Flight Lieutenant Ollie Suckling awarded his wings by the RAF

Yorkshire Air Museum volunteer awarded his RAF wings

Ollie Suckling in the cockpit of the Buccaneer

Firefighters stand by at the “anti-deterioration run

Ground crew busy preparing the aircraft before the Buccaneer was fired up

Ollie Suckling receives his wings from Air Marshal Mark Green, head of the RAF training programme

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by

ONE of the youngest volunteers at the Yorkshire Air Museum has taken on a vital new role after being awarded his wings by the RAF.

Flight Lieutenant Ollie Suckling joined the Museum as teenager in 2002, and was seconded on to the Victor team, responsible for keeping aircraft in ground operational condition.

Flt Lt Suckling is now Team Leader on the Blackburn Buccaneer project, a prototype aircraft that was designed and developed at Brough, in East Yorkshire, and is responsible for monthly “anti-deterioration” events – starting up the engines to ensure they are safe and well-maintained.

Ian Reed, museum director, said: “He fulfilled his ambition to join the Royal Air Force, and we were all proud when he gained his wings and graduated.

“Ollie is looking after quite a significant aircraft. The testing went well with both the Buccaneer and De Havilland Devon running well.”

Flt Lt Suckling received his wings from Air Marshal Mark Green, head of the RAF Training Programme, at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, after graduating from pilot training in June last year.

Since gaining his wings, Flt Lt Suckling has been on fast jet training at RAF Valley, flying Hawk aircraft. He has recently moved on to RAF Lossiemouth, where he will learn to fly the Tornado.

Sunday saw the museum’s first “anti-deterioration”, or “anti-det”, runs, with the Blackburn Buccaneer jet XN974 and the De Havilland Devon twin propellor engines fired up as visitors watched.

Further “anti-det” runs will be held on the first Sunday of each month. The events in April, June and August will be what the museum call Thunder Days, where as many of the attraction’s operating aircraft are activated as possible.

Ian said: “We are thrilled that the historic Blackburn Buccaneer S.2 XN974 is in the very competent and enthusiastic hands of one of our own serving pilots as we move forward into our events season.”

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