A Lossiemouth-based airman who recently clocked up an impressive 5000 flying hours has now received a major prize in recognition of his efforts at improving flight safety.
Flight Lieutenant Chris Stradling, a Tactics Instructor on XV(Reserve) Squadron, has been awarded the 2014 LG Groves Memorial Prize for Air Safety.
It was a wealth of experience gained over the last 27 years flying Tornado jets that led Chris to recognise the need for a de-confliction aid – and through his own initiative was working towards a safe and effective way to plan and publicise all fast jet routes to reduce the possibility of confliction.
He was quick to see the benefits of a Centralised Aviation Data System (CADS) when it was introduced across the aviation community, and he worked to highlight the benefits of the system and to see it utilised by the Tornado GR4 Force.
His personal efforts with users and facilitators helped identify numerous critical failings in the system and ensure they were rectified.
Wing Commander Jon Nixon, Officer Commanding XV(Reserve) Squadron, said: “In 30 years service he has given exceptional performance, consistently achieving the highest standards of Royal Air Force aircrew.
“Flight Lieutenant Stradling has made many significant contributions to the Tornado Force. In the last year he has approached the challenge of improving de-confliction with a degree of tenacity, dedication and personal commitment well above the norm.
“His efforts and the direct improvement they have made to flight safety deserve greater recognition.”
After receiving the award from Air Vice-Marshal Edward Stringer, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff, Chris said: “I am extremely honoured to receive such a prestigious award, and I feel very proud that the work that has been done to bring the new de-confliction system into RAF service has been recognised.”