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Sam Worthington-Leese – Trustee


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. Qualifying as a commercial pilot in 2013, he spent five years as a professional flying instructor. For the latter part of this time he was based at Goodwood Aerodrome (formerly RAF Westhampnett), where he flew the Harvard IIb and other vintage aircraft for Goodwood Aeroclub, as well as being the first Non QSP (Qualified Service Pilot) to be selected to fly for Ultimate High. During this time he qualified as a Display Pilot. In 2017 he was asked by John Romain, founder of the Aircraft Restoration Company, to join their team at Duxford, where he flies the Harvard and Spitfire. Since November 2018 he has been flying the 737NG for TUI Airways. 

Sam co-founded the Charity with Dave Robinson, after they met in 2014 whilst Sam was researching his Grandfather, Pilot Officer R.G Worthington. On his final mission with 184 Sqn, from RAF Westhampnett P/O Worthington 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.

Despite not having any formal training Sam created the public profile of the charity. He developed it from almost nothing, driving the development of branding, PR, social media, website, merchandise, Supporters’ Club and fundraising activities. Following his continued development in the operation of Warbirds, he has been asked by the other project team members to be RB396’s pilot, when she flies. Parts of his Grandfather’s aircraft are to be incorporated into the rebuild.

You can keep up to date with his journey to the cockpit of RB396 on Instagram, by following: @pilot396



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