Paul first learnt to fly as a staff cadet at an Air Cadet Gliding school in 1990. A Flying Scholarship followed gaining his PPL, and he joined the RAF as a University Cadet in 1992. After Flying Training he was selected as a "Creamie" instructor at 1BFTS on the Tucano. Frontline and OCU instructor tours on the Harrier followed where he served with 1, 20, 800 and 4 Sqns, becoming an A2 Harrier QFI, Command Instrument Rating Examiner, CFS Agent and Harrier Force Standardisation officer. During this time he also left the RAF and joined the Royal Navy, serving for 5 years in dark blue! Following the disbandment of the Harrier Force he retired from the military and joined 2Excel Aviation, subsequently becoming the Company Chief Pilot and Head of Training. Paul currently flys commercially for 2Excel on the King Air and Navajo fleets.
In 2008, Ross began flying at the age of 17 at Headcorn Aerodrome in Kent. When he finished school he gained a First Class Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Air Transport Operations at City University London. After studying, Ross went to Spain to begin training towards his ATPL which consisted of attaining his Commercial Pilots Licence, Multi-Engine Rating and Instrument Rating. Ross then returned to the UK and gained his Flight Instructor Rating, which gave him the ability to teach the PPL and LAPL syllabus. Ross joined 2Excel Aviation in 2014.
Adam began his flight training at the Atlantic Flight Training School in Coventry in 2009 where he gained his Frozen ATPL. In 2012 he gained his Flight Instructor Rating at Leicester aero club. Adam has worked for a variety of aviation companies including Hangar 8 and Flybe. In his spare time he enjoys playing football and going to the gym. Adam also likes socialising with friends and watching football at the pub.
Andy Offer was born in Bishop's Stortford and having been awarded an academic scholarship was educated at St Edmund's College, Ware. From an early age Andy knew he wanted to be a pilot and applied to join the Royal Air Force at the earliest opportunity, having completed his A-levels. By the age of 22, Andy was a Qualified Flying Instructor and displayed the RAF's basic trainer, the Jet Provost. Following his instruction tour, Andy was selected to fly the Harrier and, after frontline duties as a Flying and Weapons Instructor he was chosen to display the aircraft for the 1995 season. Andy now had the requisite credentials to apply to join the Red Arrows and joined the Team in late 1995. During his first tour with the Red Arrows he flew as Red 2, 4 and 8, and after a short ground tour Andy was selected to lead the Team as Red 1. After commanding the Red Arrows, and following Advanced Staff College, Andy returned to the Harrier Force as Officer Commanding IV (Army Cooperation) Squadron. Here, he led operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Andy left the RAF in 2005 to co-found 2Excel and lead The Blades and has now amassed more than 1,000 hours flying the Extra 300. As one of the founding Directors, Andy now spends the majority of his time running the multi-faceted aviation business.
Andy Evans took up the solo display pilot position, Blade 4, at the beginning of 2012. Having joined the RAF in 1985 as a member of Yorkshire Universities Air Squadron, Andy was awarded his wings in 1989 and was selected to fly the Jet Provost as a Flying Instructor. Following his Tactical Weapons Training, Andy joined No 6 Squadron and subsequently No 41 (Fighter) Squadron on the Jaguar front line. Serving operationally, Andy flew over Bosnia Herzegovina before being chosen to fly with the Red Arrows. Andy flew with the Team between 1997 and 2000 and flew as Red 2, 4 and then 8. After three years with the Team, Andy became the first Red Arrow's pilot to stay at Scampton and work with the Team as the Manager, flying as Red 10. Using his vast experience of display flying, Andy spent 3 years as the Air Show Advisor to the Royal Saudi Air Force National Aerobatic Team, The Saudi Hawks. On his return from The Gulf, Andy left the RAF and joined The Blades as one of the founding Team members.
Justin Paines began his flying career with the Royal Air Force in 1988, completing his training and joining the Harrier force in 1991. After front line experience on the Harrier, he attended the US Air Force Test Pilot School in 1995, and during his test flying career performed flight test on the Vectored-thrust Aircraft Advanced Control (VAAC) Harrier experimental aircraft, all marks of in-service Harrier, the Hawk, Tucano and, notably the X-35 Joint Strike Fighter, becoming one of only 3 pilots to fly all 3 variants of the X-35. As a civilian, Justin continued his work on the Joint Strike Fighter programme with the VAAC Harrier, and has instructed on the Empire Test Pilots' School for a total of 6 years, including the 2 years as the Chief Flying Instructor (Fixed Wing). He joined 2Excel Aviation in 2014.