Matt Whitfield (Sea Vixen)
Pilot Matt Whitfield with Sea Vixen G-CVIX XP924. Photo by Chris Cannon
Meet Matt Whitfield
de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen D.3 10125 G-CVIX XP924
Photo Bob Franklin
Matt Whitfield's flying training started with the Grob Tutor, moving on to the Firefly at Barkston Heath, Tucano at Linton-on-Ouse and finally the Hawk T1 at Valley. After Matt was awarded his wings he joined 899 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) at RNAS Yeovilton for Sea Harrier F/A2. operational flying training. He later served for two years on HMS Ark Royal, Invincible and Illustrious.
Matt's career took a change of direction in March 2003 with a move to RAF Linton-on-Ouse as a basic fast jet flying instructor, teaching ab initio pilots and student QFI's for the Central Flying School.
In December 2006 Matt returned to RNAS Yeovilton to instruct on the Hawk. Matt had recently joined The Royal Navy Historic Flight flying the Sea Hawk as a display pilot, which he considered a huge honour to be representing The Fleet Air Arm with the rest of the team throughout the country.
Matt is currently Commanding Officer of The Naval Flying Standards Flight (Fixed wing) carrying out inspections and flying the Hawk, Tutor and the Jetstream T.2.
Early in 2007 Matt had his first introduction to the Sea Vixen, under the watchful eye of Mr. Brian Grant he began his ground school and some 18 months of training. The Royal Navy were very generous in allowing Matt and Brian to use RNAS Yeovilton for training and currency flying. Matt's display work up and CAA display authorisation were all achieved in 2009, ready for the Fly Navy 100 celebrations.
After several months of rehearsals and practise Matt made his air show debut flying the Sea Vixen at the first public display at Kemble. Now as Chief Pilot at Drilling Systems Aviation (formerly de Havilland Aviation) Matt will again be flying the Sea Vixen this season.
Images courtesy of Bob Franklin and Chris Cannon