GROUP Captain Richard Maddison, station commander at RAF Odiham, joined the RAF from comprehensive school in Hartlepool.

Commissioned in 1988, his first tours were as a Puma pilot in Germany, Northern Ireland – where he was awarded a Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service on the operational honours list – and at RAF Benson.

He assumed his current positions as station commander at RAF Odiham, and Chinook Force commander, in October 2013.

Married to Sally, they have three sons. When his knees allow, he runs and when they do not, he swims.

A volunteer pilot with 6 Air Experience Flight at RAF Benson, he enjoys providing air experience on tutor aircraft to cadets.

1. Who was your childhood hero and why? Sir Clive Sinclair, the inventor. He made the very first affordable home computers and I was fortunate to own one.

2. What is your most precious possession, and why is it important to you? I keep two metal tins at home. One contains birth certificates and passports, but the other is full of the different flying badges I have had from the units I have served on.

3. What was the first record/CD you bought? Blondie – Atomic.

4. What is the radio/television show you hate to miss? On radio, I listen to the news when possible and I tune in to the World Service on DAB.

5. What is your favourite film? Ice Cold in Alex, set in the Second Word War and made in 1958.

6. What is your pet hate? Being kept on hold while a machine tells me the call is very important to them. If that were true, they could make slightly less profit and provide a much better service to customers by employing more staff.

7. What are you reading at the moment? Teaching Yourself Kiswahili.

8. If you were choosing a last meal, what would it be? Fajitas with my family.

9. If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be? I watched a documentary on the First World War and was fascinated by the role of Sir Edward Grey, the Foreign Secretary. It would be amazing to get his perspective on how we descended into war so quickly.

10. If you had a time machine, where would it take you? I think I’d like to go forwards rather than back. It would be fascinating to see how much more we will know in future.

11. If you were stranded on a desert island what luxury would you choose to have with you? My short-wave radio to listen to the BBC World Service – I guess it would need to be solar-powered.

12. What sports team do you support? I like Newcastle to do well at football.

13. What was your first job? Other than some odd days potato-picking, it’s just been the RAF for me.

14. If you could take over someone's job for the day, whose job would you choose? Mo Farah.

15. What worries you the most? Letting people down.

16. What is your proudest moment? My family and I walked half the Ridgeway footpath (about 45 miles) when the children were still quite young, and it was a great time to be together, but very tiring.

17. What would you like your epitaph to be? He tried to be positive so his death took him completely by surprise.

18. What’s your guilty pleasure? Soft drinks and chocolate.

19. What one thing could change society for the better? I’m afraid I’ve seen too many conflicts where people use faith as a reason to justify other motivations.

20. What three words best describe you? Does his best.