Skip to content

Meet the Team

Steve Leggett

Managing Director

Steve joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice in 1972, he was subsequently commissioned as an Engineer Officer in 1983, serving in both 815 and 829 Naval Air Squadrons. Following a period of Loan Service in the Far East, he returned to the UK in 1990 to join the staff of the Director General Aircraft (Navy) with responsibility for the development of future embarked aviation facilities. He was the AEO of 706 NAS and then the Senior Aircraft Engineer at RNAS Portland. Steve joined the Defence Procurement Agency in 1998 as the Army’s Requirements Manager for Battlefield Helicopters – a programme which subsequently delivered Wildcat. Having left the RN in 2003, Steve founded Aviation Requirements.

Heather Gane

Commercial & Finance Director

Heather has been a Director of AR since the company was established in 2003.  Prior to that she was a Commercial Underwriter for a large insurance company and then following a career break joined the MoD as a civil servant.  During her 14 years with the MoD Heather held various finance posts for several major programmes, including Trident and Lynx with her last role in the Civil Service being the Senior Finance Officer for the Merlin In-Service team.

Jason Becker

Technical Director

Jason joined AR in 2012 as the Principal Independent Structural Airworthiness Advisor (ISAA) for RAF Puma HC Mk1 and Mk2. He has over 25 years’ experience in delivering Structural Integrity advice during his time in the Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm, QinetiQ and Aviation Requirements. He joined QinetiQ in 2005 as a Principal Structural Integrity Advisor; where he provided Independent Structural Airworthiness Advisor (ISAA) advice to the MoD and Industry on various Fixed and Rotary Wing platforms.  In 2016 he was appointed to the board of AR as Technical Director, responsible for the delivery of ITE, ISAA and Technical Assurance across all MoD and Industry Air Platforms supported by AR. He has an MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design from Cranfield University and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from RMIT University, Australia. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Member of the Vertical Flight Society.

Dan Denham

Operations Director

Dan joined AR in 2007 in a Business Development role. Alongside this, he delivered a 5 year contract as the Flight Manual Product Set SME for the Lightning Project Team. Dan spent 13 years in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, firstly as a Sea King Commando pilot, serving in Bosnia and Sierra Leone and then as a Gazelle pilot serving in Kosovo. He was selected for a fast jet crossover and ultimately was the Operations Officer for 801 NAS flying the Sea Harrier FA2. His last job in the RN was as the Lightning and Harrier Desk Officer at Handling Squadron. Having spent 18 months away from AR (and the Defence Industry), Dan re-joined AR in November 2016 and was appointed to the Board in April 2017.

Sarah Hunwicks

Business Development Director

Sarah spent 18 years in the Royal Navy as an Air Engineer Officer mainly supporting Helicopter operations and procurement in roles at sea and ashore including Sea King, Merlin, and Lynx platforms and embarked in CVS and RFAs, leaving the Service from her final role as the AEO of a Lynx Squadron.  For 4 years Sarah then worked as an Engineering consultant through Aviation Requirements covering design certification, trials and capability delivery for Wildcat.  Sarah joined the core AR team in May 2017 as one of the Principal Safety and Airworthiness Engineers, focussing on business development and the delivery of Independent Technical Evaluation. Sarah was subsequently appointed to the Board in the role of Business Development Director in April 2019.

Paul Brunell

Principal Systems Integrity Engineer

Paul joined the Royal Navy in 1982 and served for 32 years, initially as a senior technician, serving in Lynx aircraft squadrons ashore and at sea in Frigates, seeing service in the 1991 Gulf War. He was commissioned in 1996 and served as an Air Engineering Officer for 17 years where he worked with Sea King, Lynx and Gazelle platforms and in Engineering Authority roles in 2 DE&S Delivery Teams. His career as an AEO was marked by service in both Iraq and Afghanistan, culminating as Principal Air Engineer and second-in-command of the Joint Helicopter Force (Iraq), where he was responsible for numerous and diverse aviation platforms and a team of over 400 personnel. On leaving the Service, Paul moved to Cobham Mission Systems, rising to Product Support Director with Departmental responsibility for Airworthiness, Publications, Safety, ILS, Reliability, Obsolescence, Material and Field Services across Cobham’s Air to Air Refuelling and Weapons Carriage and Release inventories. He joined the AR Core Team in 2022 as a Principal Systems Integrity Engineer responsible for delivering Integrity Management support across the company as part of the Independent Structural Airworthiness Advisor team. Paul is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Jim Leese

