A SELECTION OF THE TEAM
Mark Brown - Managing Director
Mark amassed significant QFI and QPNI experience through teaching and standardising pilots, navigators and instructors on Jet Provost, Hawk and Tucano, and he also has a background in flying training research and consultancy.
A ‘creamie’ flying instructor tour was followed by the Phantom as deputy squadron QFI and convex instructor and then the Navigator and Airman Aircrew School where he introduced, and then standardized and developed, the Hawk advanced navigator syllabus, resulting in an award from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators.
Following a short spell on 100 Squadron, promotion saw Mark become the founding member of Flying Training Development Wing where his focus was research into the balance of live and synthetic training and the delivery of flying and operational training in the glass cockpit era, as well as providing flying training consultancy services to MOD, all UK armed forces and NATO, a role giving valuable insight into the training devices and methods used around the world and which led to the international publication of Mark’s work on the definition and assessment of ‘airmanship’.
Mark next commanded the CFS (Tucano) Squadron, where he successfully introduced the airmanship assessment principles into live flying training before moving to A5 Contingency Plans at HQ STC where, following a period as lead planner, he was awarded a Chief of the Air Staff’s Commendation for exceptional service. His final tour was as the defence acquisition desk officer for distributed mission (synthetic) training and UK MFTS.
Rob Dixon - Business Development Director
Rob joined Pilotwise in September 2014 after a 22 year career in the RAF.
Rob was lead QHTI for all Joint Helicopter Command battlefield helicopters, involving responsibility for helicopter tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan and training and standardising all tri-service QHTIs. This included command of the annual QHTI course and developing the syllabus to ensure the full range of instructor capabilities. Additionally, he was responsible for the rotary wing OEU and SH STANEVAL.
Rob next completed a tour in NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger as head of scenarios for multinational exercises for ISAF and NRF training and certification.
In his last role, Rob was responsible directly to AOC Number 1 Group as head of Safety, Training, Assurance and Regulation for all the Group’s people and fast jet and ISTAR assets. In this position, he implemented a comprehensive aviation safety management system and an aggregate operating risk management structure. To support consistent risk management within the Group, he created and delivered a workshop, which was subsequently delivered to the MAA, RAF Command and external organisations.
Rob has a MSc in Human Factors and Safety Assessment from Cranfield University.
Roger Searle - Executive Director
Roger began his flying career as an RAF ground attack fighter pilot, flying first the Hunter and then with 1(F) Sqn as it equipped with Harriers to form the world’s first operational V/STOL squadron. He was selected to become a test pilot, graduating from the Empire Test Pilots School, and flying with Experimental Flying Squadron at RAE Farnborough where he was involved with the first electro-optical night low level flying aid (LLTV), aircraft carrier trials with Harrier aboard HMS Hermes and developed Fly-by-Wire handling. He also flew as the project pilot for Aviation Medicine flight trials.
Roger joined British Aerospace at Brough as an Experimental Test Pilot in 1980 and was subsequently Chief Test Pilot leading Buccaneer, Phantom, Harrier, Hawk and PC-9 programmes. Having first flown Hawk in 1981, Roger moved to Warton in 1992 to join the Flight Operations Hawk Development team and managed the Hawk 100 and 200 Series production, customer training and delivery flight programmes.
In 1995 he founded and managed the Hawk Aircrew User Group. With 5500 hours flight time on 140 types and marks of fixed and rotary wing aircraft, Roger left BAE Systems to join Pilotwise in 2003, bringing with him vast experience in the design and implementation of modern flying training systems.
Michael Mok - Head of Graphics and Animation
Having undertaken 8 years of advanced study in art, design, and multimedia design and development, Michael leads the Pilotwise team in the creation of 2D and 3D graphics and animation that is second to none in terms of quality and technical accuracy.
Michael's skills perfectly complement those of our training specialists. He joined Pilotwise in 2008 having been the Senior Multimedia Designer at Saville Creative and a freelance multimedia designer.
Michael led the introduction of SCORM at Pilotwise, making us fully inter-operable with the e-learning industry and he is a key member of the Pilotwise innovation development team.
Mal Bruce – Head of Operations (Engineering)
Mal joined Pilotwise in May 15 after a 35 year career in the Royal Air Force.
Mal was the office manager of the Joint Training Development Team within the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering at RAF Cosford, his responsibilities included the design and development of several major aeronautical courses, working with designers, deliverers and students across the three services to DSAT standards. In 2014 he was awarded a Commandants Commendation for his work designing, developing and implementing training and safety for the Red Arrows.
Mal has completed tours at home and abroad and has gained extensive experience in a wide range of roles, including fast jet servicing, large technical maintenance workshops and headquarters strategic management. He also gained an MBA in his own time whilst serving.
