Cheryl Johnson is a rare find. She is one of just a handful of female aircraft controllers making a career in the Royal Navy and is part of the 10-strong crew here at the show displaying a Westland Super Lynx helicopter.

"We're pretty thin on the ground," she smiles, "but then again the armed forces in general are a male dominated environment."

Cheryl is Leading Aircraft Controller and it's her job to make sure all the detailed preparations for every flight the aircraft makes are in order. She is also in radio contact with the air crew during missions from the operations room on board the Class 22 frigate HMS Coventry.

"We came out here from Plymouth where the ship is docked at the moment," she says. "Travel is one thing I'm definitely used to. We were in the Gulf for a time, we've been on a tour of Northern Europe and also spent time in Bosnia as part of the peacekeeping efforts there."

Cheryl joined the RN in 1990 at the age of 17, initially as a radio operator. But a lack of opportunities for career development led to a change of direction into the aircraft controller role.

"It's a lifestyle you have to get used to, but I've no regrets at all about joining the Navy."

Source: Flight Daily News