Squadron Leader Pablo Mason is one of life's extraordinary characters and is full of amazing tales about his distinguished RAF career.
Pablo was among the 24 tornado crews detachment during the Gulf War. During Operation 'Desert Storm' Pablo Mason led his formation of four 15 Sqn. Tornados on 24 bombing missions over Iraq.
These included ultra-low level daylight mission, medium-level night bombing and the first ever Buccaneer/Tornado attack using laser-guided bombs which took place on the 2nd February 1991. During his first Gulf War mission his No. 2 was shot down and the crew (John Peters and John Nichol) became POWs. This was the attack on the Ar Rumaylah airfield and it was the first daylight Tornado attack of the war.
Pablo then flew for My Travel Lite and used to not just fly but also 'entertain' many passengers - the thank you letters from happy holidaymakers about they were in fits of laughter from his amazing tales made him one of the most popular pilots in the air!
A passenger's tale (from a while ago..)
By Frank Wood: We were sitting at Manchester Airport's Gate 22, feeling grumpy and bleary-eyed after a 4.30am start from home, when the apparition appeared.
It was Biggles reincarnate - complete with huge handlebar moustache that rooks would have been happy to nest in.
And he was heading towards the Airtours 767 airliner that was waiting to take us and 248 other North-west folk on the last flight of 1997 to the Greek island of Kefalonia.
Anyone who has ever flown with any airline will know that pilots are ALWAYS clean cut. They all look as though they have just walked off the set of Joe Ninety or from the pages of a Next for Men catalogue.
But not this guy.
He was definitely Biggles. I recognised him from the books and everybody else thought the same.
With a wicked twinkle in his eyes, he suddenly stopped and clicked the heels of his polished black shoes on the grey and purple carpet.
"Come on you miserable lot," he barked like some squadron leader addressing a bunch of rookie flyers.
"You are going on your holidays - to the sunshine. You should be smiling you miserable bunch."
Like magic, we suddenly all were.
"Hells Bells," said a Wigan man out loud. "We're gooin' to Kefalonia in a bloody Spitfire. Yon mon's definitely Biggles without his leather helmet."
Biggles heard him.
His face creased into a huge grin. His handlebar tash began to point skywards. And as he turned to face the Wiganer, it appeared to form a whiskery V-sign.
On the plane, Biggles was a star turn.
Normally, at 37,000 feet over the Med, the pilot's voice over the PA system is a perfect mimmick of a BT recorded announcement. Cool and precise, telling passengers about weather conditions or reminding them to move their watches on two hours.
But not this guy.
"It's good to be back at the controls," he says. "I've just had a week off to tile the bathroom and fit a new toilet. And I'm pleased to say that I've almost finished."
Keith and Debbie Jones from Horwich took their kids Dale and Bethan to the flight deck to meet Biggles - and they were there for three quarters of an hour. Biggles had them spellbound.
On the way back, Biggles was the same. He began by walking up and down the plane after we had loaded at Kefalonia airport.
And it was like a scene from the Airport movies as everyone rocked with laughter at his string of quick-fire jokes.
As we flew back over France, he announced over the PA: "In case you have been worrying all your holiday how I got on with the tiling - I've finished. But I still have a bit of grouting to do."
The woman in the next seat who had dreaded flying on the way out to Greece was suddenly talking about booking her next trip. And several passengers vowed to write letters to Helmshore-based Airtours praising the pilot's wonderful manner.
Even the air hostesses were laughing all the way there and all the way back.
"Who on earth is this man?" I ask one hostess. "He should be on the stage." "Oh, he's Pablo Mason," she says, sounding a little bit like Tonto revealing the identity of the Lone Ranger. "And he's VERY famous." And he is.
Squadron Leader Paul "Pablo" Mason became a national hero during the Gulf War when he spearheaded the hazardous series of Tornado bombing missions deep into Iraqi territory.
The missions proved crucial to the Allied victory.
Back in civvy street amongst other pastimes Pablo writes books, his brilliant autobiography "Pablo's Travels" is a big seller.
He became one of the most high-profile pilots in the UK in March 2009 when he took his previous employers to a tribunal for unfair dismissal, after he was sacked for letting a premiership footballer, with a morbid fear of flying, onto the flight deck to allay his fears on a privately chartered flight. Unfortunately he lost his case.
He received literally hundreds of letters and calls of support and good wishes.
Pablo is a busy and entertaining After Dinner Speaker and is often heard commenting on aero matters on radio and TV.
Pablo likes to give a short talk (make sure your seats are in the upright position and your tray tables are put away!) and then is happy to take questions about the many varied aspects of his career.
The combination of Pablo's witty and engaging brand of humour and the extremely interesting experiences he has to share prove just the right mix!
Don't forget if you are thinking of booking a Speaker for your event we can also help with Awards Presenters, Comedians,after dinner Cabaret, fabulous Party Bands or Tributes, DJs, Close up Magicians, amazing Lookalikes for Meet and Greet, Circus Acts and many different types of Themed Entertainment plus much, much more.