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Highest ranking VSO who still flies fast jets regularly

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Highest ranking VSO who still flies fast jets regularly

Old 30th Jan 2019, 23:11
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Highest ranking VSO who still flies fast jets regularly

Hello gents,
purely out of curiosity, who in HM's Air Force is the highest ranking officer who still regularly clocks up fast jet time?
Are there VSOs or VVSOs who regularly put on a g-suit and head off into the yonder?
I realise quantifying `regularly' is a little difficult - so perhaps could frame it as `regularly enough to remain current on frontline type'
(That is assuming that in the military fast jet world there is some sort of requirement analogous to the three take offs and landing in the preceding 90 days to remain current on type that I have to fulfill to stay current on my bug smasher).
Question prompted by seeing a few steely eyed RAAF VVSOs down here (one Mark Binskin) for example - and wondering "I wonder if he still has a pole around occasionally?"
Or on reaching such exalted heights, does one just resign oneself to driving a desk and take the odd backseat jolly...?
.
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Old 30th Jan 2019, 23:16
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In Aus itís usually Commander ACG (Air Commodore)

In in the UK itís the Station Commanders (Group Captain).
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 06:59
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Which was the ACM who justified still being allowed to fly single seat by explaining that, “It’s bloody good fun, and the survivors are worth having”.....
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 07:50
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Here's probably the most senior officer to fly fast jets:

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Old 31st Jan 2019, 08:30
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Beags - I should have added `excluding chest beating Slavic muppets' and that's more of a fast bomber - B-1ski.
I hope they pulled some G's and tried to make him puke.
He's actually quite short, isn't he!
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 09:09
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Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post
In Aus itís usually Commander ACG (Air Commodore)

In in the UK itís the Station Commanders (Group Captain).
One or two Stations have had Air Commodores as Station commanders in the RAF
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 09:30
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Wasn't there a fairly recent CAS who went through the Typhoon OCU (or at least some of it)?
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 10:23
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AM Binskin flies his Cessna O-1G Bird Dog often....[high performance at the other end of the scale]
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 10:50
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Never mind VSOs , it would be nice to hear that blokes (and girls) on the squadrons are flying their FJs regularly. Some of the average hours being achieved seem to be getting dangerously low.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 12:00
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tartare , do tell us what Novichok smells like - or how Polonium tastes?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 01:09
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I'm here and waiting for them Beags - ready when they are...
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 21:57
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Surely the Typhoon Force Commander and Lightning Force Commander (an Air Commodore/1* post) would be the only VSOs in a permanent fast-jet flying post?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 22:01
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
One or two Stations have had Air Commodores as Station commanders in the RAF
I think RAF Leuchars used to be commanded by an Air Cdre, with the person also taking the role as Air Officer Scotland, if I'm not mistaken?
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 10:30
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I know he is retired, and mainly big piston time, but Cliff Spink.....
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 12:10
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What about oldest current (or recent) RAF pilots ?
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 12:53
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The FTRS system has put quite a few of us “oldies” back in the cockpit. Some of them were VSOs, does that count?
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 16:30
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
One or two Stations have had Air Commodores as Station commanders in the RAF
Akrotiri had Air Commodore North-Lewis as the Station Commander in the mid 1960s
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 16:44
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Originally Posted by Wander00 View Post
I know he is retired, and mainly big piston time, but Cliff Spink.....
Yep, and Cliff Spink was still regularily display flying the UK based F-86A Sabre up until 4 years ago, until it was sold to a new owner in the USA.

I suppose prior to that would have been John Allison, who managed to blag one of the last UK military Lightning sorties, as well as the last UK Phantom one I believe a couple of years later.

Wasn't Steve Richie still flying service F-4 Phantoms in the USA as a Brigadier-General up until his retirement in '99..? I think he's still occasionally flying the F-104 as part of the civilian Starfighters display team, and he's now in his 70's.

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Old 3rd Feb 2019, 15:45
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And Ken Hayr.

At Akrotiri in '71-72 the Air Care Stacey flew Canberra, Lightning, Vulcan, C130 and Whirlwind and all in one day. His penultimate flight ended when he jumped from the Herc, was possibly pickup by the MCU, flown to the beach in the Whirlwind where he then took control and flew back to the dispersal. I was told the Whirlwind crew declined the opportunity to accompany him.
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Old 3rd Feb 2019, 16:36
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The late MRAF Sir Michael Beetham took over Khormaksar as a group captain and was promoted to air commodore mid tour and remained in post. Whether he was current on Hunters I dont know - he had Shacks, Beverleys, Argosies, Twin Pins and Whirlwinds to choose from as well - I doubt if he flew everything.
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