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 In In the News, Queens Honours, Success, Typhoon Display Pilot, Typhoon Display Team

From ATC to MBE!

We’re delighted to share the news that Flt Lt Jim Peterson has been recognised for his achievements in the Typhoon Display team and been awarded an MBE in the 2021 New Year Honours list.

Standing for Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an MBE is the third highest ranking Order of the British Empire award (excluding Knighthood/Damehood)

As many of our followers will know we have always supported many of the RAF Display teams, through supplying licensed luggage and sponsoring charity events, so we take immense pleasure in sharing more about the former leader of the Typhoon Display team.

Calling all Cadets and future pilots!

Let’s take a look at how one very normal boy from Sussex set his sights on the sky and ended up getting a sprinkling of stardust…

  • Jim started his career in the RAF by joining the Air Training Corps when he was 13, the youngest age you can join
  • Inspired by a visit to an airshow in Bournemouth, he set his sights firmly on becoming a fast jet pilot
  • Jim received a scholarship with the Royal Air Force to study at the University of Liverpool whilst training with the University Air Squadron.
  • At RAF Woodvale he won the ‘Best Cadet’ trophy and contributed to winning the inter-UAS flying ‘Reid Trophy’
  • After successfully completing his degree in Mathematics Jim began Initial Officer Training (IOT) at RAF Cranwell, graduating as part of course 181. Jim was in good company training with colleagues who have themselves gone onto roles in the Red Arrows and some are current Station Commanders across the RAF.
  • Jim was streamed to fly fast jets at the end of his IOT course and subsequently went on to fly the Tornado GR4 before joining the Typhoon force at RAF Coningsby in 2006
  • During his frontline tours Jim spent time over Iraq and Libya in Operation TELIC and ELLAMY respectively.
  • Jim is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI), Electronic Warfare Instructor (EWI) and has also been an evaluator pilot on the Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES).
  • In 2018 Jim fulfilled his lifetime dream of becoming the Typhoon Display pilot.
Excellence personified and recognised

During the course of his 2 years as Typhoon display pilot Jim achieved and excelled in areas well beyond the boundary of his groundbreaking display. It is presumably for the following reasons that he has been selected for this award:

  • Over 90 displays in 2 years across Europe and the Middle East
  • Over £40000 raised for various charities
  • More than doubled the social media following of the Typhoon Display team benefiting RAF Coningsby and recruitment in general.

Of his reward Jim says:

I am very humbled & grateful to receive recognition for what was an incredible 2 years as the Typhoon Display Pilot. I had the most amazing team around me and I feel this if for them too. 2020  has been such a difficult year for so many, especially the airshow and wider aviation industry. I hope that this good news story is the start of many more for 2021 and beyond.

In good company!

Jim is in good company. Other notable recipients from previous years confirm that hard work and dedication always win the day, do you recognise any of these pilots?

More about the MBE

“The British honours system rewards individuals with Honours, Decorations and Medals in public recognition of their merit, service or bravery. Honours are announced and awarded twice a year by Her Majesty The Queen, with lists consisting of knights and dames, appointments to the Order of the British Empire, and gallantry and bravery awards. Different awards are received depending on an individual’s achievements” Source: The Gazette

An MBE is an appointment to what is known as the Order of The British Empire. There  appointments within this order, these are:

  • GBE, KBE or DBE (Knight or Dame) – Knight or Dame of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • CBE – Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • MBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

Historical Facts

The awards were created by George V in 1917 to reward people who were not on the front line but had made a significant impact to the war effort.

The very first MBE was awarded to Rachel Ard, the commandant of a hospital in Tunbridge Wells that provided voluntary nursing services.

By the end of 1919 more than 20 000 names had been added to the order however a new statute in 1922 restricted membership

Major Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE was an early recipient of the award from the military world. His MBE was given in recognition of his service during WW1, his knighthood awarded after he returned from Daytona where he set a land speed record of 245.736 mph.

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