After 11 years on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, this very experienced RAF fighter pilot is joining the civilian warbird world
Friday 6 October was an emotional day for Flt Lt Antony Parkinson. With a final sortie in that most cherished veteran from the summer of 1940, Spitfire IIa P7350, he brought to a close 11 years on the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight. Beyond that, it concluded a career of more than three decades spent flying Royal Air Force fighters of one type or another.
A few days after ‘Parky’s’ official leaving do, we met at the BBMF’s Coningsby base. He’d just been up for a Chipmunk trip, helping convert a new pilot to taildraggers in preparation for their becoming a fighter pilot on the flight. But with his time in the air force coming to an end, the next door has already opened. ‘Parky’ is now chief pilot of Headcorn-based Aero Legends, and a key element of the company’s Spitfire flight operations.