Principal Safety & Airworthiness Engineer

Jim joined the Royal Navy in 1985 and following a progressive career within the Lynx Small Ships Flight community, joined the Aircraft Support Executive in 1997 and commissioned as an Air Engineer Officer in 2000.  After 2 years on 801 Squadron, Jim joined the Joint Combat Aircraft PT in 2003 and then Merlin Software Systems Support Team in 2005.  As an Aviation Requirements consultant, Jim supported the Apache and Lynx-Wildcat Project Teams between 2008 and 2012 in developing their Integrated Operational Support programmes, before moving to support the Wildcat Combined Test Team until 2016, delivering Certification, Qualification, Trials and RTSR support.  Following a 2-year role in BAE Systems supporting Astute Class submarines, Jim joined the AR core team as the Principal Safety and Airworthiness Engineer.

Sean Perkins

Principal Structural Integrity Engineer

Sean joined AR in 2016 as the Principal Structural Integrity Engineer. He currently provides Independent Structural Airworthiness Advisor (ISAA) support to Puma, Gazelle, Chinook, AH64E and UKMFTS Delivery Teams. During a 25 year career in the RAF, Sean served at both non-commissioned and commissioned ranks and on a number of platform types in various engineering, technical support and airworthiness positions. He was the Rotary Wing Structures lead in the Military Aviation Authority for 3 years providing Structural Integrity advice and guidance and also managed a number of the initial, landmark Type Certification programmes through the Military Air Systems Certification Process. Sean has a BEng(Hons) in Aeromechanical Systems Engineering and a MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design both from Cranfield University. He is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the RAeS.

Jon Milsom

Principal Structural Integrity Engineer

Jon joined AR as a Principal Structural Integrity Engineer in February 2021 on completion of 31 years in the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy as an Air Engineer Officer (AEO).  He has extensive knowledge of rotary wing structures having served as a Repair Officer and as the MoD’s Rotary Wing Structures lead for policy and independent advice to all rotary wing Delivery Teams.  He served on Tornado and Sea King squadrons, was the AEO on a front-line Harrier GR7/9 unit and latterly was the Program lead in the industry run F-35 Operations Centre in Ft Worth, Tx.  Jon has an MSc in Aerospace Vehicle Design from Cranfield University, a BEng with Honours in Mechanical Engineering from Coventry Polytechnic and an MA in Defence Studies from King’s College London.  He is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.

John Akhurst

Senior Airworthiness & Quality Engineer

John joined the AR core team in 2009 after 3 years as an AR contractor.  Previously he served in the Royal Navy for 30 years and left the service as a Warrant Officer Artificer; his last appointments included staff roles at Command and Air Station HQs. Front line service was seen in the small ship flight world with Wasp and Lynx Flights, and finally with Sea King Mk4 on United Nations duties.  On tasks with Aviation Requirements, John has provided technical support to the Merlin, Chinook, Lynx, Hawk, Puma, Gazelle and Lightning Delivery Teams covering disciplines such as configuration and modification management, technical information and publications, regulatory compliance and independent assessments.

Jo Tucker

Commercial Manager

Jo joined AR in July 2020 as the Commercial Manager and is responsible for the effective Management of all Contracts.  She has a spent her whole working life in the Aerospace Industry; starting as a Business Apprentice at Westland Helicopters (now Leonardo), progressing into a senior commercial role at GKN Aerospace before becoming a Civil Servant within the MoD as a Commercial Manager supporting the Apache and Merlin Platforms.   Jo is also responsible for the effective running of the AR Offices as well as all of the Manpower Substitute Frameworks (PSR, EDP etc).

