Meet the team
Our aim is to equip our BESTPILOTs with the skills and knowledge required to transition to flying commercially for a living.
We believe that to achieve this the team assessing our candidates and delivering the training MUST have commercial airline experience.
The Kura team offers an impressive wealth of experience from across the aviation training and airline industry.
Meet the team!
Isobel has 21 years experience in ab-initio training working with some of the best schools in the industry including Flightsafety International, Oxford Aviation Training, EPST and CAE Oxford Aviation Academy.
During her 8 years at senior leadership level at OAT/OAA she was responsible for pilot assessment and selection, airline pilot cadet programmes, graduate placement, customer services and both retail and corporate sales. Working with individuals, ATOs and airlines across the world Isobel’s global commercial experience includes work in India, The Philippines, Malaysia, Australia and the USA. Isobel spent 3 months in India as interim General Manager of the CAE ab-inito training school in Gondia.
Registered with Disclosure & Barring Service on 19 May 2014.
- Flightsafety International, Operations Manager / Customer Services Manager
- Oxford Aviation Training, Head – Customer Services & Sales
- European Pilot Selection & Training, Recruitment Manager
- CAE OAA, Global Lead – Selection and Customer Services
Captain James Hall
James is an Airbus Captain with British Airways. He joined the airline based in Birmingham after completing the cadet pilot training scheme.
James has worked in pilot recruitment for 10 years. He has been involved in campaigns recruiting direct entry pilots from airlines and the Armed Forces as well as trainee pilots direct from flying colleges and recruits for ab-initio schemes.
- British Airways, A320 Captain LHR
Captain Fraser Daun
Fraser flies the line as a Captain with British Airways on the A320 and is one of our team of pilots – First Officers, Captains and Training Captains working for airlines across the world.
While following his flying career Fraser has also worked for a number of years with Flight Training Organisations, developing an expertise in assessment processes, writing and delivering pilot training modules and working on behalf of airlines in pilot selection and recruitment.
Fraser’s wide experience has led to a continuing and deepening understanding of the challenges facing aspiring pilots and he absolutely shares Kura’s ambition to develop innovative, independent and industry valued routes for modular trained pilots. His main focus within BESTPILOT™ is to lead our Managed Modular Training programmes creating new opportunities in Modular training and Modular pilot development in the UK, and across Europe.
Registered with Disclosure & Barring Service on 1 September 2014.
- British Airways, Line training captain and Type Rating Instructor on the Airbus
British Airways, A320 Captain LGW
- British Airways, Boeing 737 First Officer LGW
Sunwing Airlines, Boeing 737 First Officer YUL
Viking Airlines AB, Boeing 737 First Officer LGW, CDG, PRG
XL Airways, Boeing 737 First Officer LGW, DMK
Philip studied economics at Cambridge University. After enjoying a career in accountancy and sales he moved to the training sector where he wrote and delivered training modules, for corporate and private clients, specialising in change management and the understanding of personal responsibility; at this time he also studied and worked in counselling. He joined the aviation industry in 2007 with Oxford Aviation Training/OAA, where he led the customer services team in developing an unrivalled level of customer experience for students and assessment candidates.
Registered with Disclosure & Barring Service on 27 May 2014.
- KPMG, Accountant
- NatWest, Regional Sales Manager
- OAA, Graduate Services Manager
- CAE OAA, Customer Services Manager
SFO Niven Phoenix
Niven flies the line for British Airways on the B747 and is one of our team of pilot trainers working for airlines around the world.
Niven left the RAF in 2011 after achieving command on the two most modern flight decks in the inventory, the C130J and Boeing C17 Globemaster. He is an RAF Central Flying School trained flight and instrument rating instructor, holds a CRMI qualification and ran the RAF C17 Human Factors training programme.
He currently flies on worldwide long haul operations, presents on the British Airways Flying with Confidence course. Niven also acted as a consultant for Baines Simmons Ltd and runs his own Aviation Recruitment Consultancy.
He was awarded RAF Air Officer Commanding commendations in conjunction with 2011 Queens Birthday Honours List for exceptional performance in post for Human Factors and initiating the Trauma and Risk Management programme for the RAF C17 Fleet.
He also represented the C17 Fleet on in the television documentary, Cutting Edge (Cutting Edge, concerning the aero medical role of the C17 in operational environments).
- British Airways, B747, LHR
- Royal Air Force
Jake flies the line as a Senior First Officer for TUI Airways, on the Boeing 737-800, based at Bristol.
Prior to joining TUI, Jake spent five years at West Atlantic Airlines, having completed their Cadet Pilot programme, progressing to Senior First Officer on the BAe ATP. Here, Jake was involved in Cadet Pilot recruitment, designing and producing the technical assessment element of the recruitment process.
