About Mandy

Mandy Hickson, a former Royal Air Force fast jet pilot, is now a motivational and keynote speaker.

As one of the first female pilots on her frontline Tornado GR4 squadron, flying multi-million pound fast jets for the Royal Air Force, she worked in a constantly challenging, yet exhilarating environment. She offers a unique insight into this elite world, supported by anecdotes about her time on the front line.

Throughout, she demonstrates only too well the importance of remaining calm under pressure and leading, quite literally, from the front, in order to get the best from herself and her team.


 It is with frankness and humour that she talks about the strategies she employed to succeed in such a demanding environment.

She has boundless energy, an overriding purpose of the end goal and she truly believes that with hard work and self-belief anyone can achieve their ambitions.


As a speaker Mandy puts a huge amount of energy, creativity and passion into what she does, working with clients on an individual basis means she can create an event that is truly unique and memorable.

Mandy brings a wealth of insights from her years serving on the operational front line, where a keen sense of humour has been the key to her success and survival.


  • Mandy

    Saw and heard you in Belfast castle today and thought you were a great speaker.

    The audience agreed with me.

    To think you have flown these beautiful jets over hostlile landscapes and lived to tell the tale is incredible.

    How fast did you need to react when travelling at 600 odd miles an hour is hard to imagine.

    I will remember the time you told about the training using bikes in the hangar – amazing!

    I would have loved to fly fast jets just as much as I would love the opportunity to have flown those bi planes from the 1920’s.

    I am a Management Accountant and will now check with the CIMA NI Board to see if we could hear you in the future.

    Many many thanks for today.

    Warmest wishes

    Nigel Patterson

    Nigel Patterson13/12/2013
  • I have just returned from hearing Mandy speak at the Cornwall Federation of W I in Truro, Cornwall. We were all fascinated listening and laughing with Mandy. The hour just flew by. Thank you Mandy sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk to you afterwards.

    St Breward WI

    Bonny Bryan08/10/2014
    • Thank you Bonny-It was a real pleasure to join you. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit and the wonderful WI hospitality.

      Mandy Hickson10/10/2014
  • Saw and heard you today at Tunbridge Wells and your delivery etc can only be described as fab-u-loud as you danced through the skies. Most enjoyable and brilliant day. Will recommend you to local societies.

    Anne Senneck

    Anne Senneck25/03/2015
  • Many thanks for your wonderful talk you gave today at the East kent annual council meeting at Margate, I am sure I speak for all WI members attending.Best wishes Chris Cleaves ,Stubbs Cross,Ashford..

    Chris Cleaves25/03/2015
  • Listened to Mandy today at the WI East Kent Fed. What an amazing speaker, I could have listened to her all afternoon…she was so interesting, humorous and inspiring. If I had been a young girl I would have been so inspired by her and my career might have taken a different path. I would love to hear her speak again. Keep it up Mandy. What a lovely lady

    • Thanks Rosemary- I really enjoyed speaking to you all-it’s always such a great pleasure joining the lovely ladies of the WI

      Mandy Hickson25/03/2015
  • Mandy, you were absolutely brilliant yesterday morning at the East Kent FWI at Margate. Very inspirational and very, very funny. I have not enjoyed listening to a speaker, like you, for a very long time. Thank you.

    Kaye merrywest26/03/2015
  • I also heard Mandy speak at the WI East Kent Federation ACM at Margate on Wednesday 25th March. Mandy’s mother told her she was good at talking about her work and how right she was. I was totally absorbed in her story of determination and commitment. Such an inspiring story and the photos and video clips were stunning. Even now as a silver haired senior she made me think about future goals and how we all achieve more working as a team. I just hope that her son never gets to hear about his inclusion in her talk and how we all laughed!

  • Thank you Mandy for such an interesting and inspiring talk at the East Kent W.I. annual meeting at Margate which I so enjoyed and could have listened to you for a longer session. With very best wishes Connie Brockhurst.

    Connie Brockhurst26/03/2015
  • Hello Mandy
    Inspirational presentation at Kent West Kent Annual Council Meeting yesterday, but must say walking round Buttermere or on the mountaintops when you went over was slightly unnerving!!
    Aim high and Follow your Dreams a wonderful message,who knows want can be achieved …thank you.

    Liz McDermott26/03/2015
  • Thank you Mandy for a wonderfully entertaining and inspirational talk, delivered with a real sense of humour at West Kent WI’s Annual Meeting. I was lucky enough to attend as a guest and enjoyed a wonderful day including a quick tea with you at lunch.
    Please keep up the wonderful talk in schools and hopefully young women will be inspired with the confidence to pursue their dreams.
    All best wishes, Karen ( retired ATCO)

    Karen Yates26/03/2015
  • Saw Mandy at Dogs Trust conference and it was very funny and inspiring, thank you for sharing your amazing life with us, many wishes suzanne

    suzanne mulholland16/04/2015
  • Would love to say a massive thank you to Mandy for coming to The Romsey School today and being our inspirational speaker! Throughout the whole hour Mandy spoke to us, my jaw was on the floor. Hearing all the different stories she told us put a smile on my face. Hearing that she never gave up and kept bouncing back made me realise that’s what I need to do! Never give up. I came running home from school telling my family about everything she told us, they were as amazed as I was. She has really inspired me and opened up so many more doors up for me in my future education. I am now in love with Mandy’s logo and going to live by it!

    Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing speech.
    Emily Roberts.

    Emily Roberts19/06/2015
  • Mandy,

    Thank you for such a wonderful experience! You are really doing a great job and I’m glad that today I attended Riverside’s conference. It was worth it! You reminded me about my long term goals and inspired me not only to dream about them but act.
    Thank you for inspiring me!


    • Thanks Madara
      I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed the session and that it inspired you to act on those goals.
      Good luck!

      Mandy Hickson07/10/2015
  • So enjoyed your talk at the DFWI Spring Council in Chesterfield last week. I have been telling so many people about it. the standing ovation was well deserved.

    Elaine Ward13/03/2016
    • Thanks so much Elaine, it was an absolute pleasure to join you all!

      Mandy Hickson13/03/2016
  • Just heard you speak in Portsmouth today it was great speech thank you. As a former RAF Officer I only attended the meeting to listen to your talk it was certainly worth the effort. I was recruiting for the RAF when they made the decision to train female pilots, I remember how hard we at worked at that time to get equal pay, equal rights (even the full use of the RAF Club was denied to us) when you and the other girls made it on to front line squadrons we were so proud of you all. Showed those men we were equal. I loved my time in the service even if unlike you I was chopped. Probably for the best an air traffic controller who doesn’t know left from right is a bit of a hazard!! I do remember the pilots at Shawbury trying to help me on my last approach test in the tower asking me so quietly if it was my right or theirs Bless them. Luckily the RAF gave me the chance to retrain. Thank you once again fantastic speech.

    Sara Boyd22/03/2016
    • Thank you so much for your hard work at the time. We are all very thankful for it. I’m so pleased you enjoyed my presentation, it is always such a pleasure to join the lovely ladies of the WI!

      Mandy Hickson22/03/2016
  • I was in the Portsmouth Guildhall today and found your presentation awe inspiring! You spoke for over an hour (seemed like minutes) and the whole of the audience was captivated – the applause at the end spoke volumes. Thank you so much.

    Angela Brice22/03/2016
  • Mandy , I saw you speak today at the Senior Women in Policing conference and at the end I wanted to stand up and cheer.. You are a fantastic speaker and so inspirational.. I have an interview tomorrow and feel so much more prepared due to hearing you speak.. My brother was an aircraft engineer in Iraq and that also made me feel proud when you spoke of the importance of their role.. All the very best for the future although you don’t need it… Jayne

    Jayne Lloyd05/05/2016
    • Thank you so much Jayne. I am so pleased to hear you found it inspiring. Good luck with the interview today-I’m sure you will breeze it!
      All the best

      Mandy Hickson06/05/2016
  • Mandy I would just like to say thank you again for putting the glass onto our event at easipetcare over the weekend. You were excellent and totally captured the spritit of the event, brought in the concepts and theme of the event that we had discussed and you have really inspried our team to take on the challenges ahead for 2017.
    Best regards Simon & the team

    Simon Archibald09/01/2017
  • HI Mandy
    We met a couple of years ago when you spoke at our meeting in Cardiff.
    I am trying to track down pilots who flew ZG757 43 (F) Sqn, RAF Leuchars and ZG753, its a long shot, but you didnt did you?
    If not do you know the best way to track them down?
    Many thanks

  • I attended the Lancashire Federation W.I ACM in Southport this week and I was completely bowled over by your presentation .I am still buzzing and I will find my lawnmower moment , you are an truly wonderful inspiration, thank you, Mandy.

    Margaret Molloy10/03/2017
  • May I introduce myself John Magee Chairman of the Wigan Branch of the National Service (RAF)association 01942 521523 I would like to contact you with regards to.a talk on your
    Service exploits

    John Magee21/03/2017
  • Dear Mandy,

    Thank you for your amazing talk for the DFWI in Torquay today!

    Just a message for the one with severe dyslexia. I have a son with this and school was a miserable place for him. He did an art foundation course, followed by a year studying horology, became a life guard, then joined the navy and became a clearance diver. At 24 he passed his English GCSE and is now acting Petty Officer. Dyslexia doesn’t mean stupid so never give up! Your lawnmower moment will happen!

  • Mandy we heard you speak in Bedford last night and I was completely overwhelmed by your enthusiasm. How you persevered to get where you are today is truly inspirational. It was wonderful to hear your story and wish you all the best in the future. How can I possibly condense your talk to relate to our WI, all I can say is those who did not attend certainly missed a great evening! Thank you.

    Cathy Ball25/04/2017
    • Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the evening!

      Mandy Hickson25/04/2017

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