Flight Lieutenant Phil Bird is a pilot with the RAF's Hawk display team, and the RAF Benevolent Fund is the team's charity of the year. Phil tells us more in this blog.
I have wanted to fly for as long as I can remember. My father was an RAF pilot and so the RAF has been part of my life since I was born and joining seemed the natural thing to do.
From my early teens that ambition turned a bit more serious and it was around then that I decided I wanted to fly fast jets in the RAF.
It's great to be part of the Hawk display team.
The people I work with are fantastic and between us we are getting set for a great season. Previously I’ve flown the Tornado F3 on 43(F) Squadron.
The F3 was fantastic, hugely powerful and very capable. However, the Hawk is far more manoeuvrable and great fun to fly, particularly in displays.
I'm very proud we're supporting the RAF Benevolent Fund, as it is genuinely the heart of the Royal Air Force.
It does a huge amount of good for both past and present members and their families, and you just never know when you or someone in your family might come to rely on them.
It's great to know there is a layer of support that binds the RAF family together which simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn't for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
So I'm going to run the London Marathon with my display supervisor on 22 April. We are flying a lot here at RAF Valley in preparation for the display season. But in between, I'm getting out for lots of runs with Squadron Leader Skids Harrison – just trying to get the miles on the legs!
We really hope to raise a lot of money through the marathon. Then as we get into the display season we will be running a text-to-win competition to win a VIP visit to RAF Valley and lots of other prizes over the summer.
Please sponsor us on our Virgin Giving page or text 70070 and the word "HAWK50 5" for £5 or "HAWK50 10" for £10, or even more if you want!