RAF: Wizard Of The Skies

Squadron Leader ‘Wiz’ Wilson flew his last sortie for the RAF on 26th March 2014 after 30 years of Service at RAF Lossiemouth.

Wiz joined the RAF as a direct entrant at Officer Cadet Training Unit Henlow, Bedfordshire, in September 1977. After finishing his flying training Wiz was posted to 50 Squadron at RAF Waddington on the Vulcans in June 1980.

Squadron Leader Wilson leaves his jet for the last time

Wiz’s career then brought him to RAF Lossiemouth flying the Buccaneer in 1984. He left the Station for a short stint at RAF Marham on 617 Squadron, before the Squadron relocated to Lossiemouth in 1994. Wiz’s 30 year career at RAF Lossiemouth was only broken by a short spell at RAF Cottesmore, Honnington and Marham in 1993 – 1994 so he could convert from flying Buccaneers to Tornados.

Wiz has since served on both XV (Reserve) Squadron and 12 (Bomber) Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth. His Service to the RAF was officially recognised in 2004 when he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 12th June.

In November 2009 Wiz was Officer Commanding 12 (Bomber) Squadron for 3 ½ months during a period of transition in the Squadron’s command. In 2012 Wiz became part of the Standards and Evaluation team on Station who monitor the quality of flying on the Tornado GR4.

Squadron Leader Wilson and Wing Commander Grapes celebrate the momentous occasion

Squadron Leader Wilson’s last flight was in a XV (Reserve) Squadron aircraft and was greeted by his friends and colleagues on the pan when he landed.

Wing Commander Simon Grapes, Officer Commanding Operations Squadron and Wiz’s line manager, said: “This event brought to a close a long and illustrious flying career that began with Wiz flying with 50 Squadron on Vulcans from RAF Waddington in 1980. Thereafter, he conducted 3 tours on Buccaneers and 8 tours on Tornado GR1 and 4s, with nearly all of the time spent serving at RAF Lossiemouth. Wiz’s operational service has been extensive, from Op GRANBY in 1991, through many subsequent flying operations over Iraq and Afghanistan, and also Libya with Op ELLAMY. Wiz finishes with over 4000 hours on Tornado and nearly 7500 hours overall. He will leave the Service later this year having served for 37 years, a remarkable feat and during which time he has given his all, particularly with his desire to impart his knowledge and wisdom to many junior aircrew. However, Wiz will still be able to contribute post retirement as he is set to join THALES as a civilian Tornado simulator instructor where his vast experience will be gladly appreciated.”


Source: RAF
Editor: Flt Lt Baxter
Squadron Leader Wilson leaves his jet for the last time.
RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2014