Stumpy Flies Into Retirement
One of the pilots of the Hawk jets based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose has retired having clocked up 10,000 hours at the controls of various military aircraft.
Martin “Stumpy” Stoner flew his last trip as a fast-jet pilot on Wednesday 29 February 2012 taking part in a radar controlled aircraft interception exercise. This was his last flight in a career spanning over forty years during which he served in Germany, Turkey and Iraq, and he flew Lightnings, Tornadoes, Hunters, Gnats, and was a member of the Red Arrows team.
Stumpy joined the RAF in 1966, retiring as a Wing Commander, and joined the Fleet Requirements Air Direction Unit (FRADU) at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in 1999.
FRADU operates 14 Hawk jets from RNAS Culdrose, providing airborne threat simulations against ships undergoing operational sea training. The jets simulate enemy fighters and missiles, giving the ships’ crews the opportunities to experience and train for defence against airborne attack. The jets also fly training missions for trainee fighter controllers and Airborne Surveillance and Control (ASaC) Observers on the ASaC squadrons.
After his final flight, friends and colleagues met him as he climbed out of his aircraft for the last time, welcoming him with a glass of something cool.
Photos: All MOD Copyright by POA(Phot) Paul A’Barrow.