Helen Rough - Editorial Manager
Helen has enjoyed a varied career making full use of her qualification in Business Administration. She initially worked as a personal assistant within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before moving to Rome where she spent 10 years with Foster Wheeler Italiana. Upon returning to the UK she ran her own small business before joining Pilotwise in 1995.
Helen is renowned for ensuring the editorial quality of Pilotwise products before they are released to the customer and is a qualified auditor to BSI standards.
Keith Jackson - Training Specialist
Keith is a former RAF fast-jet pilot with tours on the air defence Lightning and the ground attack/strike Jaguar. He also has extensive experience as a qualified flying instructor and examiner. Keith spent 3 years instructing with the Republic of Singapore Air Force and was later a Squadron Commander on Examining Wing, RAF Central Flying School.
Since joining Pilotwise International as MD in 1989, he has worked directly with the pilot training experts of 15 air forces world-wide, advising them and developing fast-jet pilot training materials.
Keith has 5200 hours flying time on 40 types and marks of aircraft.
John Dignan - Training Specialist
A former RAF C-130 pilot, flying instructor and training squadron commander, John was an extremely successful Director for Slingsby Aviation Ltd, also acting as the company production test pilot.
During his tenure John devised and delivered a strategy that led to the supply of 113 Firefly T-3A aircraft to the USAF and a training programme for USAF test pilots, SMEs and the initial cadre of instructor pilots. For this achievement, John won the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement as well as two other major awards. During his time with Slingsby, he negotiated the sale of Firefly aircraft to 34 countries. He also presented a major cost saving initiative to UK MOD’s major aviation training stakeholders which led to the instigation of the Joint Elementary Flying Training Scheme (JEFTS). Following the sale of Slingsby, John moved to become the Head of Flight Operations at Hunting Contract Services, where he was instrumental in the expansion of JEFTS, providing first rate training to all 3 Services.
John joined Pilotwise in 2001, where he has worked on numerous training support projects over the last decade, proving extremely adept at embedding with partners to act as an aviation training SME when required. Of note, John led the training and equipment analysis for the successful Serco Aerospace bid team. The outcome led to the provision of multi-engine pilot training on a fleet of new-build Super King Air B200 aircraft, simulators and training support.
John Wilkinson - Training Specialist
One of the RAF’s most experienced single seat fast jet pilots, John has flown numerous aircraft types. Having completed flying training on the Jet Provost, Gnat and Hunter, John was posted to Germany to fly the Harrier, the preserve of only the most gifted pilots.
After just 2 years on his first tour, he was selected to become a Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) before returning to the UK to serve on No 1(F) Sqn as the Sqn QWI and Deputy Flight Commander. A term at the RAF's Central Flying School saw him qualify as a flying instructor (QFI) from a course on which he took not only the Groundschool, but also the Commandant's prize; a shortened tour at the RAF's Basic Flying Training School preceded his return to the Harrier Force as a Flight Commander on No 3(F) Sqn. As an HQ No 1 Group desk officer he oversaw training on both the Harrier and Jaguar OCUs, in addition to deploying as a planner of airborne operations in Europe and the Middle East. John returned to the Harrier Force to teach on the OCU before joining the staff of the Joint Forward Air Controllers Training and Standards Unit (JFACTSU) flying the Hawk aircraft. John taught all aspects of FAC, both on the ground and from the air, and developed synthetic training aids which provided a 'pilot's-eye view' of ground attack profiles.
John completed his RAF career on 76 Sqn where he enjoyed a close working relationship with Stuart Hatzel. During his tour he not only taught ab-initio students but was the primary instructor for those students who required remedial instruction, achieving a remarkable success rate.
John was also responsible for creating and developing paper and electronic training aids – in particular, the introduction of the Pilotwise Tucano electronic briefing system. In 2008, he was honoured with the Master Air Pilot award by the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, an honour granted only to those who have achieved outstanding success in the air.
Barry Cross - Training Specialist
Barry flew as one of the RAF’s most capable fast jet pilots from 1982 until joining Pilotwise.
Initially selected as a ‘creamie’ flying instructor on the Hawk aircraft, he followed this with an operational tour as a fighter pilot on the Phantom F4-J. Following a highly successful 3 year tour displaying with the Red Arrows, Barry went on to fly and instruct on the Tornado F3 and again on the Hawk, as a senior member of the RAF’s aggressor squadron providing operational training for frontline types.
His next tour was in command of the Central Flying School’s basic fast jet instructor training squadron where he very successfully brought in numerous innovative training initiatives, including the introduction of neuro-linguistic instructional techniques. With over 5000 flying hours, Barry joined Pilotwise in 2007, quickly rising to become Managing Director and successfully leading the company through the global downturn.
In 2013 he returned to a consultancy role and maintains flying instructional currency on the Tucano aircraft as an RAF reservist.