Mandy Hickson

An Officer, Not a Gentleman

MANDY, BREAK RIGHT…’ Jacko’s urgent scream shatters my bubble of bliss like a balloon exploding. My right hand slams the stick across and we tip over sideways, like a hard right turn on a roller coaster. I tense my stomach muscles to accept the punch in the guts from the g-suit, which clamps my legs tight to force the blood to my brain and stop me from blacking out. ‘Missile launch, five o’clock…’ says the strained voice of my nav into my headset. I am not daydreaming anymore. Flying a multi-million pound fighter jet in hostile territory is not an everyday career and it comes with a high degree of pressure and responsibility. It’s a dream job that takes years of ambition, training and commitment, but for Mandy Hickson, it was a dream that became reality.Find out about Mandy’s incredible journey to become one of the UK’s first female, fast-jet pilots and how she overcame many obstacles to develop the skills to succeed in such a demanding career.
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W. F. Howes


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