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Alumnus completes first ever round-the-world flight in a Spitfire!

Alumnus Matt Jones alongside fellow pilot, Steve Boultbee Brooks makes aviation history completing the first round-the-world flight in a Spitfire.

Matt first took to the skies while in the RAF CCF section at Exeter school. As a graduate of Newcastle University Matt studied Civil Engineering before working in London for an investment bank. From there, he went to the USA where he acquired his first private and professional licences (FAA Commercial CFI, CFII, MEI), and on his return converted to a CAA Frozen ATPL.

Matt's first experience of classic aircraft was in Gore, New Zealand, where he converted to the Tiger Moth, his first tail-dragger, and at that point hoped but never really dreamed it would be possible to fly a vintage aircraft such as the Spitfire. That dream would soon become a reality when the collaboration between Boultbee Flight Academy (of which Matt is MD and Co-Founder) and Aviation Adventures Ltd would come to fruition. The Collaboration would see the official start of the programme named Silver Spitfire - The Longest Flight”, in which Matt and fellow pilot Steve Boultbee Brooks would plan to travel more than 43,000 kilometres. The journey would see Matt and Steve travel through over 20 countries, initially taking them to Iceland, and from there to Canada and the USA. The adventure would also take them north through Canada, Alaska, before traveling west to Japan, Russia, the Middle East, and then across Europe to finally return back home. The total of approximately 100 flight segments would be needed to complete the mission from start to finish.

On 5 December 2019, Matt and his fellow pilot returned home in time for Christmas after making aviation history by completing the first ever round-the-world flight in a Spitfire. A warm welcome greeted Matt as he said,“After such a whirlwind of a trip, it feels quite surreal to be back at Goodwood with our mission accomplished. The scenery, the places we’ve visited, the people we have met, have been truly life-changing. From flying past the Statue of Liberty to coasting over the frozen plains of Russia and the jungles of Asia, we have been lucky enough to see the earth in all its beauty, all whilst sitting in the most gorgeous Spitfire. It’s been an unforgettable experience.”

For more information on Matt’s inspirational story and his ‘day job’ as MD and co-founder of Boultbee Flight Academy be sure to check out their Facebook Page and their website

First Ever Round-The-World Flight in a Spitfire Returns Home
Photo by Christopher Busch for IWC

published on: 30 January 2020