Squadron Leader Ben Murphy (32) is in his second year with the Red Arrows and is Synchro 2 for the 2008 display season. Educated at Loughborough Grammar School, he became interested in flying whilst a member of the Combined Cadet Force where he was awarded a Royal Air Force Flying Scholarship. This led to a Private Pilot’s License at the age of 17 – before he had learnt to drive!
Ben joined the Royal Air Force in 1997 after studying Geography at Newcastle University, where he flew as a member of Northumbrian Universities Air Squadron. On completion of flying training, Ben was selected to fly the Harrier GR7 and was posted to 1(F) Squadron, where he undertook operational missions over Iraq.
After completing the Qualified Weapons Instructor Course, Ben was posted to IV(AC) Squadron as a Weapons Instructor. Whilst on IV(AC) Squadron, Ben served on operations over Afghanistan, flying close air support missions in support of NATO ground forces. In 2006, he was posted to Royal Air Force Wittering to serve as an instructor on 20(R) Squadron, the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit. Ben has amassed over 1,000 flying hours on the Harrier.
Ben is married to Jenny (also an officer in the Royal Air Force) and, in his spare time, enjoys kitesurfing, running, mountain biking and skiing.