Aircrew, Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters
The Officer Commanding the BBMF, Squadron Leader Mark Sugden, is one of only two aircrew permanently serving on the Flight; the other Pilots, Navigators, Air Engineers and Air Loadmasters coming from 7 different Stations (Brize Norton, Coningsby, Marham, Cranwell, Boscombe Down, Northolt and Waddington) flying 5 different types of aircraft ( A400M Atlas, Hercules C-130J, C17 Globemaster, Sentry and Typhoon) as their primary role.
The fighter aircraft types (Spitfire and Hurricane) are flown by modern RAF Fighter Pilots, whilst the Dakota and Lancaster are flown by RAF Bomber Pilots with a background on heavy, multi-engine aircraft. There are normally 3 Lancaster / Dakota captains on the Flight and 2 Dakota captain / Lancaster co-pilots.
The Flight’s volunteer Navigators, Flight Engineers and Air Loadmasters are all essential to the safe and efficient operation of the Lancaster and Dakota.
We have 37 engineering tradesmen headed by the Flight's Senior Engineering Officer, Squadron Leader Phillips and HQ staff consisting of a Flight Operations Officer, Flight Operations Assistant, a Chief of Staff, Public Relations and administrative support.
The BBMF Engineering team, led by the Senior Engineering Officer and his management team (two Junior Engineering Officers a Warrant Officer, a Flight Sergeant, three Chief Technicians and three Sergeants) are responsible for the maintenance, to fully airworthy condition, of the Flight’s twelve historic aircraft. The engineers who make up this relatively small team have all volunteered for duties with the Flight and serve a nominal three to five years tour of duty.
These full-time staff members are augmented by the Flight’s volunteer aircrew, all of whom have primary duties in the RAF and who fly the BBMF aircraft mainly in their own time – a considerable commitment.