4000 HOURS ON THE CLOCK FOR SI
A Senior Naval Warrant Officer Aircrewman has reached a major milestone in his fly career at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose.
WO 1 Si Lewis completed his 4000th hour of flying on 814 Naval Air Squadron (The Flying Tigers) on a Merlin Mk2.
Si joined the Royal Navy in 1982, initially as a junior stores accountant and served on HMS Berwick. But after completing his flying course and awarded ‘Wings’, he flew in Sea Kings as an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Aircrewman with 814 NAS embarked on HMS Invincible.
Further frontline appointments worldwide followed, with HMS Ark Royal, 810 and 820 NAS before he joined 700M Intensive Flying Trials Unit in 1998 to introduce the Merlin into service. Task complete with the Merlin Mk 1, Si moved to 824 NAS first as a Petty Officer and Qualified Aircrewman Instructor then promotion to Chief Aircrewman, responsible for converting the Sea King Mk 6 community to Merlin.
In 2004, a tour with 829 NAS and ship borne Flights was next on the agenda before returning to the Sea King world on 771 NAS and Search and Rescue duties as a newly promoted Warrant Officer.
Returning to 814 NAS and the Merlin Helicopter Force, Si has served with ‘The Flying Tigers’ for over 10 years and completed his momentous aviation milestone in fine style, with the Commanding Officer of the squadron, Commander Brendan Spoors.
"Getting my 4000 whilst with The Tigers is a real career high for me," said Si. "I love this squadron and I love the job. The verity of tasking is incredible. My most memorable job was supporting special forces in an effort to rescue victims of kidnapping, but it's hard to choose a favourite as I have done so many amazing flights from hunting submarines to rescuing those in need at sea."
‘The Flying Tigers’ - 814 NAS is one of four Naval Merlin Squadrons who call RNAS Culdrose home. Along with 820 NAS the squadron are equipped with some of the most sophisticated submarine hunting technology in the world. 829 and 824 NAS make up the quartet of Grey Merlin squadrons that are training to meet the needs of the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carriers, which will be beginning sea and flying trials within the next six months.