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January 08, 2020

Our new Board cleared for take-off with 2020 vision!

The PPU has a new Board packed with experience to oversee the next stage of its development and further improvements to what it offers pilots.


The PPU has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to pilot welfare, crisis support and representation. Now, after a hectic 2019 that has seen our David and Goliath challenge featured in media from Hawaii to Sri Lanka and every outlet in between, we have attracted some serious talent to take up the batons from our outgoing Board members.


Meet our Board:


Dave Mutty - PPU Chairman


After 18yrs service with the RAF in the role of Air to Air Refuelling, including a tour with the USAF as instructor Dave joined Virgin Atlantic in 2004 on the 747-400 and remains on the aircraft as a Captain.  He joined the PPU in its early days and became a Board member a year ago and recently became our Chairman.


Derek Haynes - Safety, Scheduling, Technical & Training


Derek has a long flying career, starting in 1981 as a Lieutenant in the Barbados Defence Force and continuing in the Canadian Forces Flying Training School. From 1990 he has flown commercially with LIAT, Airtours, DHL, and with Virgin from 1999. He has an MsC in Air Transport Management and is married with three sons.


Helen Hoar - Internal Structure, Government & International Affilliations


After 12 years of training as a doctor then working as a trainee surgeon in the NHS, Helen changed course to become a commercial pilot. She worked for Aer Lingus, Go Fly then EasyJet prior to joining Virgin Atlantic in 2004 on the B747-400, where she is now a Captain. Alongside her flying role, Helen has accumulated a wealth of experience as an AME for the CAA and FAA, including work in Dublin, at NATS and in a local GP practice. She is currently Chairman of the UK Association of Aviation Medical Examiners (AAME).


Alex Light - Finance & Budget


Alex joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1987 and spent 12 years flying and a variety of aircraft from Sea King anti- submarine helicopters to Jetstreams. This time included a variety of tours including one on the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible to the Far East. Latterly in his service career Alex instructed trainee Royal Navy pilots how to operate helicopters from warships. In 2000 Alex joined Air 2000, which became First Choice Airways, flying the A320/1 on charter routes from Bristol prior to joining Virgin Atlantic in 2005 on the A340. He is now a Captain on the 787.


Nigel Stanyon - Members' Welfare & Benefits


Nigel is a Captain on 787-9. He joined VA in 2001, prior to which he spent 17 years piloting Jumbos and seven years as HF instructor.  He has a BSc in Aeronautical Engineering and worked for four years at British Aerospace on Airbus wing design, before commencing his flying career.  Started at British Regional on Jetstreams, then four years on B757/767 at Britannia before moving to Virgin.


Karl Bufton (Retd) - Website, Marketing, Comms & Campaigns


After 20 years in the RAF on Jet Provost, Hawk, Lightning, Nimrod and Bulldog aircraft, Karl became flying instructor on both Nimrod and Hawk. He commanded the University of Birmingham Air Squadron, teaching undergraduates to fly before joining Virgin Atlantic in 1996. He’s flown Airbus A343/6 and Airbus A330, as a Captain from 2004 on all 3 types until retirement in 2017.


Jonathan Pugh - Trustee


First officer at British Midland 1999-2004. Joined Virgin Atlantic in 2005 on the Airbus and then B787 fleets, where he is a Captain. A Master of Laws from University of Nottingham and Master of Science (Astrophysics) from Liverpool John Moores University, he volunteers as an officer at the Institute of Physics promoting STEM subject education.


Andy Slater.- Trustee


Andy joined VA in 2001. He is a line training Captain on the Airbus (350/330), and a JRG member for four years. He’s a Forum moderator on the PPU forum – no swearing allowed! -and also a Trustee for PPU for the last three years. Quite keen on analysing spreadsheet data.


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Thank you to Chris Pohl for the photograph - please check out his instagram account @chrisjpohl