Sutton RAF man flies into top job

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SUTTON man Shaun Kimberley is looping the loop with pride after being selected as this year’s RAF Tutor Display Pilot.

The appointment means that Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Kimberley, who serves at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, has a busy season of displays ahead of him, performing at air shows as far afield as Wales, Sunderland, Bournemouth and Jersey.

Shaun (40), who lives in Sutton with his wife Tanya and their three children, has also lived in Warsop and Shirebrook, and attended Meden Comprehensive School before joining the RAF as an air radar mechanic in November 1988, aged just 17.

After hearing about his success, he said: “I’m very proud to be selected as the RAF Tutor Display Pilot for 2011 and I’m looking forward to what I hope will be a challenging and rewarding season.”

On joining the RAF, Shaun undertook initial airman and trade training and was posted to RAF Coningsby in 1989, working on the Tornado F3.

After completing his Avionics Technicians course in 1994, he was posted to RAF Brize Norton, where he remained until he was commissioned as an officer in 1997.

Shaun entered flying training after completing initial officer training and was streamed to fly fast jets.

He finished the remainder of the Tucano and Hawk training and was posted to the Jaguar aircraft at RAF Coltishall before moving on to the Tornado GR4 at RAF Lossiemouth and then to 12(B) Squadron in May 2002.

He has taken part in numerous overseas detachments and exercises, and completed four operational tours over Iraq.

He was awarded a Mention In Dispatches for his role during the early missions of the second Gulf War in 2003.

After becoming a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) he was selected for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Central Flying School (CFS) Exchange, at RAAF East Sale in Australia, and lived there with his family from September 2008 until February 2010.

During his service career, he has flown more than 2,500 hours in 12 different aircraft types.

Shaun is also a champion hang glider pilot and has represented Great Britain in many international competitions.

As Tutor Display Pilot, he will design and perform the aerobatic displays.