Helicopter Services team

Captain Ian Payne

Flight Operations Director

Ian served 15 years in the Royal Navy in a variety of appointments, latterly flying aircraft carrier based Sea King helicopters in roles that included Anti-Submarine Warfare Instructor and Airborne Early Warning.
Ian left to work for Police Aviation Services in both management and UK wide flying roles subsequently joining Devon and Cornwall Police as an operational pilot and head of air operations in 2000.
He joined DAA in 2014 and flew at both Exeter and Eaglescott bases until enforced ‘retirement’ from flying in 2016. Ian is responsible for overseeing all aspects of operational flying, training and engineering support.

Jesse Konstam

Chief Training Captain

I am the Chief Training Captain for Devon Air Ambulance Trading Company Limited I joined in November 2017, though my association with the Devon Air Ambulance goes back to 2001 when I used to fly here as a touring pilot. I also trained the first two pilots when the charity bought their first aircraft.
My role is to ensure that all aircrew retain currency in all the required aviation-related. There are over 20 checks that need renewing. Some are six-monthly and some are every three years.
I am also an examiner and conduct checks on all our pilots (helped by Steve Day). Between us we ensure that standards are maintained among the aircrew to keep everyone safe.

Steve Rush

Senior Pilot

Steve first obtained my pilot’s licence at 17. His first flying job was in the Royal Navy. On leaving the Navy he moved to the North Sea oil rigs, flying from Aberdeen. Whilst flying the North Sea he used his military fixed wing hours to obtain a Commercial Fixed wing licence.

In 1999 Steve moved to air ambulance flying with the Scottish Air Ambulance based in Inverness.

In 2000 he became the first pilot for the Wales Air Ambulance, based at Swansea Airport.

In 2005 he became the Chief Pilot for South Wales and Gwent Police, additionally flying various other roles including for air ambulance, underslung missile recovery and mast inspection.

In 2009 he joined Devon Air Ambulance as a line pilot at the Exeter airbase, Middlemoor Police HQ.

Steve has been the Devon Air Ambulance Senior Pilot since 2016.

Captain Rob Mackie

Safety Manager

Born in Paignton, Devon. Rob joined the Army in 1971 as an Aircraft Technician (Airframes & Engines). He undertook the Army Pilots course 1981-2. and went on extended tour on an SA341 Gazelle and AH1 Scout helicopters. He left the Army in 1987 and worked on offshore oil rigs from Aberdeen flying the AS332L Super Puma. Rob transferred to Humberside in 1990, flying the Southern sector gas rigs from Humberside, Blackpool and Strubby with AS365C and 365N helicopters. He then came to Devon Air Ambulance in 1993 as Senior Pilot on the BO105 and latterly EC135 helicopters. Latterly, ROb retired from flying at age 60.

Jeff Glover

Aircraft Engineer

I joined the Devon Air Ambulance in June 2014 as a Licenced Aircraft Engineer having previously worked in Police Aviation with over 30 years’ experience in the helicopter maintenance world. I am responsible for overseeing the day to day maintenance and Continuing Airworthiness of our helicopters.

Craig Bisset

Pilot

Craig joined Devon Air Ambulance in Feb 2019 having spent the previous 2 years flying from Exeter Airport for the National Police Air Service. He started flying helicopters in 2002 and has had a varied civilian flying background that includes utility operations, law enforcement, flight training and offshore oil & gas, all of which have been an invaluable pathway towards HEMS. Day to day Craig flies as aircraft commander, predominantly from Exeter, but also covers the occasional shift at the North Devon Airbase.

Steve Day

Pilot

I grew up around aviation, spending my free time doing odd jobs at the local airfield in return for flying lessons. I flew my first solo flight on my 17th birthday – I could fly before I could drive – and qualified soon afterwards. I was lucky enough to be part of a sponsorship scheme operated by Bond Helicopters which enabled me to earn my commercial Helicopter Pilots Licence at 18. Since then, I’ve flown small, medium and large helicopters in various industries around the world, including offshore, police, HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service), aerial filming and lighthouse utility support – and first flew for DAA as a relief pilot in 2004. Having spent some time flying a police helicopter for the Cayman Islands Government, I returned to the UK and, after flying as a relief pilot for DAA, I was lucky enough to become a permanent member of the crew at the end of 2018.

Richie Tate

Pilot

Richard oined the British Army September 1988, serving in the Blues & Royals (Household Cavalry) until April 2000. During this time he served in Germany, Windsor, Knightsbridge and Bosnia, working up from mounted ceremonial duties, tank gunner, tank commander then finishing as a phase 2 instructor.
In April 2000 Richard began his flying career. After finishing the Army Pilots course he was posted to Wattisham (669 Sqn) flying Lynx Mk7/9, mostly in the anti tank roll.
From February 2006 he moved to Odiham (657 Sqn) flying Lynx Mk7. Most of this time was spent in Iraq or Afghanistan supporting UKSF in various rolls.
In October 2008 Richard moved to Hereford (8 Flt) flying the Dauphin N3 helicopter. This time was spent in UK supporting UKSF where he attained significant experience flying solo day/night, solo NVG and a lot of instrument flying.
On leaving the forces in late 2011 Richard joined Devon & Cornwall Police at Exeter. This was the best place to wait for a vacancy with Devon Air Ambulance, which occured in spring 2015.

Ross White

Pilot

Ross is a former Royal Navy helicopter pilot who flew the Merlin Mk1 & Mk2 based at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall where he tool part in operations involving Anti Submarine Warfare, counter-piracy, smuggling and anti-terrorism. As an instructor Ross taught the basics of helicopter flying to all three services at RAF Shawbury as well as operational skills and techniques at sea and ashore. He left the forces in 2015 and following a year flying for the North West Air Ambulance in Manchester, Ross joined Devon Air Ambulance in May 2016. Based primarily at Exeter Airport, he flies both day and night operational flights. As a member of the Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch he keeps up to date with military procedures and tasks. Ross is soon to qualify as a Crew Resource Management Trainer following which he will help to keep all team members current in human factors and flight safety subject matter.

Mike Wong

Pilot

Tilda Woodward

Pilot