In Conversation: Ex RAF fighter pilot Mandy Hickson on life in the cockpit

For ITV Meridian's 'In Conversation' series, Fred Dinenage catches up with ex RAF fighter pilot Mandy Hickson

Mandy Hickson has been telling us about life in the cockpit as the UK's second female fast jet pilot, and the only woman in her front line Tornado Squadron.

Mandy notched up many hours flying multi-million pound fighter jets, and has remarkable tales of courage under pressure - dodging missiles and flying over enemy territory.

Fred met Mandy at the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection; a museum of fighter jets and historic aircraft at Old Sarum in Salisbury.

Mandy Hickson

When asked if it ever crossed her mind she may not return from a combat mission, Mandy said: "I don't think you ever need to think like that all, and I don't believe any of my colleagues ever thought like that.

"That's not the way your mind works. You're just going off to do a job.

Mandy Hickson

"People often say 'oh is it not really scary?' but actually I would put it into a comparative of basically you've trained to play football all your life, and you finally get the opportunity to play for your team, and then you're sitting on the bench throughout.

"You know, you want to play. It's what you've trained for."