Our pilots

All of our pilots are highly experienced and fully qualified flying instructors, all of whom share a passion for flying vintage aircraft. Our organisation is fully regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and every aspect of our ground and flying activities is devised within a strict safety system framework.

From the moment you arrive until your parting goodbye, your instructor will stop at nothing to ensure you have an amazing, comfortable and safe time with us. Most of all, we want to ensure that you leave with a huge smile on your face!
Whether you’re an experienced flyer, or completely new to the marvel of aviation, your instructor is equipped with all of the experience and knowledge necessary to tailor the experience to your needs and expectations. We actively encourage you to ask questions and we’re sure you’ll love learning about the aircraft as much as you’ll love flying in it.


It was fascinating. You rarely get a chance to see how an aeroplane actually works!

Paul Ford

Paul has been involved with vintage aircraft ever since he was 11 years old, when he was lucky enough to work as a volunteer at Duxford Airfield, now the Imperial War Museum. He took part in many major restorations, including the Blenheim, RE8, B17 etc. He counts himself as privileged to have known the Late-Great Ormond Hayden-Baillie & it was him who inspired in Paul a passion for flying that knows no bounds.
An accomplished mechanical engineer by trade, Paul served an apprenticeship & then spent 26 years at the World renowned University of Cambridge Department of Engineering where he investigated soil mechanics, fluid mechanics & combustion for Rolls Royce, BAE Systems, etc. He was mildly distracted by Robot Wars for a while & appeared as part of the Cambridge University Team with Mortis, a hugely popular & successful robot. In addition to Robot Wars, Paul has done a variety of TV work. He appeared on The Big Breakfast, Clarkson, Local Heroes & Regional News Programmes with his jet engines on bicycles & go-peds.

When Paul isn’t flying Tiger Moths, he indulges his passion for building replica WW1 fighter aircraft. Among his more ambitious projects was the build and completion of his famous Fokker Triplane, as flown by the notorious baron von richthofen – otherwise knon as the “Red Baron”. Paul is pictured here with his famous creation.

Anxious not to be divorced again, I purchased a book “How to Build a WW1 Replica AND Stay Married!”

Paul Jones

Paul Jones is the Chief Flying Instructor at Derby Aero Club. He has grown up surrounded by aeroplanes. As a young boy he built and flew model aeroplanes. He went solo on his seventeenth birthday (the youngest minimum age at the time) and he got his PPL (A) a month later.
After studying Mechanical Engineering at Nottingham University Paul went on to get his Commercial Pilots Licence and Instructor Rating. Paul has been instructing on fixed wing aeroplanes since 2001 and now has over 15,500 hours on 120 different types of aircraft.
Paul has taken part in several aerobatic competitions and precision flying events. In 2005 he was a member of the British Team for the European Championships for Precision and Rally Flying held in the Slovak Republik.

In 2006 he flew in FIA World Championships in Troyes flying both Precision and Rally Disciplines. Paul is a current CAA and LAA Test Pilot and has carried out the First Flight of 31 homebuilt aircraft (and the subsequent Conversion to Type Training for their owners). A keen flier of vintage aircraft, Paul especially enjoys flying the Tiger Moth and Fokker DR1 Triplane. When he is not flying Paul has an interest in classic cars.

Has over 15,500 hours on 120 different types of aircraft.

Charlie Mcilroy

Charlie has over 45 years flying experience ranging from Military Fast Jets to modern Jumbo Passenger planes and a variety of light aircraft.
He started flying at 17 and joined the Royal Air Force at 20 where he flew the Mach 2 Lightning followed by a tour as an instructor on the Hawk. This led on to flying with the Red Arrows Aerobatic team for 3 years in the mid eighties. While on the team he flew as one of the synchro pair. He then flew the Harrier Jump Jet for 5 years , flying both the original version and then the second generation aircraft. In 1993 after leaving the RAF he joined Cathay Pacific airways and started flying the Boeing 747 followed by the Airbus A330 and A340 and finally the B777 which he still flies today. Flying Tigermoths with Vintage Flying provides an opportunity to get back to the basics of flying.

when not flying Charlie can be found riding his bicycle around the Peak District pretending to be Bradley Wiggins!

Andrew Hadfield

Andrew’s initial flying career began in the RAF, however, it was only in 2012 when he acquired his PPL that his flying career really took off. Having always had a keen interest in vintage aviation, a tail wheel conversion soon followed which enabled him to gain experience on the Chipmunk and Jodel series of aircraft whilst studying for his Commercial Pilot’s Licence. Successful applications to both the Honourable Company of Air Pilots and the deHavilland Educational Trust saw him awarded a Flight Instructor scholarship and a bursary to convert onto the Tiger Moth respectively – the combination of which led to him being able to really pursue his interest in vintage aviation.
Andrew’s been with us for 2 years and joins us on a part-time basis in between working for a well-known UK airline / tour operator.

Kevin Rushen

I am about to start my third season with Vintage Flying having been a flying instructor for 13 years.  My day job sees my flying as a Captain on the Boeing 757 and 767 for DHL Air.
I have a passion for vintage aircraft which started at a young age and I get great pleasure from having the opportunity to fly the Vintage Flying customers in such an iconic British aircraft.