The 2004 RAF Tornado F.3 display is flown by a crew from 56 (R) Squadron based at RAF Leuchars, Fife.
Display pilot for the season is Fit Lt Tim Freeman who joined the RAF in 1991. Tim undertook his Tornado F.3 conversion course in 1996, after which he served for three years with 43 (Fighter) Sqn at RAF Leuchars, Fife. During this time he graduated from the NATO Tactical Leadership Programme (TLP) and also flew on exercises throughout Europe and North America. He also took part in operations patrolling the Southern ‘No Fly Zone’ over Iraq, operations in the Falkland Islands and in the UK Air Defence Region.
This is Tim’s second season as the RAF Tornado F.3 display pilot. He has over 2.000 flying hours to his credit, with over 1,500 of these on the Tornado F.3.
Navigator for the 2004 Tornado F.3 display is Fit Lt Neil Crawley. Neil, who joined the RAF in 1987, initially served as an Intercept Controller for two years at RAF Staxton Wold, Yorkshire, before beginning his navigator training in 1990. He was posted to the Tornado F.3 Operational Conversion Unit, No.56 (Reserve) Squadron, at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire, before taking up operational tours with 111 and 43 (Fighter) Squadrons both at RAF Leuchars. During that time he flew operations over Bosnia, in the Falkland Islands and in the UK Air Defence Region.
Neil has accrued over 1,900 flying hours, of which over 1,600 are on the Tornado F.3. The 2004 season is his first Tornado F.3 display season after which he is due to leave the RAF.
Following their respective frontline tours of duty, both Tim and Neil were posted to the staff of the Tornado F.3 Operational Conversion Unit, 56 (R) Squadron, at RAF Coningsby (which is now based at RAF Leuchars). Both now instruct ab initio and refresher Tornado pilots and navigators, as well as newly-arrived staff.