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Meet the team

Our team are experts in their fields and have years of experience in helping people just like you overcome their fear of flying

Management
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Steve Allright - Captain and Director

    Steve has been running British Airways fear of flying courses for 30 years and is now a Director of Flying with Confidence and is also the co-author of the BA Flying With Confidence book. He regularly runs the Heathrow course and Premium courses. Steve has over 18,000 flying hours and has been a Captain for British Airways on the Boeing 757 and 767, the Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet and now the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Peter Hughes - Director

    Peter co-founded these courses over 35 years ago, and since then the courses have helped over 50,000 people overcome their fear of flying. Peter retired from British Airways as a 747 Training Captain in 2003, but still oversees all of our courses as a Director

Psychologists
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Patricia Furness-Smith - Psychologist

    Patricia has presented on the course for over 20 years and currently runs the Psychological session at Gatwick, Primary Plus at Heathrow, Premium and Private courses. She has over 30 years’ experience as a Lecturer and Examiner in a variety of Psychological courses and runs a Private Practice in the Chilterns. Patricia has written a number of Self-Help books including the BA Flying with Confidence book and CD

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Dr Simon Petrie - Clinical Psychologist

    Simon is a clinical psychologist with huge experience in many different fields. He joined the psychological team specifically to assist in presenting in Scotland where he lives, but also helps out on other courses we run

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Dr Keith Stoll - Clinical Psychologist

    Keith has helped on the course for 20 years and has built an enormous understanding of fears and phobias associated with flying. Keith is a clinical psychologist and practices in Harley Street. He is the main presenter of the psychological sessions at our Heathrow Primary courses

Captains
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Alistair Black - Captain

    Alistair is a Captain on the Airbus A319/320/320 aircraft with BA, normally helping to present and operate the Gatwick courses. Alistair followed his father, Gordon into flying, starting his training in 2002. He then followed his father into our team initially as a volunteer on the Manchester courses in 2003, today Alistair co-presents our pilot sessions on our Gatwick courses

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Gordon Black - Captain

    Gordon has recently retired from British Airways and is our longest serving course presenter and was with British Airways since he left school a long time ago! He has flown the VC9, BAC1-11, Boeing 737, 757, 767, 747 and Airbus 319/320, finishing his career as a Training Captain on the Boeing 777

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Stewart Highet - Captain

    Stewart is a Captain on the short haul Airbus fleet, and is responsible for running our courses in Edinburgh and Glasgow. He previously flew the Boeing 747 as a First Officer and has been helping run our courses for many years

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Paul Meehan - Captain

    Paul recently retired from British Airways. He started his aviation career flying for the Royal Navy, and retired as a Captain on the Boeing 747. Paul has been helping run our courses in Scotland for many years where he lives

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Simon Nordmann - Captain

    Simon has been a Captain on the Airbus A320 since 2015, having previously flown as a First Officer on the Boeing 737 and Boeing 747. He has been a part of the Flying with Confidence team in Scotland for a number of years

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Richard Sanders - Captain

    Richard is regularly the operating Captain on our London courses, on which he also presents. He has flown several aircraft types in British Airways, and is currently a Training Standardisation Captain on the Airbus fleet

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Andy Shaw - Captain

    Andy joined British Airways in 1990 and has been a Captain since 2000. He has totalled some 20,000 flying hours having flown the Boeing 747, 757, 767, 777, Airbus 319, 320, 321 and currently is on the latest Boeing aircraft, the 787 'Dreamliner'. Andy has been a member of the team for over 20 years and helps on all of our different courses

First Officers
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Stuart Beech - Senior First Officer

    Stuart joined our team after a rather unexpected interview at The Theatre Royal, as he was set up and performed on Micheal McIntyre’s Big Show. Stu joined British Airways in 2008 flying the Airbus A320 and began flying the Airbus A380 almost 7 years ago. He is now a regular team member on ours courses.... You never know you might even get a song on the PA at the end of the flight!

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Simon Cowdell - Senior First Officer

    Simon is a pilot on our largest aircraft, the Airbus A380. He has been helping on our courses for many years, especially on the Teenage course, and additionally he is exceptionally tech minded to solve any presentation equipment challenges!

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Jai Dillon - Senior First Officer

    Jai is one of British Airways’ short haul pilots based at Heathrow and is also the operating First Officer on our Heathrow Courses. He has over 6,500 flying hours, flying both the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 series aircraft. Aside from flying duties Jai is also a recruitment pilot and is part of a team who select and interview pilots who apply for British Airways

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Aoife Duggan - Senior First Officer

    Aoife flew the Airbus A320 in SE Asia for 4 years before joining BA in 2012. At present she is a Senior First Officer on the Boeing 777 Fleet. She also holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and has helped run courses in Dubai where she lives

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Rebecca Panther - Senior First Officer

    Rebecca joined British Airways as a Pilot in 2016, and before that worked as an Aircraft Dispatcher with us, at Gatwick and Heathrow. She joined the Flying with Confidence team in 2019 and also works for the BA Recruitment team. She flies our Airbus A320 fleet based out of London Heathrow

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Niven Phoenix - Senior First Officer

    Niven has over 26 years of flying experience, he joined British Airways 5 years ago after a long career in the RAF flying the C130 and C17. During his time in the RAF he worked as a Trauma and Risk manager and also a human factors trainer, naturally when he joined British Airways this made him the perfect person to join our team. Niven currently flies the Boeing 787 out of London Heathrow

Senior Cabin Crew
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Chris Barnett - InFlight Manager

