Catalogue: TV - Non Fiction

Combat Pilot   


For the first time in 25 years, this unique fly-on-the-wall BBC documentary takes cameras inside one of the UK’s busiest military bases and workplace of HRH Prince William, to follow the extraordinary training of a group of Royal Air Force combat pilots.

From rookies with a lifelong dream to fully-fledged pilots in the UK’s Royal Air Force, every aspect of combat pilot training is revealed. Interspersed with indepth interviews and detailed back stories for each pilot, viewers discover the personal challenges, fears and dreams of the young men as each attempts to fulfill his ambition of becoming a fast flight pilot.

Going behind the “Top Gun” glamour, the series witnesses the months of study required before their first take off – the trainees’ first days at ground school, learning the basics of their aircraft in cardboard cockpits and experiencing the £18 million Hawk cockpit simulator. As the year progresses, they move on to flying the jets of their dreams including Tornado F3’s and Harrier Jump Jets.

Featuring extraordinary footage filmed in the cockpit, the cameras follow the trainees as they undertake their first solo flights before progressing to learn dog fighting and aerial defence maneouvres. Back on the base, they must master combat and weapons skills, survival techniques, all weather navigation and learn how to tolerate extreme G-force.

Revealing the physical and mental fortitude required by fighter pilots, the series explores the difficult challenges and the complex emotions evoked as one group of pilots is prepared for the reality of war.

Genre: Non-Fiction

Sub Genre: Documentary

Year of Production: 2004

Running Time: 6 x half hours

Country: UK

Production Company:BBC