Jake entered the industry as Cabin Crew for British Airways and Qantas, flying on the Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A380, long haul. While at Qantas, Jake also worked in a training capacity assisting in the service design and delivery on board the then newly acquired Airbus A380.
Jake has extensive training experience, both technical and non-technical, and is also a ground-school instructor for both modular and integrated students at various ATPL ground-schools across the UK and Europe, in conjunction with major airlines. Jake has a huge passion for Human Factors within aviation, in particular sharing ideas and best-practices with other industries, such as the medical industry.
- TUI Airways, Senior First Officer; Boeing 737-800, BRS
West Atlantic Airlines, BAe ATP, CVT
- CTC Aviation (L3 Commercial Training Solutions) / Lufthansa Flight Training / CAE Oxford / ProPilot, ATPL Instructor
- Qantas Airways, Cabin Crew; Airbus A380 & Boeing 747-400, LHR
- British Airways, Cabin Crew; Airbus A320/21
Captain Jon Dearden
Jon flies for Virgin Atlantic on the B747-400 and is one of our team of pilot trainers and assessors.
He learned to fly in the RAF and during a career spanning over 25 years flew both helicopters and transport aircraft operationally. He has instructed on single-engined piston, turboprop and fast jet aeroplanes, and for his last 10 years of service was an L-1011 Tristar simulator instructor and base training captain. He also completed two exchange tours; firstly, as a flight commander on an Army Air Corps anti-tank squadron in Germany flying the Lynx helicopter, and later as a QFI with the Pakistan Air Force.
Since leaving the military in 2007, Jon has flown several variants of the B747 for a number of airlines. Simultaneously he joined CAE Oxford Aviation Academy as a skills assessor where, as well as writing and delivering pilot training modules, became involved in interviewing and assessing on behalf of various UK & foreign airlines during recruitment/selection schemes.
- Virgin Atlantic Airways, B747-400, LHR/LGW
- Global Supply Systems (BA World Cargo), B747-400F & B747-8F, Stansted
- Cathay Pacific Airways, B747-200F, B747-400ERF & B747-400, HKG
- Royal Air Force
SFO James Thurrell
James flies the line as a Senior First Officer for British Airways and is one of our team of pilot trainers working for airlines around the world.
He started his aviation career as a Flight Engineer on the C-130 Hercules culminating in an instructional position on the conversion unit. Selected for a pilot crossover, James completed flying training with Distinction and was awarded the Glen Trophy for highest overall marks for flying. A posting to the Boeing C-17 Globemaster followed, where James gained command and once again took on instructional duties as a Training Captain on 99 Squadron at RAF Brize Norton.
James left the RAF in 2011 to join British Airways. In his spare time he volunteers for the Royal Air Force Air Cadets flying the Grob Tutor in the Air Experience role. He also helps run the British Airways mobile simulator at public and corporate events.
- British Airways, B747 LHR
- Royal Air Force, C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster
SFO Andy Hoar
Captain Aaron Reville
Aaron flies the line as a Captain with easyJet on an Airbus A320 and is part of the team of pilots working for airlines around the world. Aaron’s enthusiasm for aviation began from an early age and he began flying light aircraft as a teenager.
Prior to joining easyJet, Aaron worked as a Business Manager in the automotive industry, where he developed an understanding of logistical, transport and management issues. His vast experience in the corporate business world, together with a degree in Air Transport Management, gave Aaron valuable insights into the airline industry and furthered his appreciation of the profession.
Aaron fully understands the pressures on young, ambitious pilots and is eager to provide an insight into what is necessary to be successful in the profession.
easyJet, A320 First Officer BFS
easyJet, A320 First Officer LGW
- easyJet, A320 Captain LTN
SFO Tom O’Reilly
Tom flies the line as a Senior First Officer with British Airways on the Boeing 787 and is one of our team of Pilots, First Officers, Captains & Training Captains working for airlines around the world.
Tom’s career has spanned many departments within the airline industry. He started as an Aircraft Dispatcher at Stansted Airport before completing his Professional Flight Training. After completion he joined BMI as cabin crew before securing a First Officer position with Loganair on the Saab 340. From there he moved to British Midland followed by British Airways on the A320 which he flew until 2016, before moving on to the Boeing 787.
This varied career before becoming a First Officer and subsequently in a First Officer role allows Tom to view all aspects of the industry with a clear and personal viewpoint providing excellent guidance for aspiring pilots.
British Airways, B787 First Officer LHR
British Airways, A320 First Officer LHR
British Midland, A320 First Officer LHR
Loganair, Saab 340 First Officer ABZ
Peter flies the line for British Airways on the B787, and is one of our team of pilot trainers working for airlines around the world.
