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BLUE SKY, RED CARPET

Born in 1954 of English and French teacher parents, Philip lived in France and North London before gaining a scholarship to the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School, Elstree.

A school house captain and the senior cadet of the Combined Cadet Force, he was awarded a Flying Scholarship by The Royal Air Force, and also selected, and chose to train as an airline pilot at the British Airways sponsored College of Air Training in 1973.

Upon graduating, he took jobs initially as a flying instructor and air-taxi pilot for ‘Keenair Services’ at Liverpool Airport, then the job of Chief Pilot of Airde Ltd, a charter company based in Newtownards, Northern Ireland.

From there Philip worked in Belfast and the Isle of Man, flying Piper Aztecs, before moving back to the mainland, to fly a Cessna 401A  for BOC Medishield. He then went freelance, delivering newspapers to Switzerland for Air Continental, flying the Piper Navajo.  

Finally called up for an airliner conversion course in 1979, Philip joined British Airways with an Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence, and 2,500 hours in command. After two years as a co-pilot on the Viscount turboprop, and the Tridents 1 and 2 jets, he was forced to retire from flying on medical grounds.

After leaving hospital he was transferred to a ground job as an Executive Aircraft Service Officer, when he began writing. During his ten years as a VIP handling agent, Philip completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies at Thames Valley University, and received an Award for Excellence from British Airways.

Leaving the aviation industry in 1992, Philip became self-employed, working as an encyclopaedia salesman, a legal interpreter, and a Customer Service Manager for ILI Ltd.

He became an actor in 1997, under the name ‘Philip Delancy’ with Film and TV credits on ‘Grace of Monaco’, ‘London Has Fallen’, ‘The Sooty Show’, ‘Only Fools and Horses’, and ‘Father Brown’; and has acted as a consultant to major companies in drama-based learning, as well as being an aviation technical advisor to TV & Film production companies.

As a communications skills coach he was sent to Rome in 2014 to deliver a workshop to international psychiatrists under the banner: ‘Maximising Patient Outcomes Long Term’.

He is Treasurer of The Windsor Writer’s Group.

Philip’s trivia include winning BBC’s ‘Crackerjack’ quiz show, appearing on ‘News at Ten’ with Paul and Linda McCartney, and having a 10cm figurine made of him as a Naboo Pilot for Star Wars ‘The Phantom Menace.’

Philip Appleton

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