Meet The Team


Jill Develin – Jill is a highly experienced and skilled Flight Instructor/Examiner and a commercial Airline Pilot with over 29,000 flying hours.Specialising in Flight Instructor training and CPL/IR (Commercial and Instrument Rating Training), Jill is Senior Flight Examiner and is always ready to give advice and help you through your training. She is also the Compliance Manager for Redhill Aviation Flight Centre.


Zahurul Islam – Head of Training. “Islam” (as he is known) and his wife Jill Develin originally set up the flying school back in 1984. Although under new ownership since 2014, Islam is still involved with Redhill Aviation Flight Centre as Head of Training, giving advice and guidance and performing the odd flight renewal or exam when required.


Finian Salter – Weekend & holiday Flying Instructor. Fin studied at Kingston University for a degree in Aviation & was fortunate to win the Air Pilot scholarship which sponsored his Flying Instructor training. This was carried out here at Redhill Aviation with Jill Develin. When he is not flying, Fin teaches part time. Fin says: “I am absolutely loving teaching students the joy of flight, flying from picturesque Redhill and being part of the delightful Redhill Aviation family.”


Mark Jeffries – Weekend Flying Instructor. After getting a taste for aviation in Air Training Corps at the age of 14, Mark decided that being a pilot was for him. He achieved his PPL in 2006, and wanted to progress his flying career further. With no interest in looking for an airline career, Mark chose to become an instructor and after completing his CPL, he obtained his instructor rating in 2014. Mark holds a helicopter PPL as well as a fixed wing CPL and IMC rating.


Simon Canacott – Flying Instructor. Simon is our resident artist and you will find some of his work on our photos page. Simon holds a CPL and has helped many students on their way to gaining their PPL. Simon instructs on a part-time basis and enjoys flying aerobatics too!


Geoff Pyke – Flying Instructor. Geoff started his career as an instructor, has flown all the classic jets including the 747 and has now returned to instructing. He offers his vast knowledge on a part-time basis.


Dirk Strydom – Full Time Weekday Instructor. Dirk dreamed of flying all his life & took his first lesson at Biggin Hill in 2006. 10 years and lots of hard work later, Dirk has made his dream come true and joined our team in Autumn 2016. He now holds CPL, ME and IR ratings and is enjoying the opportunity to pass his knowledge onto others. 


Ken Harpur – Ken first got the flying bug aged 16 in the Air Cadets. He initially became an instructor on a Volunteer Gliding School, then followed the civil instruction route into the airlines. After a break from teaching (due to young family) Ken returned in 2016 to join the Redhill Aviation team as an instructor.


Simon Collins – Part Time Instructor. Had his first flying lesson at 14 and never looked back! Normally found riding the jet streams high above the Atlantic, Simon enjoys sharing his love for flying with our student pilots offering heaps of top tips he’s picked up along the way. An avid enthusiast of historic aircraft, Simon also volunteers and flies for a WWII restoration organisation in the US.


James Tester – James works as part of our Operations Team, working 4 days a week. James started learning to fly with us last year, aged 17. He is currently being taught by instructor Jim and as of April 2018, has amassed 27 hours towards his PPL. James hopes to achieve his MPL with L3 and hopefully move into the airlines, failing that he will be able to keep his PPL up as a hobby. James owns a Mk3 Spitfire, fitted with a Merlin XX engine, producing 1240hp. He is yet to drive his Spitfire to work!


Dave Thorne – Operations Assistant. Dave joined us in 2006 having previously worked as a manager at the Post Office. When not working at Redhill Aviation, Dave enjoys visiting other airfields and going to air shows with his wife. You will find Dave very knowledgeable, helpful and ready to answer any queries you may have – from booking an air experience flight to the requirements to gain your very own PPL.


Our Mascot, Eadie – Eadie is a “Sproodle” and was born in November 2017. She is owned by our flying instructor Mark Jeffries. She is looking forward to her first flight, but in the meantime enjoys sleeping on the sofa and eating the odd Rich Tea biscuit when she’s been very, very good.


30 Minute Aerobatic Experience – I was bought a gift aerobatic flight experience and wow. It was only half an hour of flying but what a great time, Simon my pilot was great, not only very skilled as a pilot but very humble, and a great sense of humour that made the whole experience even better. I would 100% recommend this company and their skilled pilots . Thank you.
Jason A, 3 August 2018