Ex-CRGS student Chris to become jet pilot

A former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil who never gave up on his dream of becoming a fast jet pilot will soon start training to fly fighter jets with the Royal Navy.
Chris Hindle with commander Neil BingChris Hindle with commander Neil Bing
Chris Hindle with commander Neil Bing

Ribble Valley man Chris Hindle (26) had almost given up hope that he would be able to fulfil his sky-high ambition of becoming a Royal Navy pilot after budget cuts saw redundancies for many active servicemen just as he was leaving university and getting ready to apply.

Chris said: “I had completed aptitude tests for the RAF and for the Navy as I had been in the Air Squadron at university. Many of my friends had been accepted, but effectively been made redundant before they had even embarked on their careers.”

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Chris, who graduated from Manchester University in 2010 with a degree in physics with astrophysics, continued to work at Clitheroe Light Engineering – the company that had first given him a Saturday job. With no prospect of his longed-for military career on the horizon, Chris decided to undertake his commercial pilots licence.

He continued: “As I finished my commercial training, I got the call from the Royal Navy to say they were recruiting again and invited me to apply.”

Chris has just passed his elementary flying training from RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. Based on his excellent performance, he was then selected to complete jet-based training. His next major flying training mission will last 12 months – basic fast jet training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire. Once he is awarded his wings, Chris will move on to RAF Valley, in North Wales for Advanced Fast Jet Training.

He said: “I always wanted to fly. I also joined the Royal Navy for the lifestyle and adventure. I am enjoying every minute of it.”

Details of careers in the Royal Navy are available at www.royalnavy.mod.uk