Mike Thomas

Mike was raised in Woolgoolga on the north coast of NSW and schooled at Coffs Harbour. He served nine years as an engineer in the RAAF. He went on to spend the next ten years teaching scuba diving in Cairns, Whitsundays, Fiji and Hawaii and as a co-owner of a dive operation in Cairns, running underwater photography courses from a 60-foot charter boat.

He returned to aviation in 1992, obtaining his helicopter licence, and spent 25 years operating helicopters in Police, Air Ambulance, Search and Rescue, Marine pilot transfers, target recovery and oil and gas operations, amassing an enormous 6000 hours flying time. He has flown in Queensland, Western Australia, the Middle East, Solomon Islands, and spent ten years flying in the UK.

Mike began building and flying remote piloted aircraft in 2016 while based in Gladstone on an Air Ambulance contract and quickly progressed into teaching the RePL licence. He joined the Ripper Group as full-time Lead Instructor in September 2018 and brings a wealth of training and operational experience to the team.

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