Flight Lieutenant David-John Gibbs
The 2023 Royal Air Force Tutor Display Pilot is Flight Lieutenant David-John Gibbs (usually abbreviated to DJ or Gibbo). He was born in Southport, and as a young teenager became a member of 281 Squadron Air Training Corps where he completed a gliding scholarship and made his first solo flight before passing his driving test.
David-John read Aeronautical Engineering at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, and was a member of the Oxford University Royal Naval Unit before joining the Royal Navy. He trained to fly the Sea King in the Support Helicopter role and participated in several operations and exercises both in the UK and overseas. He subsequently completed a posting as a Search and Rescue pilot before becoming a Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI) on the Slingsby Firefly, teaching elementary flying skills to students at RAF Barkston Heath. Following this, he returned to helicopters for a number of years before choosing to specialise in fixed-wing flying. David-John was posted to 115 Squadron as a Central Flying School Accredited Instructor responsible for training qualified military pilots to become QFIs. He later became a flight examiner for the Central Flying School, testing QFIs from all three Services, as well as civilian instructors employed on military flying contracts. He was selected to be the first UK military pilot to fly the Grob 120TP Prefect and conduct evaluation sorties with the manufacturer’s test pilots in Germany. He transferred to the Royal Air Force in 2019 before taking up his current role as Officer Commanding Tutor Standards Flight, where he and his team ensure that all Tutor QFIs are teaching at the expected standard. This is his second season as the Tutor Display Pilot
David-John remains an enthusiastic pilot outside work and instructs on a number of historic ex-military aeroplanes, including the Jet Provost, Chipmunk, Harvard and Tigermoth, and operates a collection of vintage gliders. He has logged over 6000 flying hours on 50 different types of aircraft. In his spare time he enjoys powerboats, classic cars, motorcycles and fine dining. He is a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.
Flying Officer Lewis Osborne
The 2023 Royal Air Force Tutor Display Manager is Flying Officer Lewis Osborne (usually abbreviated to Ozzy or Oz). Lewis was born in Canterbury, Kent and joined the Royal Air Force in January 2021. He was a bursar from the University of London Air Squadron (ULAS) whilst he studied Military History at the University of Kent. Over the 3 years on ULAS he gained over 50 hours flying the Tutor T1; flying from RAF Wittering where the 2023 Tutor Display Team is based. Whilst on the UAS Lewis took part in many adventurous training activities including skiing in Andorra, climbing in Spain and leading the ULAS Nijmegen team in the Netherlands.
Since joining the Royal Air Force Lewis has completed Elementary Flying Training (EFT) on the Prefect T1 at RAF Barkston Heath. He is looking forward to his next flying course. In his spare time, Lewis enjoys Formula 1, international rugby and socialising.