John Flexman was born and raised in Wokingham, Berkshire. As a boy he loved the thrill of riding his pushbike much too fast, and he knew he wanted to be a pilot the day he saw an RAF flypast zoom overhead. Fresh out of school at 17, John joined the Fleet Air Arm, where he relished the experience of learning to fly a wide variety of aircraft.
John toured the world on HMS Hermes and completed eight years with the Navy before joining the Zambia Air Force. The experiences that followed as a bush pilot in Africa made his Navy days look like a vicarage tea party. He met his Trinidadian wife Janet in 1964 while on a posting in Malta and they have now retired to Malaysia.
Three thousand feet above the Zambian bush, the DHC2 Beaver had only ten minutes' fuel remaining. Night was drawing in; ground features were indiscernible. I could not raise anyone on the radio. Would this be the end?