Our Team

“In a time of unprecedented uncertainty, we’re here to help pilots get through the turbulence, minimise hardship, and maximise their chances of remaining in a profession they love – and one which will be critical to the global recovery”

We are PilotsTogether

Supporting pilots whose livelihoods have been impacted by Covid-19

The global aviation industry is going through the most challenging chapter in its history. The impact of Covid-19 on airlines around the world is unprecedented and will be felt for years to come. Thousands of redundancies have already been announced across the industry – and many more may follow.

PilotsTogether is a charity established by current pilots and their supporters. Our goal is to ensure that pilots made redundant from UK-based airlines remain a part of our community, retain the skills they already have and to help them gain new ones, and ultimately find new jobs.  We also aim to ensure that no former colleagues face significant financial hardship. We are a new charity, established in summer 2020 in response to the impact of Covid-19 on our community.

Steve Ehrlich

Chairman

I am a marketing and advertising professional with more than 25 years experience building brands, go-to-market strategies, and communications plans that deliver results for Fortune 100 and FTSE 100 companies.

I’ve worked across diverse industry sectors including aviation, finance, technology, manufacturing, professional services, and more.

As an American living in London, I found myself (pre COVID-19) on an airplane 150 times a year and, in the course of my travels, I met and befriended many working in the airline industry. As a trustee for PilotsTogether I am able to bring my passion, insight, and network to bear for those in need due to COVID-19.

I have previously been involved in advisory roles with organizations including SIFE (now known as ENACTUS) and the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI).

Callum Harwood

Secretary

I helped to found this charity from the grass roots in the face of a desperate situation developing amongst our colleagues.

I have an impeccable sense of fairness and a long history of representing and defending others. A veteran of redundancy myself, I have strong empathy with those facing the worst and commit my full efforts to supporting colleagues in need.

Nick Soulsby

Treasurer

I am a Chartered Accountant with over 30 Years' experience. During this time I have worked in a variety of fields, latterly financial services.

I am also trustee of a London based charity which provides recreational and educational activities to children during out of school hours.

Adrian Powell

CIO / IT

Having gained a PPL a week after my 17th birthday I was lucky enough to get sponsored to join a major UK airline, dropping out of a software engineering degree to be able to start flying before the first gulf war.

I survived the downturns from the second gulf war, 9/11, foot and mouth, SARS and Lehman Brothers but Covid-19 is something else. I volunteered my services as a self-taught web-design enthusiast to produce this website, and now look after all of the IT concerns for the charity.

Katy Lee

Wellbeing

I am a professional pilot working with a major UK airline on the 737. With a Masters in Human Factors in Aviation, well-being and pilot mental health are my real passions.

Having previously flown the Q400 for Flybe, and seen many of my friends deal with redundancy as a result, I know it’s purely luck that I’m not in the same situation. Being able to contribute a little to help those individuals struggling in the current climate seems the least I can do.

One key aspect of well-being is making sure that those pilots not currently flying still feel part of the aviation family, and supported by us, and that is key to what I want to help achieve.

Paul Grainger

Community

My name is Paul Grainger and I’m a 320 First Officer with a major UK based airline having previously worked for a large low cost carrier around Europe.

I’m one of a group of pilots and non-pilots helping to set up the PilotsTogether charity. My focus is on keeping in touch with those in the Priority Return Pool and providing them with the support being offered by PilotsTogether.

I’m always happy to talk and help, subject to my baby and toddler playing ball.

Jonny Gierhart

Training / Volunteers

I have been a short-haul pilot for a major UK based carrier for four and a half years, joining through their cadet scheme.

I have seen first hand what the COVID crisis has done to aviation, with many sleepless nights worrying about being made redundant. As things stand, I have been fortunate to keep my job, unlike numerous friends from my training days who have sadly lost theirs.

For many of us flying isn’t just a job - it ends up defining our lifestyle. For this reason, I decided to help PilotsTogether ensure those unfortunate enough to have lost their job remain part of our community.

In my spare time I aspire to go skiing and SCUBA diving as often as possible, but lately all I seem to be doing is looking after my lockdown impulse buy (Otis the Labrador).

Claire Hood

Legal

Elayne Grimes

Communications

I am a strategic communications professional with a track record of success in a number of UK Police forces having also worked in NATO and the OSCE, with Governments in the Balkans and Middle East and as a member of the Royal Household working for Her Majesty the Queen. I believe I can bring a broad knowledge of skills and experience to the team coupled with a spot of av geekery.

Having been made redundant myself, it’s important to realise that this can lead to other opportunities and that step into the unknown has allowed me to dip my toes in the volunteer sector which I absolutely love, sharing and gifting my knowledge, support and experience with the people I work alongside.

I am always looking for ways to promote the organisations I work with, move them forward and exploit opportunities to raise their profile which I hope to do with fellow Trustees of PilotsTogether.

Life Motto: a day without a laugh is a day wasted.

Graham Braithwaite

Trustee

I am University Professor working mainly in aviation safety and as the Accountable Manager of an unusual flying operation. I am also the independent safety adviser to the board of two major UK airlines. I have witnessed the effects of major downturns on aviation want to contribute to do my bit to care.

Georgina Thomas-Watson

Amelia Powell

Editor

I am the Editor of a UK veterinary magazine with a strong interest in aviation.

Growing up with a father who is a pilot and a mother who was a flight attendant, I had the opportunity to travel to many great places and meet a lot of people in the industry. I hope to get my PPL in the future and decided to lend my expertise to the growing PilotsTogether community as editor on the website.

I also volunteer as Editor-in-Chief for an international undergraduate peer-reviewed journal, the Journal of Young Investigators, and am a keen kickboxer and ice skater.

Phil Ashton

I'm currently a professional pilot for a major UK-based airline. As a self-sponsored 'late starter' I've previously worked across engineering and operations arenas in both technical and managerial roles.

In addition to line flying I currently work as a trainer and support agent for the airline's rostering system. I've previously hosted simulator practise sessions allowing pilots to maintain their skills. As a pilot for a renowned flying with confidence programme, I've helped many customers overcome their fear of flying.
My motivation to get involved with PilotsTogether stems from my desire to help people get the best out of the dire situation that Covid-19 has thrust into our laps. My career in aviation spans 24 years and I've seen first hand the turmoil caused by 9/11 and the 2008 financial crash. I will do all I can to support those being made redundant to help navigate their way to a brighter future.

Ian Walker

Volunteer

I’m one of the co-founders of PilotsTogether and was a founding Trustee. The principle to form the charity started as simple one - pilots helping pilots.

My involvement with this important cause was to try and do something positive to help those fellow pilots who are experiencing the devastating effects of losing their jobs; to try and help alleviate the distress and uncertainty that job loss brings.
I have twenty-four years’ experience as an airline pilot and I’m currently a Captain on the Airbus A320 working for a major international U.K. based airline. I also serve as Chair of Trustees and volunteer with an independent education and heritage conservation charity bringing with it experience in charity governance, fundraising, volunteer oversight, media, public engagement and voluntary work.

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