MH434's Pilots

 Lee Proudfoot (Chief Pilot OFMC)

Aerobatic and formation display specialist since 1990. Professional formation display pilot since 1991 and has flown 10,000 hours in over 60 different types of aircraft. Lee has flown for various commercial airlines and spent 7 ‘exciting’ (and very cold!) years as chief pilot, ‘Bush’ flying in the Antarctic for the British Antarctic Survey.

Lee lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife Lucy and their two daughters.

 Paul Bonhomme

Paul enjoys all types of flying, comes from an aviation family and describes himself as “not too bad” at Air Racing. As the current World Champion (2009) he has achieved an unsurpassed record of 30 podium finishes out of 44 races that includes 11 race wins. He caught the bug from his father, Colin, a British Army pilot who went on to a successful airline career. His mother also flew as a stewardess with BEA in the late fifties….. and his brother is a Captain flying the Airbus A320.

Paul’s passion for aerobatics started when he worked at White Waltham airfield near London where he helped Richard Goode prepare and maintain his Pitts Special aircraft. Paul went on to fly aerobatics displays for Richard in the Pitts, Yak 50, Extra 300 and Sukhoi 26. He continues to display unlimited aerobatic aircraft alongside former Air Race pilot Steve Jones as the Matadors.

 Stuart Goldspink

Stuart is a third generation aviator.

Stuart learnt to fly in New Zealand aged 17 ½ and on returning to UK towed gliders at Dunstable to get his hours for his commercial license. Aged 21, he had 1,200 hrs and was on the path to Commercial flying as a career. He worked for Bowker Air Services, aged 23, as a Crop spraying pilot for 8 years flying the Piper Pawnee, and it was here that he started building his first aeroplane, a Pitts Special, which he went on to display and compete in, in various aerobatic competitions.

The first real ‘warbird’ Stuart flew was the 1918 Nieuport 28 powered by a 160 Gnome Rotary - a fine air-show machine which makes a noise crossed between a Dragster and machine gun ! He progressed to the WW2 aircraft after being invited to fly for the Fighter Collection at Duxford. It was here Stuart flew the mighty “Jug” P47 Thunderbolt, to this day still his favourite aircraft of all time. Through Mark Hanna’s invitation, he subsequently flew the New Zealand based Polikarpovs at the glorious ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’ air display in the Southern Alps.

Stuart has 21,000 hrs and, more than 150 types in his log book; in between his day job as a Captain with Thomson Airways - flying Boeing 767/757 on World wide routes - he also travels to New Zealand to display various vintage aircraft there outside of the UK display season.

 Steve Jones

Steve had his first flying lesson at just five years old. His first flight was in 1965 in a Cessna, and although he was too short to reach the rudders and was on the knee of a family friend, the impact of this event has had a lasting impression on this fantastic pilot, who went on to be a British Aerobatic Champion. Steve has been a competitive Red Bull Air Race pilot since the first ever race in 2003, and of course, the first UK race took place in Kemble in 2004. He retired from the Air Race at the end of 2008.

Steve along with Paul Bonhomme have been flying competitively and as display pilots in their SukhoiDuo and later "The Matadors" Team since 1994. They have taken their magnificent show around the world from the UAE to Japan and China. Steve flies as the wingman. A position of great skill and as many describe "the one with the most work to do!"

His spare time spent building an old wooden racing aircraft, and maintaining his two 1950's racing cars, to fulfil his love of engineering!

 Alister Kay

Alister began flying, aged 16, on an RAF gliding course. He has achieved 14 UK gliding records including a height climb to 36,600 feet; he has been UK Gliding Champion 8 times.

In 1987 Alister entered and won his first aerobatic competition in a Pitts Special and began air-display flying the following year. He now has 9,000 flying hours on 150 types of mainly tailwheel single engine aircraft and gliders. For many years Alister was based at Booker Airfield, which used to be home to MH434 (the OFMC Spitfire) and this inspired his ambition to fly piston fighters.

In 1998 Alister flew the OFMC Harvard, progressing to the P-51D Mustang, P-40 Kittyhawk and the Spitfire MH434. He displays for OFMC throughout Europe. .

 Nigel Lamb

Nigel first flew for OFMC in 1993 when he flew MH434. Following the tragic death of Mark Hanna in 1999, he took over the day-to-day running of OFMC until 2003. Today, Nigel competes in the Red Bull Air Race along with Paul Bonhomme

Nigel has been a professional air display pilot since 1981 and has flown approximately 1,500 public displays in 24 countries world-wide. He has been British National Aerobatic Champion in the Unlimited Class 8 times.

He is a very keen scuba diver and also enjoys skiiing, squash and tennis. His wife Hillary is also keen on competition aerobatics and won her second contest flying a Bucker Jungman bi-plane. They have three sons, Max, Daniel and Ben and live in Oxfordshire, England.

 Brian Smith

Joined the Old Flying Machine Company in 1986, following a background of aerobatic and display flying with the Tiger Club, during which time the association with Ray Hanna was made.

A professional pilot by trade, Brian has amassed over 20,000 hours flying time on many different types of aircraft ranging from ultra-lights to Jumbos. He currently flies 747s for Virgin Atlantic.

Although an infrequent flier with the OFMC nowadays, Brian is privileged to continue to fly with the other private collections based at Duxford, and proudly continues to display historic aircraft in the true Hanna tradition.

 The Support Team

 Laura Bonhomme

With 10 years experience of managing all aspects of air displays and aircraft, Laura will respond quickly to your display enquiry. As a display director herself she knows what needs to be put in place for the event to be successful.

 Sarah Hanna - Company Manager

Sarah has known MH434 since she was a small girl (an early memory is sitting on her father Ray’s knee as he taxied ’434 from one side of Biggin Hill to another). She joined her brother at OFMC in 1990, and has managed the company since December 2005. Please contact her for all filming enquiries.

 Tim Fane (Chief Engineer)

Tim joined the Old Flying Machine Co in 1990, having previously worked for British Airways, and spent the next 9 years working on all the company’s types, from WW1 to T. Hunters.

Involved on an Ad Hoc basis from 2008, Tim returned as Chief Engineer in 2011 to look after the Spitfire he had first seen as a boy in the 1970s at Booker.

 Joe Kennedy

Joe is a leading specialist on the P-51. He has in depth engineering experience on over 20 different types of warbird but his favourite is the P-51. With about one day’s maintenance required for each hour flown, engineering is a vital part of the operation.

 Get in touch

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 836705