Header image: W.O. Kev Ball (left) and Flt Sgt ‘Deano’ McAllister (right) are both moving on from the BBMF. (Photos: RAF Coningsby Photo Section Crown Copyright)
The BBMF engineering management team has recently experienced several significant changes in personnel.
Warrant Officer Kev Ball has been in charge of the BBMF engineering team since he joined the Flight as the BBMF Senior Engineering Officer (SEngO) in September 2012. He originally joined the RAF as a propulsion technician in 1980 and subsequently worked on Vulcans, Nimrods, Tornados, Harriers and Merlin and Puma helicopters before joining the BBMF five years ago. As the BBMF SEngO he has overseen the engineering of the Flight’s aircraft through good times and bad. Major successes include the D-Day 70th commemorations and the two Lancasters UK tour in 2014, and the high-profile Battle of Britain 75th anniversary commemorations in 2015. He has also had to contend with the challenges created by modern RAF engineering regulations, the engine fire on the BBMF Lancaster in May 2015 and various other technical issues affecting the BBMF aircraft engines.
Kev is now retiring from regular RAF service and becoming a Full-time Reservist Flight Sergeant. His new job at RAF Cranwell will be to provide RAF oversight of the civilian contractors maintaining the new fleet of Embraer Phenom 100 very light business jets, which will provide multi-engine advanced pilot training under the new Military Flying Training System contract. Kev’s calm and authoritative style, and his experience and expertise with the BBMF aircraft will be missed at the BBMF.
In all that he has done with the BBMF, Kev Ball has been ably supported by his Flight Sergeant, ‘Deano’ McAllister. ‘Deano’ joined the RAF in 1987 as an airframes and propulsion technician. He worked on SAR Sea King helicopters and then, for many years, with the Harrier Force. He joined the BBMF as the Junior Engineering Officer in 2013 and has been an absolute stalwart in the engineering team. Deano’s talents have not gone unnoticed beyond the BBMF and he has now been promoted to Warrant Officer. He is moving to a new role at RAF Waddington, helping to set up and run a new joint engineering training school to train technicians on all of the RAF’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target acquisition, and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) aircraft types.
I know that Club members will join us in thanking Kev Ball and ‘Deano’ McAllister for their service with the Flight and wishing them all the best for the future in their new jobs.
The complexities of engineering the BBMF aircraft under the modern Military Aviation Authority regulatory framework have prompted the RAF to conclude that the BBMF Senior Engineering Officer should be a Squadron Leader. As a result, Squadron Leader Luke Waskett-Booth has been in post as the BBMF SEngO for some four months. The new BBMF Warrant Officer is Chris York. The replacement BBMF Flight Sergeant is yet to be appointed