Ross Priday

As a Squadron Leader and Senior Engineer Officer for the Red Arrows, Ross had responsibility for all engineering and logistical matters for the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.  He led his 100-strong engineering team through the trauma of 2 fatal accidents in 2011, an experience which challenged his leadership abilities to the utmost extremes.

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Ross joined the Royal Air Force in 1989 as an aircraft engineer. He was commissioned as an officer in 2001. He was Officer Commanding Aircraft Maintenance Flight at Royal Air Force Kinloss and in 2003 went out of area on Operation TELIC to Iraq with the Nimrod MR2. Following this operational tour he completed a further tour at RAF Kinloss in Fleet Planning.

In 2006 he was then posted to BAES Warton in Lancashire as the Royal Air Force Liaison Officer for the Typhoon upgrade programme. During this time he had responsibility for the acceptance and dispatch of aircraft to and from operational Royal Air Force Typhoon squadrons and for the development of the Typhoon in-service support contracts, working closely with BAE Systems.

Promoted to Squadron Leader in 2007, he took up the role of Engineering Authority for Tornado General Systems with responsibility for the safety and reliability of both Tornado GR4 and F3 systems. This role involved dealing with both the German and Italian Air Forces for the introduction of aircraft modifications.

In 2009 Ross was then posted to Royal Air Force Lossiemouth as the Executive Officer for Engineering Wing where he was responsible for Fleet Planning and for the prioritisation and co-ordination of maintenance activity on the Tornado GR4 force in Scotland. During this time he supported overseas deployments to Afghanistan, North America and Canada.

In 2010 Ross was selected to be the Senior Engineer Officer for the Red Arrows and served almost 3 years with the famous squadron, leading the famous 'Blues' engineering team.  

In 2013 Ross was promoted again to Wing Commander and is now the Deputy Hawk Type Airworthiness Authority with responsibility for all MoD Hawk aircraft operations.

A keen sportsman, Ross enjoys running and weight training and he has completed several marathons and other 'ultra' long-distance running events. His other interests include fishing, horse riding and watching Moto GP motorcycle racing.

Through a series of engaging key note lectures and entertaining slide shows, Ross talks frankly and passionately about his time in the RAF and particularly about his time with the iconic Red Arrows display team and about how losing 2 close friends in fatal aircraft accidents challenged his leadership skills, his decision-making and his own self-belief.  

His presentations contain unique photos and video footage from the Red Arrows archives and his own personal anecdotes and recollections of his time with the team provide insight into the behind-the-scenes efforts to deliver the team's motto of Éclat, or Excellence.  

From a working class background background and leaving school with few qualifications, Ross modestly and openly talks about what inspired him to be successful in his chosen career and about how he refused to accept defeat when school teachers and his first RAF bosses told him that he would never make a success of himself.  

Having served nearly 25 years in the RAF, Ross is now married with 2 young sons, and lives on his farm in Wales.  He lectures and presents to a wide variety of audiences all over the world on a variety of military, aviation, leadership and air safety related topics.

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