Peter left the RAF in 2016 after 12 years. During his service he become one of the youngest captains on the Boeing C17 Globemaster and was selected to attend the Central Flying School. His last four years in the RAF was spent flying the Beechcraft King Air 200 teaching Advanced Flying Training. This involved all airborne elements of multi engine flying, as well as ground studies including Human Factors and Safety Management Systems. A graduate of the of ‘Defence Train the Trainer’, Peter specialised in facilitation.
Upon joining British Airways he was assigned to he B777 fleet, which he flew for 6 months. He was then moved to the B787 Dreamliner which he currently flies on worldwide long haul operations. He is part of British Airways ‘Customer First’ team, assisting with mobile and full motion simulator events for corporate clients.
FO Alistair Muirhead
Ali flies the line as a First Officer for British Airways on the A320 and is one of our team of pilot assessors. His previous experience was with easyJet where he also mentored new pilots joining the company.
He has a foundation degree in Air Transport Management, as well as an Economics degree from the University of Reading, and has a particular interest in the business and operational aspects of the airline industry.
His passion for aviation began at a young age with a visit to the flight deck. He is delighted to be a part of the Kura team in order to help inspire and support future airline pilots in the pursuit of their own goals.
Registered with Disclosure and Barring Service on 23rd July 2015.
- British Airways, A320 First Officer LHR
- easyJet, A320 First Officer LGW
Penny is a CRM and MCC/JOC trainer, former Virgin Atlantic pilot and one of our team of Pilot Trainers.
Her interest in Human Factors and what makes people behave as they do under high workload / stressful situations, led her to attain a degree in Psychology while flying for British Mediterranean Airways. Penny has had an exciting and varied career in aviation flying a number of aircraft types from the vintage DeHavilland Dove to the modern Airbus and has flown corporate, short haul multi sector, medium haul in the Middle East and long haul.
- Virgin Atlantic Airways, A340 Senior First Officer
- British Mediterranean Airways, A320 Senior First Officer
- Brymon Airways, Dash 8 Captain & Technical Trainer
- Captain, King Air B200
- Air Exel, Senior First Officer, Embraer Brasilia
- Wycombe Air Centre, Qualified Flying Instructor and AFISO
Inkie’s aviation career commenced at Monarch Airlines where she held various roles. Initially Cabin crew and then moving into the training department where she was a Cabin Crew Manager and SEP (Safety Emergency Procedures) Instructor.
Inkie was able to utilise all her previous training experience by joining the CRM (Crew Resource Management) team as a CRMI (Instructor) where she was directly involved with CRM course building and delivery of courses for pilots and cabin crew.
During the summer of 2002, Inkie learnt to fly, a dream she had had since childhood, gaining a PPL. To date she has logged just over 100 hours.
Inkie joined CAE Oxford Aviation Academy as a Skills Assessor in 2008 where she was involved in ab-initio pilot assessing and airline screening. She implemented a Competency Interview format and designed and delivered airline preparation courses and Interview Skills training workshops for graduate pilots.
Inkie currently works as a Pilot Assessor on the Pilot Recruitment Team for easyJet at Luton assessing candidates ranging from Cadets to Direct Entry Training Captains
- Monarch – SEP Instructor, CRMI, Senior Cabin Crew Manager
- CAE OAA – Skills Assessor, Instructor, Pilot Recruiter
- EasyJet – Pilot Assessor/Recruiter
With a background in Property and Project Management, and a genuine love for flying, Caroline brings a wealth of sales, operations and managerial experience to KURA.
Biography available soon
Shon started her airline career in 1982 as cabin crew for British Airways. However with her natural curiosity and interest in people she quickly applied to join the BA training and recruitment dept (alongside flying). Initially she trained and recruited cabin crew and very soon progressed into pilot selection for BA.
Shon left BA in 2001 and set up her own small business, Ready To Fly, providing specific personal development skills training to those wanting to join the industry. In 2006 she was invited to join Oxford Aviation Academy (now CAE) as an External Skills Assessor Consultant where she became actively involved in ab-initio pilot assessment and airline pilot screening.
In 2011 she was offered the Pilot Assessment Manager role at Oxford Aviation Academy. During her time in this role she designed and implemented a brand new ab-initio pilot assessment process and was responsible for the success of a number of airline schemes including EasyJet MPL, NetJets, Bond Offshore Helicopters, Tiger Airways and JetStar. Her most notable achievements were the British Airways Future Pilot Programme in 2011 and 2012. The high quality of BAFPP candidates Shon put forward ensured OAA/CAE secured the highest pilot numbers for BA out of all participating FTO’s.
In addition to pilot assessment and selection at KURA Aviation Shon designs, plans, writes and delivers a variety of soft skills training programmes for the KURA BESTPILOT programme.