TELIC’S ‘YOUNG GUN’

Tornado Tales

Flying Officer Pete Beilby turned 24 in the Kuwaiti desert while deployed on Operation Telic – the youngest RAF Tornado pilot involved in the 2003 war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces. He spoke to Thomas Newdick about flying the GR4 in combat.

Paveway-toting Tornado GR4 ZD720/’TA’, crewed by No IX(B) Squadron operating from Ali al-Salem in Kuwait. The RAF deployed around 32 Tornado GR4/4As to the Persian Gulf for Operation Telic. No IX(B) Squadron

Pete Beilby comes from a family of fighter pilots – his father flew Sea Vixens with the Royal Navy and his grandfather was a Fleet Air Arm Corsair pilot during World War Two. Originally, he’d wanted to become a pilot in the Royal Marines, but the lure of fast jet flying saw him join the RAF from school and begin a career in the front seat of the Tornado GR4.

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