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Meet the Team

View profiles of key members of the Sloane team below.

David George


David George display picture

David George is the founder, owner and Chairman of Sloane Helicopters.

Since Sloane Helicopters’ inception, David has continually evolved the Company to meet the growing market needs. The Company’s first helicopter was an AgustaBell 47J and this was replaced by a Hughes 500 in 1972. In 1973, six Hiller 12Es joined the fleet and were used for crop spraying and forestry contracts throughout the UK. In 1976, David saw great potential in the new Robinson R22 and obtained the exclusive UK and Ireland distributorship for Robinson helicopters and the first Robinson R22 was delivered to the UK in 1979. In 1995, Sloane Helicopters became the sole UK and Ireland Distributor and a Service Centre for Leonardo Helicopters (formerly AgustaWestland).

David has been a Council Member of British Helicopter Association since 1971, is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and has over 50 years of aviation experience.

Jeremy Awenat

Managing Director

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As the Managing Director, Jeremy is responsible for directing and controlling all of the Company’s operations.

Prior to taking up his current position in 2006, Jeremy served as Managing Director of the Specialist Aviation Services group of companies. His previous experience includes serving as General Manager (Sales & Marketing) with World Aviation Support, a medium sized jet and turboprop maintenance facility, and working as Commercial and Marketing Manager for British International Helicopters, who primarily provided helicopter support for the offshore oil and gas industry. Jeremy’s aviation career began with a short career commission in the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm before serving a further period with the Air Branch of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Mark Abbey

Operations Director

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As the Operations Director, Mark oversees all Operational areas of the Company including Maintenance, Part M, Logistics, Flight Operations and Flight Training.

Before joining Sloane, Mark was the CEO for CHC EMEA, where he was also the UK CAA AOC Accountable Manager. He initially joined CHC as Regional Director for Western North Seas, before taking on additional territories. Prior to his 10-year period at CHC, Mark was the Managing Director at Hampson Aerospace. His aviation career first commenced in 1980 as an Engineering Apprentice with BAE Systems where he then stayed for 16 years. During his time at BAE, Mark became responsible for all manufacturing processes.

Mark is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and has a wealth of aviation industry experience spanning over 40 years.

John Parnell

Director of Sales and Marketing

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John is responsible for Leonardo and Robinson helicopter sales and managing Sloane Helicopters’ wider sales and marketing activities.

In 2015 John worked for Milestone Aviation, gaining invaluable experience in helicopter financing and leasing. Prior to this, John worked for Leonardo for seven years in a variety of international government and UK commercial business roles. John was responsible for the UK and Ireland market for Leonardo. He led all commercial activity and introduced new helicopter fleets to leading operators in a variety of market segments, including EMS, SAR and UK MoD, whilst also working closely with Sloane in the corporate market. John started his aviation career as a UK military pilot, mainly flying Lynx helicopters and gaining broad operational and management experience.

A graduate from University of Newcastle, John has a BA (Hons) in Business Management.

Simon Underwood

Finance Director

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Simon is responsible for leading the finance department and managing the company accounts when he is not playing golf.

Simon was appointed Finance Director in 2015 having joined Sloane Helicopters in 2014 after a year with Patisserie Holdings PLC. From 2006 to 2013, Simon was the Finance Director of both Best Deal Insurance and Hannah, where he directed the accounting, compliance and administrative functions. Prior to this, Simon was Finance Director of the Abbott Group leading the accounting and purchasing function. Simon’s finance career began in 1988 when he joined and trained with MacIntyre Hudson. During his 16-year employment, he spent the initial term as an auditor and then progressed to Group Accountant for the practice and both the internal and external groups of associated companies at the head office in Milton Keynes.

Simon has over 35 years of financial experience and is a Fellow of the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Andy Kitchen

Head of Aircraft and Project Services

Andy Kitchen display picture

As the Head of Aircraft and Project Services, Andy brings extensive expertise and leadership to the engineering department, driving it towards future opportunities and growth.

