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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 first 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. Previously, Dan spent 13 years in the Fleet Air Arm, firstly as a Sea King MK4 pilot in both 845 and 846 Squadrons, and then as a Gazelle AH1 pilot in 847 Squadron. He was then selected for  fast jet training and ultimately was the Operations Officer for 801 Squadron 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 in November 2016 and was appointed to the Board as Operations Director 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.

Jim Leese

Engineering Bid Director

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 followed a period as the Head of Safety and Airworthiness. He was subsequently appointed to the Board in the role of Engineering Bid Director in May 2024.

Sean Perkins

Head of Structural Integrity

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 Fellow of the RAeS. He has now been promoted to Head of Structural Integrity.

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.

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Jason 'Fluff' Freeman

Principal Structural Integrity Engineer

Jason joined AR as a Principal Structures Engineer in January 2023, having previously been employed as an AR Associate within the Lynx-Wildcat PT. He is an accomplished structural and mechanical aircraft engineer with 36yrs rotary wing aviation experience.  This comprises 26yrs Service in the Royal Navy, initially as an air engineering mechanic and artificer, before commissioning as an Air Engineer Officer (AEO). His AEO appointments saw him undertake duties as both Assistant and Deputy AEO in 815NAS, before completing his career as a Repair Officer and Deputy Repair Manager at 1710NAS, which included a dynamic and challenging 5-month Operational Tour in Afghanistan. Since leaving the Royal Navy in 2012, Jason has been employed at Agusta Westland Ltd as part of the Repair Design Team, then the Lynx-Wildcat Project Team as an AR associate conducting a Service Modifications Compliance Review. Most recently he spent the last 6.5-years at Leonardo Helicopters UK embedded in WIST providing technical support (structural and mechanical) for the Wildcat Mk1 & 2 aircraft, as well as Military Export variants. Jason has an MSc in Engineering and Management from Portsmouth University, is a Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.


Joe Stevens

Principal Safety & Airworthiness Engineer

Joe joined the AR core team in June 2023 after completing an enjoyable 22 year career as a Royal Navy Air Engineer Officer.  His career highlights include time in Joint Helicopter Command as a capability manager, as AEO 845 Naval Air Squadron, as an Engineering Authority in the F-35 Lightning Delivery Team and a 3-year appointment as a Repair Officer, DAOS signatory and Detachment Commander with MASU (now 1710 NAS).  Joe is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a graduate of the UK MOD Advanced Command and Staff Course.  He read an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering (Liverpool) and was fortunate to have the opportunity to gain an MSc in Information Capability Management (Cranfield) and an MA in Defence Studies (King’s College London) whilst in uniform.


Jack Fillingham

Principal Safety & Airworthiness Engineer

Jack joined the AR core team in October 2023 after 14 years as a civil servant in Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S). He joined DE&S as an apprentice and had a progressive career carrying out a variety of roles across the Air Domain. His roles included: Gazelle Engineering Authority, DE&S Airworthiness Team (DAT) Sustaining Type Airworthiness Engineer and multiple roles in the Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS) Delivery Team. Jack is a Chartered Engineer and has recently completed an MSc in Systems Engineering at Loughborough University.

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.

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.

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Matt Colledge

Senior Airworthiness Engineer

Matt joined the Royal Air Force in 1997 as an Airframe Technician and completed a 25-year career. During that time, he completed multiskilled training to become an Airframe and Propulsion Technician. Matt’s extensive experience spans across different platforms such as Jaguar, VC10, Tornado, Typhoon and Lightning II. Working at various levels of maintenance as a Maintainer, Supervisor and Manager, he has operated on Front Line Squadrons, Mechanical/Propulsion Bays and Airframe Support Flights providing support to UK and overseas operations. Additional roles include QMS Auditing to ISO 9001, Risk Assessing and SHE Plan Co-ordination. Matt’s final role was working as an Engineering Desk Officer for DE&S on Lightning II where he held a Letter of Airworthiness Authority.  He provided assurance against S1000D and Military Regulatory Publications along with SME guidance on Technical Data, Technical Authoring, Test and Evaluation. He is an Incorporated Engineer, Chartered Manager and a Professional Registration Advisor for the IET. Matt joined AR in February 2023 and is currently supporting the Lightning Delivery Team with configuration management, technical information and publication assurance and regulatory compliance.

Andrea Pearse

Finance Manager

Andrea joined the AR 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.

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).


