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11 February 2024

February Meeting

Ian ‘Arfur’ Bryant is a retired military pilot and instructor whose career in the Royal Navy, the RAF and, more recently, the civilian aviation world has taken him from Northern Ireland and the Falklands to Kuwait (Gulf War) and Iraq.  He was awarded the MBE for services during his ten tours in Iraq, where he was responsible for leading formations of half a dozen helicopters at very low level at night. 
Arfur joined the Navy in 1977, flying the Wessex 5 on 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) for his first front-line appointment, including regular tours in Northern Ireland.  He was appointed to 772 NAS at Portland in a Search and Rescue (SAR) role, also on the Wessex 5. He served with 848 NAS during the Falklands War in 1982, 
He left the Navy at age 38 and flew for British Aerospace in Saudi Arabia as a civilian Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), teaching Saudi military cadets on the Cessna 172. After five years he joined the RAF as a QFI and Qualified Pilot Navigator Instructor at the Central Flying School, RAF Cranwell, t His tours in Iraq were mostly as Aviation Commander and Qualified Helicopter Tactics Instructor in support of Allied land forces.
After completing his 29-year military career as a Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) in 2011 at RAF Shawbury and then flew as a civilian QHI at the Search & Rescue Training Unit at RAF Valley, teaching advanced SAR techniques to foreign aircrew on the Agusta Westland (AW)139 helicopter. In 2014 he taught Royal Navy grading students on the Tutor aircraft trainer for 772 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton for 3 years. 
In 2017 he spent a year teaching on the PA28 trainer with Flight Training Europe in Jerez, Spain,  Finally, he returned to the UK in 2018 to fly and ground instruct with the Draken Helicopter Academy at Newquay until its closure.  
Arfur is now a civilian Flying Instructor at Bodmin Airfield, Cornwall. He has two adult children and is married to Helen.  Away from flying, his main interests are Rugby and debating Anthropogenic Climate Change!
12 noon start a Bovey Golf Centre

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