Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Alumni Interviews > How I started

How I started

How I started
Derek Sharp
Derek Sharp

I have always had a burning passion for flying ever since, at the tender age of four, I looked up into a clear blue Suffolk sky and marvelled as Meteor jet fighters screamed across the airfield where I lived. Today, some 68 years later, that passion burns just as strongly.  I suppose I would like to be known as an ex fighter pilot. For sure, the first half of my extensive flying career was as an attack pilot. The very broad brush of being a fighter pilot encompasses a myriad of different tasks and roles. There is the interceptor pilot, known today as an 'air superiority pilot', the very stuff that Battle of Britain pilots were made of. We then have the attack pilots, aka the 'mud movers' who support the army on the battlefield. This is known as 'close air support'. They take out the tanks and other armoured vehicles and I was later to join a squadron whose emblem was indeed a can opener used to open tin cans! Then we have the vast range of bomber pilots who, though not true fighter pilots, do operate anything from large multi-crew aircraft to single seat low-level attack. Their targets are various, but can include railways, airfields and communications facilities.  I started as an attack pilot, but was also trained to shoot other aircraft down. Was I successful? 

Similar stories

Professor Michael Zander KC

Michael Zander's mission throughout his professional life has been to make the justice system work better, for those at the receiving end of the legal process. More...

Talking Heads

The 1972-73 vintage of 5X have, over the last couple of years, come together in a fairly organic, un-regimented way, and… More...

OW Tom Rees

Former England and Wasps flanker Tom Rees chats exclusively to Sky Sports about his career, the injury which ended it pr… More...

Carrie Grant and Howard Jones

This Autumn Howard will be performing shows with his Electric Band in North America and visiting the Dominican Republic … More...

Most read

Professor Michael Zander KC

Michael Zander's mission throughout his professional life has been to make the justice system work better, for those at the receiving end of the legal… More...

RGS Charter

We are delighted to announce the restoration of the RGS Charter. With grateful thanks to the Littlewood family for all their support. More...

RGS Service of Remembrance

The school gathered in the Quadrangle and stood in respectful silence for the Annual Service of Remembrance More...

Have your say

 
This website is powered by
ToucanTech