Malcolm’s interest in historic aircraft was inspired by his father, who learned to fly unofficially on a Bristol Fighter at RAF Northolt and subsequently took his licence on a Gipsy Moth at Broxbourne. Malcolm’s first hands-on experience with vintage aircraft came as a 16 year old air cadet when he soloed in a Slingsby T31 Cadet glider at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in Yorkshire. Powered flying had to wait until after Malcolm had graduated with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Salford in 1979 and joined the RAF as an engineer officer. Malcolm took his PPL in 1982 on modern aircraft, but converted to the Tiger Moth at Cranwell soon afterwards. His RAF career as an engineer officer involved much of the RAF’s modern heavy metal, but also brought him into contact with classic aircraft such as the Buccaneer, Phantom, VC10 and Nimrod. Malcolm retired from the RAF in 2014 as a Wing Commander after a career spanning 34 years, including 4 tours in Germany. His last appointment was as an exchange officer in the central policy staff of the German Ministry of Defence in Berlin, where he was a desk officer for arms control issues.
Malcolm’s inability to fly straight and level led him to taking a share in a Stampe, which he flew in standard-level aerobatic competitions for several years. He subsequently acquired John Isaacs’ original Isaacs Fury, which by then had been re-engined with a Lycoming, giving it the power loading of a Pitts. Sadly, it still had the drag of a Fury and no inverted fuel system, so any attempt at a full aerobatic sequence involved prodigious height loss, but it was character-building aircraft to fly. Since 2006, Malcolm has been a member of the Reading Flying Group, which operates the film star Tiger Moth G-ANFM at White Waltham. Malcolm is a Freeman of the Honorable Company of Air Pilots and he is also an active member of the deHavilland Moth Club; he regularly took part in the Club’s charity flying days at RAF Halton, before the move to LAA permits put paid to charity flying in Moths.