid 32(TR) Sqn a glancing blow. In 1996 I left the RAF as a ‘redundee’, becoming the oldest F/O at a low cost airline, later graduating to ‘least experienced captain’. They ceased trading after 3 years so I spent the next year contract flying, mainly for Swissair (they didn’t do too well either!). This prompted a move into the Executive Jet world, initially for a company planning to buy and operate an ex-RAF BAe146, but never did. They, in turn, were visited by the receivers after about 2 years. I now fly for Marshalls of Cambridge who are, arguably, taking some commercial risk in allowing me to do so! ...now retired and the country seems almost in receivership!

Matt Busby

Graduated form University in 1969 and the Hercules OCU at Thorney Island in 1972. Joined 48 Sqn as a Hercules copilot until the disbandment of 48Sqn in 1975. After a ground tour at RAF Digby returned to RAF Lyneham in 1978 as a Captain on 30 Sqn. Completed the QFI course on Bulldogs in 1981 and, after a brief tour on Bristol UAS, was promoted and posted as OC Cambridge UAS in 1982 until returning to RAF Lyneham in 1985 as Flt Cdr Trg on 30 Sqn which included a 5-month tour as OC 1312 Flt in Falkland Islands. A tour in Operational Requirements, MOD, London, followed (1989 to 1991) before returning to RAF Lyneham and a third tour on 30 Sqn from 1991 to 1994. The final UK tour was on 57 Sqn (Hercules OCU) at RAF Lyneham before completing a double tour as Trg Capt and RAFO Standards with the Royal Air Force of Oman between 1998 and 2002. Retired from the service in Jan 2003 but still living in Wiltshire.

Phil Pratt

Served on 30 Sqn as a Captain from 1985 to 1988. Joined British Airways in 1989 on TriStars, then flew 747-400s, 747 Classics and have been a Captain on the 777 for 7 years.

Robbie Robinson

Having just visited the web site for the first time & seeing some familiar names, thought I would add my bit to the growing list. I write this on a warm December Saturday afternoon in Hong Kong. The best time to visit ! Joined the Herc Fleet in '73, straight from Training via Thorney Island. initially 47 Sqn, 70 Sqn & then joined 30 Sqn [ 25 Feb 1977; XV199; Acceptance Flt; Sqn Ldr Healey ] as a brand new Captain ! Proceeded to fly ALL around the world; "You are WHERE !! Fiji ??". Just who would give you a crew & aircraft these days to disappear for 3 weeks on a Training Flight "west-about" ! Thanks 30 Sqn. A spell back on 47 & then H.T.S. saw my time out - 13 great years - at Lyneham and the RAF. Think we all then joined Cathay Pacific in HK. It was a Lyneham reunion except this time flying 747's. 20 years later some of us are still here - including a few FE's !
With a home near Brisbane, Australia; working in HK; and an adopted family in Malaysia, life is  still rolling by.
If ever 'down under' then give a call; we like our 'mates' to stop by. Oh -- one last thing ! Never, ever, put us on your list of "10 people who should get this e-mail for everlasting good fortune".

Tim Collins

Captain 30 Sqn C130K March 1984 - 1987. Other C130K units (LXX Sqn, Test Flt, 24 Sqn, 242 OCU/57 Sqn TTF) between 1980 and 1998. Virgin Atlantic Airways 1998 - present day (B747-200 1998 - 2002, A340-300/600 2002 - present day).
Married to Veronica. 2 children from previous marriage. Living near Sudbury, Suffolk.

Peter Gregory

Served on 30 Sqn 1975 - 82 (Co &Captain tours) then ground tour at HQAC RAF Newton. Back to Lyneham in 1985 18 months on LXX then back to 30 Sqn until I "retired" in 1989. Joined Britannia on 737-200 (more primitive than the Herc!) then 737-300, back to -200, then B767, then 757 then 767/757 dual rated. All in 4 years !! Became quite good at Boeing courses. And No, i didn't fail anything, just a very junior pilot on a very long seniority list who got pushed around. I left the RAF for stability!! Eventually my number came up in 2003 and got a command on 757/767 and took voluntary severance April 2009 following Thomson/ First Choice merger. Now flying PA28 for fun and planning to do FI rating in Spring 2010. Married now to Mary Martin who I used to go out with before I joined RAF, and living in Birmingham. We also have a house in Crete, just 5km from the 30 Sqn memorial at Maleme.