Sir Michael joined the Royal Air Force in 1953, retiring in 1989. During his 36 years in the RAF, he gained experience in a wide variety of operational and staff roles and flew well over 100 types of aircraft, from Tiger Moth to Tornado and the Avro Vulcan in between. He served as a frontline pilot and commander, being appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group in 1980, a role that saw him involved in the Falklands Conflict. His service culminated in membership of the Air Force Board and from 1986 spending three years as the UK’s Military Representative to NATO. In retirement he was Chairman of the Air League.
Sir Michael also dedicated over thirty years to The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust and Royal International Air Tattoo. He attended the Air Tattoo many times during his years serving in the RAF and in retirement was invited to join their small Vice Patron team to help host the RAF’s 75th anniversary celebrations at RAF Fairford in 1993. The organisation said “He provided unstinting support, never missing a Show, until the end of 2004 as we faced the biggest challenge to our future on the parting of ways with the RAF Benevolent Fund. Sir Mike agreed to lead a new organisation, and with his close team, built the newly formed charity, the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust.” Sir Michael was Chairman of the Trust until 2008.
Among Sir Michael’s many amazing achievements was his involvement in returning Vulcan XH558 to flight as the first chairman of the Vulcan to the Sky Trust.
Our thoughts are with Sir Michael’s family at this sad time.