Friday, June 06, 2008

F/Lt 'Al' Alan Richard Pollock 1936-

Alan Pollock was the pilot who flew a Hawker Hunter through the middle of Tower Bridge on April 5, 1968. His daredevil antics caused a storm of controversy at the time, but the Royal Air Force refused to court martial him, preferring, instead to have a Medical Board discharge him.

He was not court martialled, he claims, because his outspoken views on the fighting effectiveness of the Royal Air Force and the lack of RAF 50th anniversary flying celebrations in l968, might provide embarassing publicity. It has also since transpired that his one-man anniversary display inadvertently co-incided with the recently exposed 'coup plot' against Prime Minister Harold Wilson's Labour Government.

A graduate prizewinner from RAF Training College Cranwell, Al Pollock was a fighter leader and instructor and saw active operational service in the Middle East and served as Aide-de-Camp to a NATO Air Commander. One of the three pre-formation founders of the Red Arrows aerobatic team, he held the rare 'exceptional' RAF fast jet pilot rating.