One of the UK’s first female fast-jet pilots and the second woman to fly a Tornado GR4 on the front line
Mandy Hickson: Biography highlights
Finding a love of flying early in life, Mandy Hickson fought hard to achieve her ambition to be a Royal Air Force pilot. She was only the second woman to fly a Tornado GR4 on the front line, completing three tours of duty and 45 missions over Iraq.
When life is on the line, pilots must be rigorously trained and exercises carefully planned and evaluated. There is much we can share with business from such a careful strategy, training, planning and debriefing. She became the Squadron’s Combat Survival and Rescue Officer, working closely with the US, instructing Squadron members on Escape and Evasion tactics.
Throughout her time, Mandy was the only female aircrew and later learned the lessons of juggling life as a working mother of two young children. Now a civilian, Mandy draws on her experiences to train and inspire others, covering the core areas of human factors; decision making, communication, leadership, behaviour, workload, conflict, fatigue and stress management. She is also a highly sought-after keynote speaker in the business and education sectors.
Since leaving the RAF, she continues her support for the services in the Volunteer Reserve (VR), through flying on the Air Experience Flight, passing on her experience and enjoyment of flying to Air Cadets. She also supports her local community as Chairwoman of her local Tennis Club. A keen sportswoman in her spare time, Mandy enjoys playing tennis, spinning, cycling and hill walking. In the winter the slopes often are calling to her for some fast-paced skiing!
Watch Mandy in action
Mandy was absolute brilliant, I would highly recommend Mandy for any event We hung on ever word and still wanted more after two & half hours. I personally came out on a massive high.'
University Hospital Bristol
'Mandy spoke with such passion, energy and enthusiasm; had the audience laughing at times and in total silence at others, as she linked her personal experience in the RAF with nursing. She had taken the time to understand the values our staff developed and was able to thread those through her whole speech. It was truly inspirational and I would not hesitate to recommend her.'
'As managers we were left with a powerful impression of the importance of making decisions that actively empower our teams to step up and to learn, first on safe 'training ground' and ultimately in high stakes contexts.'