Welcome to Inzpire Helen!
14 Feb 23
14 Feb 23
Helen joins us a combat air subject matter expert (SME) after serving 24 years in the Royal Air Force.
Initially she joined the University of London Air Squadron as a medical bursar as she was reading medicine at St Barts and the London Medical School. She started flying and decided that this was the career path she wanted to take (much to the annoyance of her Mum who wanted a doctor for a daughter), and she converted to a basic medical science degree, which allowed her to concentrate more on her flying training.
After graduating in 2000, she commenced formal training with the RAF and was streamed to fly the Tornado F3. Whilst on the F3 she held a lot of Quick Reaction Alert (QRA), both in the UK and in the Falkland Islands and went on exercise all around the world. When the end was in sight for the Tornado F3 she took a ground tour on the Typhoon simulator as an instructor pilot.
In 2009 Helen became the first female Typhoon pilot and her first posting was to 11 Squadron (Sqn) where she took part in many multi-national exercises in the USA, Europe and the Middle East as well as more QRA. She also became the first female pilot to fly on operations on the Typhoon when she was deployed to Operation ELLAMY (the liberation of Libya).
Following this posting she was given the position of STANEVAL flying, responsible for the flying standards of all pilots on the Typhoon Force. As part of this role, she became a Qualified Flying Instructor - a qualification she would take forward into her next role as an instructor pilot on the Typhoon operational conversion unit.
As part of her STANEVAL tour, Helen would partake in Exercise RED FLAG at NELLIS AFB in the USA, where she was the mission commander on more than one mission; leading approximately 50 aircraft against a similar number of ‘enemy’ aircraft in what is, without doubt, the biggest and most realistic exercise in the world. She would also hold yet more QRA, not only in the UK and the Falkland Islands but also in Lithuania, as part of the NATO commitment to Baltic Air Policing.
In 2017 Helen became a mum to her daughter Lucy, who is now six years old (going on 15). After maternity leave, she came back to flying and after a short requalification she took the role of an evaluator pilot on 41 Sqn, the Test and Evaluation Sqn for Typhoon. Helen became a subject matter expert (SME) on the Typhoon DASS (the aircraft defensive aids system) and oversaw and led multiple trials on a plethora of Typhoon systems to ensure that the new capability/equipment was fit for purpose for the war fighter.
In 2021 it became apparent that flying high +Gz fighters for 20 years had taken its toll and Helen’s neck became too painful to continue flying. She was medically discharged and was very fortunate to be asked to join the Inzpire team as a combat air SME on 92 Sqn. Helen is looking forward to using all her experience, in many theatres, to offer future training to the next generation of war fighters.
Helen lives in Waddington with her fiancé Ben, her daughter Lucy and Ben’s daughters Penny and Mollie. Most of the time Helen spends her time waiting to collect her three daughters from a variety of sports clubs or birthday parties! When not doing that, she loves to run, go on walks and enjoy a well-deserved glass of red with Ben on a Friday night!
Phil joins us as a principal training consultant having spent 20 years as a training specialist in the MOD.
Our team are here to help. If you have any questions, no matter how big or small, please get in touch.