Andrea Pearse

Finance Manager

Andrea joined ARs’ finance team in 2016. She moved to the UK from Hungary in 2005 where she had been a qualified Physiotherapist. Having settled in the UK, she decided on a career change.  Having completed her Association of Accounting Technicians’ qualification, she worked as an assistant accountant for a multinational company. She has continued to pursue her studies with the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, where she is in the final stages of becoming a chartered accountant.

Keith ‘Nick’ Nicholls

Senior Airworthiness Engineer

Keith joined the Royal Air Force in 1977 as an Airframe & Propulsion Technician leaving as a Flight Sergeant in Feb 2015. During that time, he had an extremely varied career serving at RAF Stations in the UK and abroad, with a broad range of experience at all levels of maintenance and management, from front-line squadrons to rear support echelons in different operational theatres (including: QMS Audit Skills – ISO 9001, Defence Instructional Techniques, Technical author, aircraft maintenance documentation compilation instruction / auditing, RAF SARF Sea King Scheduled Maintenance / MODS Fleet Planner, OOA LITS network manager (FIs), DE&S (RAF Customer Support Team) and South West & South Wales Area RAF recruitment manager).  Keith maintained and supervised maintenance on various fixed wing and rotary aircraft types, including Lightning, Chipmunk, Nimrod, Vulcan, Canberra, Hawk and Sea King. Since leaving the RAF in 2015, Keith has worked as a contractor for AR delivering technical support tasks within Chinook, Lightning II, Puma Gazelle, UKMFTS, Waterguard and RPAS (assignments incorporating, technical authoring, structures, safety, configuration, ADS, and ITAR). Keith joined the AR core team in May 2022.

Nick Webb

Quality System Manager and Airworthiness Engineer

Nick joined the AR core team in October 2019 following a progressive career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers where he was 1 AAC’s Quality System Manager and ISO 9001 Lead Auditor at Yeovilton.  Nick brings significant Air Engineering experience gained across rotary wing and unmanned air systems and previous posts have included Workshop air Engineering management, Aviation Training Analysis and working with the Royal Navy in 1710 managing Service Modifications.  Nick is currently the Puma CAMO Quality System Manager.

Mark Jowett

Quality System Manager
and Airworthiness Engineer

Mark joined Aviation Requirements in October 2019  following an extensive career in Quality; within Industry supporting Leonardo Helicopters in maintaining their MAOS approvals, and within the Royal Navy where he was a Lead Auditor within the Quality Support Team at Yeovilton and Quality Manager on 846 Naval Air Squadron.  He brings with him considerable Air Engineering experience following a full and progressive career in the Royal Navy on both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.  Mark is currently the Commando Helicopter Force Quality Systems Manager at Yeovilton.

Mark Tubbs

Quality System Manager
and Airworthiness Engineer

Mark joined Aviation Requirements in August 2020 after an extensive career in the Royal Navy as an Avionics Engineer before diversifying into Quality Control. He was the Quality System Controller for the Wildcat Maritime Force before moving to the Yeovilton Quality Support Team, specialising in Continuous Airworthiness Maintenance Organisation supporting all Yeovilton based units as an ISO 9001 Lead Auditor. On leaving the Royal Navy, Mark took up a position in the Quality Team for Morson working under contract at Yeovilton supporting 652 Squadron Army Wildcat. Mark brings with him significant Air Engineering experience gained across fixed and rotary wing air systems and is currently the 1st Aviation Brigade (FIND) Quality Systems Manager at Yeovilton.

Rob Cruikshanks

Quality Systems Manager
and Airworthiness Engineer

Rob joined Aviation Requirements following a 22-year career in the Royal Air Force.  Rob spent several years shaping his trade on the VC10, before moving to Chinook in 2008, where he operated as a 1st line engineer providing service to many overseas operations and as a second line engineer providing the Rotor Blade and Mechanical Bay expertise as well as valuable years spent in the training environment and Depth Maintenance. His later years were as part of the Chinook CAMO providing both commercial and military guidance and direction on regulatory articles offering solutions to fulfilling the necessary requirements of Continuing Airworthiness matters. This wealth of knowledge is welcomed by Aviation Requirements, and we welcome him to the team in supporting the Chinook CAMO Quality Management System.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.