Tom left school at the age of 15 and joined the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corp. Aged 17, he joined his regiment 13th/18th Royal Hussars. Tom returned to civilian life in 1976 and started driving heavy goods vehicles and cattle trucks. While big lorries provided a living and developed into a successful career, they were not agile enough for someone who has enjoyed moderate success racing motorcycles. The added dimension of airflow and gravity had to be overcome, and Tom gained his PPL in 1983. Since then, he has flown some forty types, accumulating round 4,000 hours experience. Some of this was spent as a parachute drop pilot, operating his own BN-2 Islander for 5 years and also participating in AFF (accelerated free fall) parachute drops. The late Pete Clark introduced Tom to Aerobatics in 1992. Flying Pete’s Slingsby Firefly, he won his first contest at Breighton that same year. The following year the success continued with a fine win in the Tiger Trophy for Standard level pilots. At the end of 1994, Tom acquired a Zlin 50LA with which he won the 1995 UK Advanced Level Championship. Tom now flies a CAP 232 which he bought in 1998 and in which he placed second in the 1999 Unlimited Nationals held in Swansea. Tom won the Icicle Trophy in the same year and he also placed third in the Nationals. Tom is the current British National Champion – a title he has held three times now.
International Achievement – At the European Championships, held in Spain, 1999, Tom was placed 24th overall and was top British pilot, winning the Len Perry Trophy. In 2000, Tom achieved an excellent 24th place in the World Aerobatic Championships in Muret in France, and also a second Len Perry Trophy. In 2002, Tom finished 14th in the European Aerobatic Championships in Lithuania and for the the first time won the Neil Williams Memorial Trophy, becoming the British Aerobatic Champion. In 2004, the British Team won the bronze medal in the European Aerobatic Championships, the first British medal in an international competition since 1976. Tom placed 13th in this competition and was again the top placed British Pilot. Most recently, Tom came 10th in the European Aerobatic Championships in Czech Republic winning the Len Perry Trophy for being the highest placed British pilot.