Prior to joining Sloane, Andy played a crucial role as a key member of the engineering team at AirTanker, RAF Brize Norton. Starting his journey as a B1 Engineer, he demonstrated exceptional skills and dedication, leading to multiple promotions within the organisation. Andy's impressive career at AirTanker spanned over 12 years, culminating in his appointment as the Modification Manager and subsequently as the MRO Technical Operations Manager. Andy's aviation experience extends beyond AirTanker when he briefly served as an A Licenced Aircraft Mechanic at AOG before taking up the position of Engine Inspector A400M Flight Test Program at ITP. Throughout his career, he has worked as an Aircraft Technician for esteemed aviation companies such as Marshall Aerospace and KLM. Notably, Andy kick-started his aviation career in 2002 joining the RAF as an aircraft technician.

With over 21 years of industry experience, Andy holds both a UK CAA and EASA B1/C aircraft maintenance licence. He has also earned a distinguished CEng accreditation with the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Dave King

Head of Electrical and Avionics

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As the Head of Electrical and Avionics, Dave’s responsibilities include managing the avionic and electrical engineering projects across all of Sloane's engineering bases.

Dave first joined Sloane in 2001 as the Avionics Supervisor, before moving to the MET Police as the Deputy Engineering Manager in 2007. In 2014 Dave returned to Sloane as the Deputy Chief Engineer. With a wealth of avionics experience, Dave has previously been employed as an Avionics Mechanic at DTEO Boscombe Down, Monarch and Cranfield Aerospace.

With B1, B2 and C licences, Dave has over 33 years of aviation experience and has type ratings on various aircraft including the AW109 series.

Gary Spender

Head of Flight Operations

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Gary is accountable for remote operations at the Coventry and East Midlands helicopter bases and is responsible for ad-hoc HEMS operations as well as flight operations at Sloane's Sywell facility.

Gary worked as a freelance flying instructor for Sloane between 2002 and 2004. He returned in 2013 when he was appointed Chief Pilot. Prior to his current post with Sloane, Gary was employed as Chief Pilot and Head of Training for London Helicopter Centre where he was responsible for the flying operations at five bases in the UK. Gary’s career has included spells of freelance instructing for Biggin Hill Helicopters, Eastern Helicopters, Helisport UK and Patriot Aviation.

Gary is a Type Rating Examiner on the Leonardo AW109 series, the Bell 206 series, the Robinson R22 and the Robinson R44. He won the British Helicopter Association ‘Eric Brown Award’ in 2008 for his work in promoting helicopter safety in the UK.

Mike Tripp

Safety and Compliance Manager

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Mike is the Safety and Compliance Manager responsible for maintaining the company’s Safety Management System and ensuring full accreditation with Sloane’s multiple approvals.

Mike is an accomplished aviation engineer and manager with over 34 years’ experience of working in both commercial and military organisations. He is an unrestricted CAA Part 66 B1.3 and C Licenced aircraft engineer with rotary and fixed wing experience. Mike first joined the Sloane team in January 2020 as an engineer and has since been regularly promoted to his current position.

In addition to his aviation experience, Mike is also a Master Scuba Diver, and an avid supporter of both Sheffield Wednesday Football Club and the Mercedes F1 team.

Steven Parker-Williams

Continuing Airworthiness Manager

Steven Parker-Williams display picture

As Continuing Airworthiness Manager (CAM), Steven is responsible for ensuring that maintenance undertaken on all aircraft operated or managed by Sloane Helicopters is carried out on time and to an approved standard.

Before joining Sloane, Steven served as the Fleet Technical Manager at Specialist Aviation Services, where he held postholder positions as the Maintenance Manager, and more recently, the CAM. He initially joined Specialist Aviation Services as a Licensed Field engineer and progressed within his role to Maintenance Manager, before becoming the postholder for the Airworthiness Department. Steven’s previous aviation experience includes serving in the Fleet Air Arm for 14 years before joining FB Heliservices at the Defence Helicopter Training School at RAF Shawbury, where he acquired his aircraft engineering licence.

Steven has a wealth of rotary-wing experience spanning over 30 years and is type rated on the AS350, MD902, BO105 and AW169 helicopters.