Andrew Brookes's Royal Air Force career included command of Greenham Common cruise missile base. Since leaving the service he has been an aerospace analyst and writer and in 2009 he took charge of the Air League.
What turned you on to flying?
I learned to fly with Leeds University Air Squadron back when sex was safe and flying was dangerous. We flew from Dishforth alongside the A1 and I spent many lovely hours doing practice forced landings and aeros over the Vale of York. We did lots of stalling and spinning back then but young people don't seem to do that any more. I think it is a shame that you can't experience the thrill and sense of danger associated with getting to know your limits based on first-rate flying training. I am still in touch with my old ex-Javelin instructor and we now reminisce together as the old and bold always do.
How do you influence government and industry thinking about aviation?
My role is to speak out about the importance of aviation to British wealth, science and technology, jobs and influence. We bring parliamentarians and industry together and with the projected high turnover in MPs after the forthcoming election, we will need to get the aerospace message across to them early.