Flight Lieutenant Mike Bowden
Mike was educated at St Joseph’s High School in Newport, South Wales. Whilst in Sixth form education he completed an RAF and Air League flying scholarship and went on to gain his Private Pilots Licence aged 17. On completion of his A-Levels he progressed to Cardiff University, sponsored by the RAF, to study joint Computing and Mathematics. Whilst studying for his degree he completed Elementary Flying Training with the University of Wales Air Squadron.
Mike joined the Royal Air Force in 2002 and graduated through Initial Officer Training and Basic Fast Jet Training on the Tucano. After successfully graduating from Advanced Flying Training at RAF Valley, he was selected to remain with 208 Squadron, to become a Qualified Flying Instructor. After his ‘Creamie’ tour Mike progressed to Tactical Weapons Training on 19(R) Squadron and on completion was selected to fly the Harrier GR9. On finishing the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit he was posted to 1(F) Squadron at RAF Cottesmore. After only a few months on the front line his tour was cut dramatically short due to the Harrier disbandment in December 2010.
Mike went on to complete a cross over course to fly the Tornado GR4 and was posted to II(AC) Squadron at RAF Marham. During his front line tour Mike completed 2 operational tours of duty in Afghanistan on Operation Herrick, and took part in various major exercises in both the UK and North America. In 2013 he became the II(AC) Squadron Qualified Flying Instructor and held responsibility for all training completed on the Squadron. This is his second year on the team.
Born in Lincoln to a Welsh serving RAF father and Dutch mother he was raised in Newport, South Wales. His passion for flying brewed at a young age and only grew with every airshow he went to. A proud Welshman and keen follower of 6 nations rugby, Mike is an avid follower of most sports but particularly enjoys skiing and playing golf. He lives at Scampton with his wife Leane and has 2 daughters, Callie and Betsi.