Neil joined the Army in 1977 and served with The Life Guards in UK, Germany, Cyprus and Canada on main battle tanks, Scorpion and Fox and on horseback at mounted duty.
Having always wanted to fly since watching the Blue Eagles rehearse at Hobart Barracks as a small child, Neil applied and was selected for pilot training. On completing the Army Pilots, course Neil served in Germany, Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Former Yugoslavia and Belize almost all on Lynx of various sorts.
On leaving the Army, Neil became a Radio Broadcaster first with the BBC then Local Radio before spending 11 years working for BFBS the Forces Broadcaster all over the world. During this time Neil continued his love of flying providing airshow commentary and reporting on and enjoying civil light aircraft flying.
A chance opportunity of a flight in an Auster ignited an interest in this aircraft; the misfortune to sit next to Matt Roberts at the Lynx finale Dinner led him to the HAAF.