Jon enlisted in 1971 for a three year sabbatical from working in hotel management. He was encouraged to become a Royal Signals Technician by recruiters and qualified as a Technician in 1972, serving mainly in Germany.
The opportunity for Army Flying was seized in 1974. Jon initially qualified on Beaver then Sioux, then back to Beaver to cover essential operational requirements. He flew in Northern Ireland for two years, then converted and flew the Gazelle. Jon’s Sioux flying included a season as a display pilot for The Sioux Display Team in 1977.
After leaving the Army in 1980, Jon re-engaged in the family hotel business, as well as becoming a civil airline and helicopter pilot. He undertook most aviation activities, including bush flying in Africa, airline flying in Europe and crop dusting. He owned a small aviation company.
Jon holds ATPLs in fixed wing and rotary wing. His varied flying history ranges from being the proving flight captain and sole initial training captain for a new airline, to TRE for Hughes 500 helicopter. Jon now flies and displays the Bell 47 Sioux helicopter for HAAF.