Flying visit by former pupils

First published in News

Two former students made a grand return to their school when they flew in by helicopter for a careers day.

Major Jon Dufton, Officer Commanding 660 Squadron Army Air Corps, and Lieutenant Chris Bladen, Second in Command 660 Squadron Army Air Corps, visited the school to give presentations about work in the armed forces.

Both officers are from the Defence Helicopter Flying School where every military pilot receives their training.

Major Dufton left Bingley Grammar School in 1982 with O’levels and joined the army in 1983. He joined the Army Air Corps as a soldier and spent the first 11 years on the ground. He then applied for a pilot’s course and has been flying helicopters for 20 years, 16 of which he has been an instructor.

Lieutenant Chris Bladen left Bingley Grammar in 1995 leaving sixth form after completing Year 12. He spent the next 18 months travelling and then completed his A-levels via distance learning. He joined the Royal Navy in 2002 as a direct entry officer where he attended the Britannia Royal Navy College for one year to become a pilot.

They discussed the importance of studying and gaining qualifications. Students asked about the training involved to become a student nurse in the forces as well as doctors, engineers and pilots.

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