This page is dedicated to the memory of one of our Pilot team members Kevin Whyman. Kev and the Gnat G-TIMM (XS111) he was flying at a display, did not return to base on 1st August 2015. We will continue to miss his friendship, humour, advice, skill and professionalism that can only be found within a man of his great wealth of experience.
Kev Whyman was born in Chester and is the youngest of two children. He was educated at The King’s School, Chester, where he was a member of the Combined Cadet Force (RAF). He was sponsored by the Royal Navy (RN) through the Sixth Form and had reserved entry for officer training & flying training in the Fleet Air Arm.
Military cutbacks in the early 1990s reduced the RN’s aircrew requirements so he instead completed a Flying Scholarship with the RAF at the age of 18. Kev studied for a BA Degree in Economics at Peterhouse, Cambridge University, where he joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron (CUAS) and commenced Elementary Flying Training (EFT) on the Bulldog aircraft. He joined the RAF in 1998 and upon completion of Initial Officer Training at the Royal Air Force Cranwell returned to CUAS to complete EFT. Kev was further selected for Fast Jet Training which he undertook on the Tucano (2 Squadron) and Hawk aircraft (208 Squadron). Kev left the RAF in 2001 and took a trading job with an investment bank in the City of London.
Upon leaving the military Kev completed his civilian flying licences and continued with his passion flying Jet Provost aircraft progressing to his first solo display season a year later. He started flying the Folland Gnat in 2005 and founded the Gnat Display Team with his colleagues in 2007. Kev was married with two young daughters and lived in central London. He liked to split his leisure time between the airfield during the summer months and the ski slopes during the winter.
Whilst not flying at university, Kev trained with the University Boat Club and coxed Cambridge to victory in the 1996 & 1997 Boat Races against Oxford.
Best Aviation Moment: “Every vic take-off and every high energy opposition break!!”
High Flight by Pilot Officer and poet John Gillespie Magee.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”