Advancing UK Aerospace, Defence, Security & Space Solutions Worldwide
  • Home
  • /
  • Aerospace
  • /
  • Wally Epton receives BBGA’s outstanding contribution to aviation award

Aerospace

Wally Epton receives BBGA’s outstanding contribution to aviation award

Wally Epton, who has contributed six decades of exemplary service to the aviation industry in civil and defence roles, is this year’s recipient of the British Business and General Aviation Association’s prestigious Michael Wheatley Award for Outstanding Services to the general aviation industry.

Above: Wally Epton, distinguished aviator, receives BBGA’s outstanding contribution to aviation award from Aoife O’Sullivan, BBGA Chair.
Courtesy BBGA

BBGA Chair Aoife O’Sullivan presented him with the accolade at the Association’s annual conference and AGM on 7th March at London’s Leonardo Hotel, St Paul’s, to an audience of 140 plus industry peers.
 
Wally’s  illustrious career started in 1958 as a Royal Air Force aircraft apprentice at RAF Halton. He completed his flying training as an officer cadet at RAF College Cranwell, a precursor to piloting Strike/Ground Attack B-15 Canberras, C-130 tactical transport aircraft and HS-125 Dominie navigation trainers. Wally was proud to be a display pilot with the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) flying Spitfires and Hurricanes. He retired from the RAF in 1978 as a Squadron Leader but continued as an active display pilot before moving to Australia in 1981, initially for Shell. While in Australia he set up a business aviation association there.                 
 
After nearly 10 years in Australia he returned to the UK.  He flew business jets for 33 years, for companies including Coles Myer and Readymix Concrete on the Hawker 125.  Operator companies included Gama Aviation. Latterly, he flew Hawker 4000 and Challenger CL-604 series for private clients. Flying on UK, EASA and FAA ATP’s he accumulated 16,400 flight hours commercially. Today, he still owns and flies at Tiger Moth.
 
Wally serves as Chairman of the Historic Aircraft Association (HAA). He is Chair of RAE Farnborough Aero Club; sits on the Aerodrome Consultative Committee for Farnborough Airport and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Previously, he was leader of the HAA Engineering Group and the HAA Self-Administration Project Working Group.  

Advertisement
Marshall RT 2

As a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, having served as Master in 2011, he was granted Freedom of The City of London.  He  and holds a Master Air Pilot Certificate No 892. He continues to fly a Tiger Moth.
 
Stan Medved, Director Corporate Aviation, Shell Aircraft said: “During his time in Australia, Wally flew Shell Australia’s HS-125, spearheading business aviation’s growth and supporting the resources boom across an expansive continent.  Shell Australia’s flight department, an offshoot of Shell Aircraft UK, established by the legendary Douglas Bader, raised the standards and professionalism of business aviation in Australia, thanks to Wally. Today, many years later, Shell Aircraft continues to draw on his contributions through his work within BBGA and the business aviation industry.”
 
“Wally was part of the Gama Aviation Hawker pilot team in the early 2000s, flying the HS125-800 and 1000 series on both AOC and managed fleets. He was a great charter pilot with a fantastic ‘can do’ attitude, delivered with integrity, calmness, and professionalism - a perfect match for our clients' exacting requirements. Wally’s experience and knowledge of this aircraft type is unsurpassed. On leaving Gama Aviation, Wally became a revered ambassador for aviation and for this sector through his six years as Chair of the BBGA Operations Working Group. He provided me with solid foundations to grow the BBGA’s Operations Working Group. I am proud to follow in his footsteps.”
 
Dave Edwards, Chief Executive, The Royal Aeronautical Society, said: “I’m delighted to hear of Wally’s prize of this year’s Michael Wheatley Award. Having known and been inspired by both great gentlemen it’s a fitting tribute to Wally’s continuing career dedicated to aviation, business aviation especially and his general enthusiasm for the whole sector. I first met Wally in 2001, a punchy Hawker Captain/sometime Racing Dad, then looking for a sponsor for his son’s car racing career. What ensued was my trawling the length and breadth of the country watching his son David battle it out with a very young Lewis Hamilton. It was and remains a very happy memory.

Advertisement
Marshall RT

"Wally has been responsible for my renewing my PPL, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, which I now run and becoming a Freeman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots. In each role, I try to replicate what he’s done throughout his career, doing my best to inspire the next generation to follow us into this great industry. I know this isn’t a Lifetime Achievement award as he’s far from done. I’m sure he’ll remain at the heart of our sector for many years to come – phoning me only last month about another idea he’s had - that I must work on. Well done Wally, it’s the recognition you thoroughly deserve.”   

The Michael Wheatley Award
Michael Wheatley held a leading role in the support advisory services to the UK Police and ambulance authorities and leading financial institutions. He died in 2006 and BBGA created the award in his name. Recent previous recipients include Marwan Khalek, Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, Tom Perry, Tim Scorer, Penny Stephens, Phil Lammiman, Brian Humphries and Andrew Walters.

Advertisement
General Atomics LB General Atomics LB
Viasat collaborates with uAvionix on seamless UAV comms

Aerospace

Viasat collaborates with uAvionix on seamless UAV comms

24 April 2024

Viasat has announced a collaboration with uAvionix, a provider of certified avionics for crewed and uncrewed aviation, with uAvionix joining Viasat’s Velaris Partner Network.

Lucideon expands with new offices in Japan

Aerospace

Lucideon expands with new offices in Japan

24 April 2024

Materials science and technology consultancy Lucideon is targeting international growth with expansion in the Japanese market.

Smith Myers

Aerospace Security

Smith Myers' ARTEMIS selected by Nova Systems for Coast Guard SAR contract

23 April 2024

Smith Myers' ARTEMIS Mobile Phone Location and Communications system has been selected by Nova Systems for integration into its airborne mission system SAR (search and rescue) contract for a European Coast Guard.

Bristol Airport hosts ground-breaking airside hydrogen refuelling trial

Aerospace

Bristol Airport hosts ground-breaking airside hydrogen refuelling trial

23 April 2024

A ground-breaking airside hydrogen refuelling trial, led by easyJet and supported by several cross-industry partners, has been successfully completed at Bristol Airport – the first airport trial of its kind at a major UK airport.

Advertisement
Marshall RT
Glasgow Airport delivers the Baby Room

Aerospace

Glasgow Airport delivers the Baby Room

23 April 2024

Glasgow Airport welcomed the arrival of the new dedicated Baby Room to help parents travelling with infants and young children.

RAeS highlights mental health challenge to civil aviation safety

Aerospace

RAeS highlights mental health challenge to civil aviation safety

23 April 2024

The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has published a paper on the mental health challenge to civil aviation safety, covering both psychosocial risk management and mental health.

Advertisement
ODU RT