Olympian Roger is flying high again

Pilot Roger Cruickshank, originally from Torphins.
Pilot Roger Cruickshank, originally from Torphins.

A former Olympic skier from Deeside was flying high again as one of the RAF pilots involved in the E11R flypast over Windsor in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Roger Cruickshank, 29, originally of Torphins, said he was “delighted and honoured” to have been part of the event.

“This was definitely one for the grandkids!” he said. “To be part of this event was incredible because I was the captain of the aircraft and was flying it. There were two of us in the Hawk but I was doing the hands-on flying.

“It was very bumpy and the weather was marginal so it was rewarding, as on the day, we nailed it.

“The plane is literally three paces from the aircraft in front but it’s the kind of thing we do every day and formation flying is a very important part of military flying.”

Roger represented GB in the downhill and Super G at the 2006 Winter Olympics. He then concentrated on his pilot training while continuing to race for the RAF.

Undefeated in forces races, he retired from competitive skiing at the end of last season although is still active in the sport as RAF head ski coach. After announcing his retirement from ski racing he was surprised and delighted to be awarded the Delaney lifetime achievement award for services to the sport.

In July, after finishing his tour as a flying instructor with 208 squadron, Roger, who is based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, will then move on to weapons training which will then determine if he moves onto the Eurofighter Typhoon or the Tornado GR4.