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Sam Worthington-Leese – Trustee

sam_bio

Sam began his flying career in 2006 on gliders before being selected to join the RAF as a Pilot in 2009. Unfortunately as a result of the 2010 Defence Review he left the service in 2012. However, this has been a blessing in disguise as it has allowed him to focus on his ambition of flying warbirds. His day job is now as a Flying Instructor at Goodwood Flying School and Ultimate High, based at Goodwood Aerodrome (formerly RAF Westhampnett), where he flies the Harvard IIb as well as other vintage and high performance aerobatic aircraft.

Sam’s connection with the Typhoon is personal, his Grandfather was P/O R.G Worthington who flew Typhoons, of all places, from RAF Westhampnett. P/O Worthington was believed shot down, and force landed his Typhoon (MN252 BR*T) in Holland on 21 May 1944. He subsequently became a prisoner of war at Stalag Luft III, enduring the forced march towards the end of the War. It was Sam’s research into his Grandfather’s service, that originally got him in contact with Dave, as they were both essentially investigating the same thing.

Sam’s main focus is on raising the awareness of the project and the day to day running of the Supporters’ Club, online shop and base in East Sussex. Testament to this is the scale of following of supporters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, some 25,000 in total and the Supporters’ Club numbering over 1100 subscribed members to date. Being a fully trained pilot Sam is itching to take up the family mantle and become the Chief Pilot for the project and, subject to the relevant high performance warbird experience, will be one of the first people to fly a Typhoon in over 70 years. Sam was recently asked by the RAF to rejoin, however he also received a job offer from a major UK and European airline at the same time, and he will begin flying for them in November. This will allow him the capacity to continue in his role with the project in his spare time, as he does now.

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