Tom Gibbons – Staff photographer and writer
Aviation has been an ever-present element of Tom’s life for as long as he can remember. A born and bred Lancastrian, with a father who was passionate about the hobby, a great deal of his early spare time was spent at Liverpool and Manchester airports with the odd visit to the then Hawker Siddeley factory at Woodford for the annual RAFA airshow thrown in for good measure.
Other early airshow venues were RAF Finningley and RAF Valley for their famed Battle of Britain Open Days and it was against this background that Tom took the plunge and joined the RAF in 1979 as an Aircraft Technician; highlights over the years were many and varied, but it remains his first Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB in 1983, whilst serving at RAF Bruggen on the Jaguar GR.1 with 20 Squadron, that stands out as being one of the most professionally and personally rewarding periods of his career.
The last ten years of Tom’s military service were spent on the Eurofighter Typhoon project at BAE Systems Warton, following which he retired from the service after 33 years in uniform, wondering where all those years had gone! Tom can now be found heading up the Air Operations department at RIAT and still gets a fantastic buzz from all things aviation with the new career allowing him to mix business with pleasure on a daily basis.
A long time member of the Kodachrome 64 ‘club’, Tom finally took the decision to make the change to digital photography in late 2005 and he hasn’t looked back since with Canon being his equipment of choice.”