The Fighter Pilots
Officer Commanding BBMF Squadron Leader Andy 'Milli' Millikin
SquadronLeader Andy Millikin was born in 1973 and was educated at Stamfordschool. He studied Politics and International Relations atSouthampton University. With a long held aspiration to become an RAFpilot he joined Southampton University Air Squadron in 1992 flyingthe Bulldog where he accrued the imaginative moniker “Milli”. Hebecame an RAF Bursar the following year.
Aftercompleting his degree in 1995 he joined the Royal Air Force. Once hehad finished flying training in 1999 he was privileged to be selectedto fly the Jaguar on 6 Squadron at RAF Coltishall in Norfolk. Duringthis tour he took part in exercises in Alaska, California, France,Denmark and Oman. He also flew on Op RESINATE over Iraq to enforcethe No-Fly Zone which protected the Kurds from Saddam Hussein. In 2003 he completed the Jaguar Qualified Weapons Instructor course. Milli joined 54(F) Squadron in 2003 where he flew in Oman, Denmark,France, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Norway and Canada. He accrued over 1200hours on the Jaguar before he was fortunate enough to be selected foran early posting to the Typhoon in 2005. Hejoined 17(R) Squadron and was involved in the operational developmentof the aircraft, specialising in its defensive aids system and itscapability as a strike platform. The associated trials flyingresulted in a large amount of time spent in the Nevada and Mojavedeserts.
Milliwas promoted in 2008 and posted as a flight commander on 29(R)Squadron where he became a CFS accredited Qualified Pilot Instructor,teaching both RAF and Royal Saudi Air Force pilots to fly theTyphoon. He ran the first Typhoon Qualified Weapons Instructorcourse in 2009. Because of his air-to-surface experience he wasdetached to XI Squadron on Operation ELLAMY flying the Typhoon in theRAF’s highly successful mission to protect the people of Libyaagainst Muamar Gaddafhi. That year he was also lucky enough tointercept 2 Russian Bear bombers off the coast of northern Scotland. Hejoined the Typhoon Mission Support Centre in 2011 but continued toinstruct on 29(R) Sqn and fly the Typhoon with the 3(F) Sqn. Heroutinely conducted Quick Reaction Alert duties to protect thesecurity of the UK’s airspace. That year he joined the Battle ofBritain Memorial Flight as a volunteer pilot flying the Chipmunk,Hurricane and Spitfire. He has been the leader of the Synchrodisplay since 2013. The 2016 display season will be his 5thand his first as the “Boss”.
Milliis a third generation RAF pilot; his grandfather won the DFC during twooperational tours on Lancasters as well as flying the Spitfire as aUnit Test Pilot. His father flew and displayed the Vulcan bomber andtook part in both the Falklands and Gulf wars. His younger brotheris a Voyager tanker captain and has flown in Gulf War 2, Afghanistan,Libya and currently Op SHADER. He is a school governor and when heisn’t allowed to fly he enjoys aviation history, running and photography.
Squadron Leader Mark "Disco" Discombe
Squadron Leader Mark Discombe was aircraft mad from an early age, being taken by his Father to every St Athan airshow since he was 3 and joining the Air Training Corps, where he first experienced flying in a Chipmunk. After joining the RAF straight from school in November 1989 and completing fast jet training, he was selected to become a first tourist Qualified Flying Instructor, a ‘creamie’. It was during this tour, initially flying the Jet Provost, that he became the 1994 RAF Linton-on-Ouse Tucano display pilot as a 23 year old flying officer.
After completing his weapons training he was selected to fly the Jaguar, which he flew for nearly 10 years. Over this period he amassed more than 2200 hours on type becoming the force’s Central Flying School Agent and Command Instrument Rating Instructor. He also flew peace keeping missions over Bosnia and Iraq, partook in all the varieties of ‘Flag’ exercise at the time and was a key part in expanding the Jaguar’s night attack role. After a short UK staff tour and a NATO tour in Germany, Disco is currently the Deputy Chief Instructor for tri-service Elementary Flying Training based at RAF Cranwell.
Disco is married with a 1½ year old son and when he has some spare time enjoys reading, running, skiing and private flying with his family. The 2015 season will be his first with the Flight.
Flight Lieutenant Antony "Parky" Parkinson MBE
Flight Lieutenant Antony Parkinson, known as Parky, joined the RAF at 18 and has been flying ever since. He was privileged to be the first pilot to gain 1000 hours flying the RAF's latest fighter: the Euro Fighter Typhoon and has also flown over 1000 hours on 3 other types - Phantom F4, Tornado F3 and Hawk with the Red Arrows. He also flew the F16 for 3 years with the Royal Netherlands Air Force and has over 6500 flying hours in total.
Married to Ann, most spare time is taken up with 4 children; Edward, James, George and Lucy ranging from 17 to 3 years old. This is his 8th year with the Flight.
Parky is now the Operations Officer as well as one of our fighter pilots.
Flight Lieutenant Andy Preece
Andy joined the RAF in 1991 initially as a navigator before re-training as a pilot. His first posting was to the Tornado GR1 where following a successful operational and weapons conversion, he served in Germany at RAF Brüggen with No. 17(F) Squadron. His next tour was as an instructor at RAF Cottesmore where he taught Italian and German Pilots and Navigators, as well as RAF students. During his time on the Tornado, Andy flew numerous missions over Iraq as part of Operations Jural, Warden and Bolton. During his RAF career he has flown the Tornado GR1, Hawk, Tucano, Harrier GR7/T10, Dominie and the Grob Tutor. Andy is a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) and a Qualified Pilot Navigator Instructor (QPNI). He was the RAF Tutor Solo Aerobatic Display Pilot in 2007, 2008, 2014 and 2015 during which time he performed at more than 200 public displays. Andy has over 4000 hrs on 12 different aircraft types. In his spare time he enjoys hill walking, cycling and photography. This is Andy’s first year with the BBMF. When not flying with the Flight, Andy teaches new military pilots to fly the Grob Tutor as part of No 3FTS at RAF Cranwell.