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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

Jeremy Awenat display picture

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

Mark Abbey display picture

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 41 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

Simon Underwood display picture

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 36 years of financial experience and is a Fellow of the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Thomas Hill

Head of Technical Services (CAMO)

Thomas Hill display picture

As the Head of Technical Services (CAMO), Thomas 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.

With a robust background in CAMO and expertise in aircraft import/export and management, Thomas brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role where he leads Part CAMO. His proficiency in managing various helicopters spans across a spectrum of operation types.

Thomas has a wealth of rotary-wing experience spanning over 11 years.

Matt Rogers

Head of Airframes and Systems

Matt Rogers display picture

As the Head of Airframes and Systems, Matt oversees the intricacies of maintenance planning, navigates regulatory requirements, and ensures we keep our maintenance standards high.

Matt joined Sloane back in 2009, achieving his licence in 2017. Five years later Matt took on the role of Hangar Supervisor, before progressing to his current position as Head of Airframes and Systems.

With a B1.3 licence, Matt is type-rated on the Leonardo AW109 and the Robinson fleet of helicopters comprising R22, R44 and R66.

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

Mike Tripp display picture

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.