David Cockburn

David Cockburn is a Liveryman of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, a Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation, and a member of AOPA’s Training Committee. He is the author of the Radio Aids volume of the series “Ground Studies for Pilots” published by Blackwell, and the series of PPL training books published by Pooley.

He served for 28 years in the Royal Air Force as a pilot, initially on the Vulcans and Canberra, then on Jet Provost and the Chipmunk. On the Jet Provost, he served as an instructor first of navigators then of pilots in basic flying training. His final flying tour was teaching elementary flying on the Chipmunk.

He started flying gliders in 1965, eventually effectively ceasing in 1996 having gained the FAI diamond badge, flown in several national championships and been Chief Instructor of 4 clubs.

Having gained his PPL in 1965, he obtained his commercial licence in 1995 after leaving the RAF and his airline transport licence in 2001. He has been a CAA flying instructor since 1995 and a PPL examiner since 2003, on single engine piston aeroplanes and touring motor gliders, and is currently the Head of Training of the Light Aircraft Association’s Pilot Coaching Scheme.

After working for a while as an aviation lecturer in Saudi Arabia, he joined the UK Civil Aviation Authority in 1999, where he was employed until 2013 as the General Aviation Safety Promotion Officer, presenting CAA safety evenings around the country and editing GASIL and the GA SafetySense leaflets. He continues to instruct and examine in his free time, and has recently returned to gliding.