    Chris started flying in 2004 with British Midland before coming to British Airways in 2012. He is an InFlight Manager onboard both short and long haul flights. Chris joined the flying with confidence team in 2018 and really enjoys participating on the course

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Gregg Best - InFlight Manager

    Gregg is a regular on our London courses, and is currently working as an InFlight Manager on our London Heathrow Cabin Crew fleet, flying both short haul and long haul routes. He has been flying for over 20 years and experienced 6 different airlines

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Rebecca Sullivan - InFlight Manager

    Becky has been working for British Airways for over 17 years and has been helping out on our courses for 6 years. She is based at London Heathrow and is an InFlight Manager flying both short haul and long haul routes

Cabin Crew
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Pavlina Denkova - Cabin Crew

    Pavlina has worked as cabin crew for BA since 2010 and has been engaged with Flying With Confidence since 2013. Outside of flying Pavlina is a trained teacher with a keen interest in psychology and human behaviour. She is also able to speak several different languages which can be very useful on the day of the course!

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Eric Gee - InFlight Lead

    Eric has been working as Cabin Crew for British Airways since 2005, and prior to that, he worked for 6 years for a charter airline at Newcastle airport. He is now based at Heathrow and is currently an Inflight Lead. He has been part of the Flying With Confidence Team since July 2016

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Steve Hibberd - Customer Service Supervisor

    Steve started working for BA at London Gatwick in 1997 progressing to aircraft loading supervisor for 10 years, he then moved on to customer service on check in for just over a year, and then cabin crew flying both long and short haul routes out of Gatwick. He has been part of the FWC team since 2013

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Steven Hurley - Cabin Crew

    British Airways is Steven’s third airline and he has been flying a mixture of long and short haul for 18 years. Not content with flying full time as a job, Steven enjoys a hobby of flying to far flung places on his time off, climbing volcanoes in Hawaii, Sydney harbour bridge and sky diving in Arizona, all in the search of a good view! Steven had been on the flying with confidence team for four years now

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Jennifer Muir - Cabin Crew

    Jennifer joined British Airways in 1996 holding several ground based roles in Scotland before transferring to cabin crew in 2007 initially on the Worldwide fleet and more recently transferring to Heathrow fleet. She has been helping on our courses in Scotland since 2010 and organises the cabin crew volunteers on the day

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Gill Watson - Cabin Crew (BA CityFlyer)

    Gill started working for British Airways in 1996 in reservations and moved to Edinburgh Airport as a Customer Service Agent. She started flying with BA Cityflyer in 2008 based in Edinburgh and transferred to London City in 2020. Gill has have been helping at our Glasgow & Edinburgh courses for a number of years

Children and Teenager Councillors
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Donna Allright - Teenage and Children Counsellor

    Having previously worked as a school counsellor for 10 years, Donna set up our Children’s and Teenager Courses in 2012 and is the lead for both of these operations. Donna is always happy to talk to parents about the suitability of the courses we offer for your son or daughter

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Jane Whybrow - Teenage Counsellor

    Jane has a huge amount of experience working with teenagers, working as an Assistant Head Teacher at a busy secondary school in her previous job. She is an extremely valuable addition to our Teenagers Course team

Advisors
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Bob Atkinson - Travel Industry Expert

    Bob is a Travel Expert having worked for over 20 years on helping people back into the air with our courses. Having worked for retail travel agents, tour operators and even British Airways he brings a unique set of skills and experience to the team. He has also appeared on TV and radio shows many times and in the press advising travellers on consumer rights and how to make the most of their money when travelling

Administrators
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Celestine Allison - Course Administrator

    Celestine is one of our course administrators and deals with bookings, seating and most importantly of all speaks to people when they call in. She has been supporting our courses for over 25 years

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Holly Allright - Marketing Executive

    Holly has been working on the Heathrow courses for over 5 years alongside obtaining a degree in Marketing. She works for British Airways parent company IAG in Brands and Marketing. As well as assisting with FWC social media, Holly acts as Course Administrator on the day ensuring the smooth running of the course

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Jane Crouch - Customer Service

    Jane has worked for British Airways for many years and on our courses for more than five years. She is our check in, ticketing and seating expert on the day!

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Lars Houston - IT Specialist

    Lars has been working on the Heathrow courses for the past 6 years. Additionally, since obtaining his Tourism & Marketing Degree, he has a broad range of experience in the digital marketing field and manages our paid media platforms

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Angela Hyland - Cabin Crew Co-ordinator

    Angela has been a regular team member on the Heathrow courses for many years. She worked as cabin crew on our short haul routes for over 20 years and since leaving her flying role she has undertaken the cabin crew co-ordination role within our team

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Jane O'Leary - Administration

    Jane has recently left British Airways having joined as Cabin Crew in 1996. She has been helping on our courses for over 20 years and is responsible for all the paperwork on the day - a huge task!

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Smita Patel - Administration

    Smita has been helping on our courses for a number of years. She joined British Airways as ground staff 14 years ago and can often be seen running around Terminal 5 helping with the check in and boarding at the gates

Air Traffic Control
  • Flying with Confidence team

    Lesley Brown - Air Traffic Control

    Lesley has been helping on our courses for over 20 years and like her husband Tony she worked as an Air Traffic Controller in Manchester until her retirement. Lesley is an extremely caring individual and loves helping people overcome their anxieties

  • Flying with Confidence team

    Tony Brown - Air Traffic Control

    Tony has been working on our courses for almost 30 years, and worked as an Air Traffic Controller at Manchester until his retirement. His son is a Captain with British Airways on the Boeing 777

COVID-19 - Click here for the latest important course updates