Regional Safety Officer Greater London and South East England

Geoff Connolly

Geoff started flying on the Chipmunk with London University Air Squadron in 1969. After a brief first dalliance with civilian life, he spent 16 years as a RAF pilot. Following an operational tour on Puma helicopters, he did his instructor training at Central Flying School. Subsequently, he graduated from the Empire Test Pilot’s School, and spent his final 4 years in the RAF as a military test pilot. 

Moving to civilian life, Geoff joined Bristow Helicopters as a trainer and test pilot, working there for 9 years full-time, and subsequently (and currently) on contract. Geoff’s subsequent work included several years as a police pilot, and a few as Head of Training and Chief Pilot for a small helicopter company. 

Geoff has an ATPL (H) and is a helicopter flying instructor and examiner. He also has a CPL (A) and flying instructor rating. His FI experience on both aeroplanes and helicopters encompasses both PPL and CPL training. Of just over 10,000 hours flight time, about half is as an instructor or training captain.

Like many test pilots, he is fortunate to have dabbled in a variety of aircraft from Microlight to Airships! Geoff is still actively involved in flight test work, and is also a visiting flight tutor at the International Test Pilot School in Canada.

During his full-time year with Bristow, latterly as Company Flight Safety Officer, Geoff served on the UK Airprox Board and other flight safety committees. He continues to help with joint BHA/CAA committees, notably the Small Helicopter Safety Group. Despite his general consultancy work in aviation, he is in current flying practice on light aeroplanes and a variety of
helicopters, and flies about 180 hours per year.