Chrissy Doey

Commercial Assistant

Chrissy joined AR in May 2023 supporting the Commercial Function.  She has over 15 years’ experience within HR, recruitment and Commercial disciplines and brings a high standard of communication and attention to detail.  She will support the business with all Contingent Labour Frameworks as well as Office Management.

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Heather Leese

Finance Assistant

Heather joined AR in May 2023 in a supporting role within Finance, working alongside Andrea providing support to all of our Suppliers and Customers. Heather continues to study towards an Environmental Science & Management degree with the Open University.

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 Costello

Rob Costello

Quality System Manager
and Airworthiness Engineer

Rob joined Aviation Requirements in December 2022 having served 26 years in the British Army, leaving as Warrant Officer. Rob had a progressive career gaining extensive Air Engineering experience on Rotary, Fixed Wing and Uncrewed Air Systems. This included roles within Forward, Depth maintenance and various overseas operations. Also, during his career Rob was responsible for assessing, designing, and clearing structural repairs within the Tri-Service Rotary Wing Repair organization.  His most recent position prior to leaving the army Rob fulfilled a number of roles within Mil CAMOs supporting Islander, Defender and Gazelle aircraft.  Rob brings considerable experience in Continuing Airworthiness and Air Safety Data Management and Exploitation.

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Ross Elston

Quality System
and Airworthiness Engineer

Ross joined Aviation Requirements in October 2022 following an extensive 23-year career in the Royal Navy as a Mechanical Engineer and Flight vibration analyst, working on Sea King Mk 5 and Mk 6 ASW on various squadrons (706 NAS, 810 NAS, 820NAS) and latterly in the Depth maintenance organisation (AMG).  Following and all-embracing period on many Merlin Mk 1 squadrons (824NAS, 820NAS, 814NAS) as a senior supervisor, Ross chose a path into Quality assurance, forming part of the RNAS Culdrose IQA team and providing assurance to all Merlin squadrons and support units, this accumulated in Ross achieving ISO 9001 Lead Auditor status. On leaving the Royal Navy Ross stayed at Culdrose working with both Serco and Morson and continued to provide vital support to the Merlin Mk 2 community via the Leonardo’s IMOS contract. His wealth of knowledge and experience is welcomed by Aviation Requirements and the Quality Support he is currently providing into the Watchkeeper UAV CAMO and Pt 145 Quality Management Systems.

Dave Widdison

Dave Widdison

Quality System
and Airworthiness Engineer

Dave joined the Royal Air Force as an apprentice in 1989, serving through the ranks to Warrant Officer. Serving on 3(F), 7, 18 and 18/27 flying Squadrons as a first line Engineer. Through his career he has also worked at Depth Engineering embodying Paveway IV modifications on the Harrier, the Chinook Maintenance School as the Flight Systems Avionics Instructor, the Chinook Engineering Design and Implementation Team for the Chinook Delivery Team, as Avionics Trade Manager and Rectification Controller on 18/27 Sqn, Sqn Quality Assurance Co-ordinator and Flight Sgt Support on 7 Sqn, as the A400M Delivery Team WO. The majority of his service has been on 7 Sqn working on all marks of Chinook from Mk1 aircraft through to the Mark 6. During his service he has completed numerous overseas operational tours supporting Chinook and Harrier, including in the Balkan’s, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and the Falklands. His time on the A400M was as the A400M Delivery Team WO leading and managing the delivery of the Ground Support Systems and supporting DT leadership. As a Specialist Engineer for the A400M DT he provided airworthiness assurance, regulatory compliance, project management and platform cyber security as the A400M Security Officer. His final role in Service was as Warrant Officer for the Engineering Support Squadron at RAF Odiham managing the Armament Eng Flight, Component Eng Flight, Chinook Maintenance Flt, Ground Eng Flt and Survival Equipment Flight. Before leaving the Service after 33 years in November 2022. Dave joined AR in February 2023.

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Martin Scrafield

Quality System
and Airworthiness Engineer

Martin joined Aviation Requirements in Early 2023 after serving 22 years in Army Aviation, he has gained extensive Air Engineering experience on rotary JHC assets through his military career. Martin has had various roles in aviation including first and second line maintenance on Lynx Mk 7, 9, Gazelle, Apache MK1 helicopters and small UAV’s. After a posting in a design and trials Sqn, Martin trained and become lead repairer in 1710 NAS where he carried out structural repairs on Tri Service rotary wing assets. He then returned to front line and took the role of Crew Chief, delivering the Army’s new Apache Echo model. Throughout Martin’s career he has carried out different levels of Quality Assurance whilst carrying out Continuing Airworthiness Management activities.

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