About OFMC The Old Flying Machine Company

OFMC Chief Pilot

Lee Proudfoot

Professional formation display pilot since 1991 and has flown 8000 hours in over 60 different types of aircraft. Lee has flown for various commercial airlines and spent 7 ‘exciting’ (and very cold!) years as chief pilot, ‘Bush’ flying in the Antarctic for the British Antarctic Survey.

Lee lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife Lucy and their two daughters.

Nigel Lamb 

Nigel Lamb

Nigel first flew MH434 in 1993, and had a more hands-on role with OFMC following the tragic death of Mark Hanna in 1999. He took over the day to day running of the company until 2003 and particularly enjoyed being involved with various filming projects and displaying all over Europe as Chief Pilot for the Breitling Fighters display team.

Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) Nigel’s interest in flying was kindled by his father who flew as a fighter pilot in World War II.

Joining the Rhodesian Air force on leaving school Nigel flew both helicopters and Jets until he came to England in 1980 determined on pursuing a career as an aerobatic display pilot.

Nigel has now been a professional display pilot for 30 years and has flown over 1,750 public displays in over 30 countries worldwide including leading the first civilian team to fly in China in 1996. Nigel is the only pilot to have won the British National Unlimited Aerobatic Championship 8 times in a row, and has spent the last five years putting his skills to the test in the highly challenging Red Bull Air Race World Championship, finishing the 2010 season with a podium third place behind Hannes Arch and fellow OFMC pilot Paul Bonhomme.

Nigel’s wife Hilary is also a successful aerobatic pilot, and they reside in Oxfordshire with their three sons, Max, Dan and Ben.

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Joined the Old Flying Machine Company in 1986, following a background of aerobatic and display flying with the Tiger Club, during which time the association with Ray Hanna was made.

A professional pilot by trade, Brian has amassed over 20,000 hours flying time on many different types of aircraft ranging from ultra-lights to Jumbos. He currently flies 747s for Virgin Atlantic.

Although an infrequent flier with the OFMC nowadays, Brian is privileged to continue to fly with the other private collections based at Duxford, and proudly continues to display historic aircraft in the true Hanna tradition.

Alister Kay

First flew on an RAF gliding course, aged 16. Since then he has achieved 14 UK gliding records including the fastest 750km triangle and a height climb to 36,600 feet. He has been UK Gliding Champion 8 times and has represented Britain 8 times at World and European Championships.

Alister has been flying powerful single engine aircraft since 1974 and in 1987 entered and won his first aerobatic competition. In 1988 Alister began air-display flying in Pitts Specials. He now has 8,500 flying hours on 150 types of mainly tailwheel aircraft and gliders.

Alister was based at Booker Airfield, which used to be home to many historic aircraft including MH434 (the OFMC Spitfire); to fly piston fighters was always his ambition, but one that seemed quite impossible.

In 1998 Alister flew the OFMC Harvard, progressing to the P-51D Mustang, P-40 Kittyhawk and the Spitfire MH434. He flies for OFMC throughout Europe.

Awaiting Picture

Paul Bonhomme

Red Bull Air Race Pilot Paul Bonhomme is relishing the thought of another year of flying OFMC's Spitfire and P-51D Mustang.

It all began for Bonhomme as a “hangar rat”, cleaning planes as a boy in an Aero Club, and by the time he was 17 he had a flying licence and he started training in aerobatics immediately. His father was a pilot in the British Army Air Corps and later an Airline Captain, and his brother is also in the aviation industry as an Airline Captain too. It’s little wonder then, that the youngest member of the Bonhomme family also ended up as a professional pilot flying as Captain on the Boeing 747.

Paul, who enjoys motorcycling (when he can find spare time!), likes to focus his off-duty hours in pursuit of his calling. He has flown in over 500 airshows since 1986.

Steve Jones, Air Race Pilot by TGIGreeny. 

Steve Jones

Is a professional pilot who has been immersed in aviation from a very young age. He is an aerobatic display pilot, and until recently, a competitor in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship (now you may see or hear him commentating on the series). Steve got involved with aircraft engineering when he was 16, and learnt to fly at the age of 17, he towed gliders, then advertising banners, flew corporate jets and is now a Boeing 747 captain with a UK airline. His first aerobatic display was in 1983. Since then, he has flown air shows all over the world, either in unlimited level aerobatic aircraft, or historic types. In fact, as long as it is nicely engineered, and flies, Steve likes to be associated with it!

In 1991 he was the winner of the Kings Cup air race. He was British Freestyle Aerobatic Champion in 1995 and overall British Aerobatic Champion in 1996. He has also won numerous formation aerobatic awards, flying as “The Matadors” duo, with his friend Paul Bonhomme.

When not flying, he maintains and races his two “Cooper 500” formula 3 cars, from the 1950s, or spends time with his wife (also a 747 captain!)

Steve is 50 years of age and lives in Gloucestershire.