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Richard Pike joined the Royal Air Force in August 1961 when he became a flight cadet at the RAF College, Cranwell. He began his forty-year professional flying career on the English Electric Lightning then went on to fly the F4 Phantom and a number of other aircraft types. On leaving the RAF he became a civilian helicopter pilot flying the Sikorsky S61 for the North Sea oil industry as well as in the search and rescue and other roles. His duties took him to a wide variety of destinations, including the Falklands and Kosovo. In Kosovo he was involved with the humanitarian distribution by helicopter of emergency food aid supplied under the auspices of the United Nations World Food Programme. That was his last job as a pilot. Since his retirement from flying he has written eight books. He and his wife Sue live in Aberdeenshire from where they visit their three children and seven grandchildren in various parts of the United Kingdom.