Gp Capt (Ret’d) BRIAN HOSKINS
Brian Hoskins joined the Royal Air Force in 1964. After pilot training he was posted 20 Squadron flying Hunters at RAF Tengah, Singapore. On his return from the Far East he qualified as a Flying Instructor and then completed a tour at the School of Refresher Flying at RAF Manby, flying the Jet Provost. During this time he was member of the Macaws Aerobatic Team for three seasons, two as Team Leader. In 1972, he returned to the Hunter on Nos 45 and 58 Squadrons at RAF Wittering and completed the Qualified Weapons Instructors Course.
In 1974, he was selected for The Red Arrows and, during a two year tour, he flew as No. 7 and No.6. In 1977, he became Flight Commander on 208 Squadron flying the Buccaneer in the overland role. He was short toured in 1978 to become Leader of the Red Arrows for their last year with the Gnat and first two years with the Hawk.
In 1982 was posted to No 1 Tactical Weapons Unit at RAF Brawdy as Officer Commanding Operations Wing and Chief Instructor, flying the Hunter, the Hawk and the Jet Provost. In 1985, the inevitable happened and he was, at last, tied to a desk: he attended the Joint Services Defence College at Greenwich, followed by a tour at the Ministry of Defence.
In 1988, he was posted to RAF Akrotiri as Station Commander. There he flew Hawk, Tornado F3, Phantom, Canberra and Shackleton aircraft on attachment to RAF Akrotiri, as well as the Wessex Mk 5 helicopters based there. His last tour was as Air Attaché in Chile.
He retired in 1994 and spent another four years in Chile before joining FRADU, flying the Hawk at Culdrose. He became Manager/Chief Pilot in February 2001. He has over 7000 flying hours including 750 in the Gnat and 2900 in the Hawk. He flew his last air display, with four Hawks, two weeks after his 60th birthday and hung-up his flying boots four months later. He stayed with Babcock, initially as Director of Flight Operations, and then as a Consultant, until 2010. He is now fully retired and still living in Cornwall where plays golf badly but enjoys being the Honorary Secretary at the local club. He, and his wife Lizzie, enjoy travelling, especially cruising, and visiting their three children and eight grandchildren.
Aircraft flown or involved with