Richard Luck joined the RAF in 1986. After flying training on Chipmunk, JP5, Gazelle
and Wessex he served with the RAF Chinook Force from 1989 to 2000 as
pilot, flight commander and squadron second-in-command, flying over 3500
hours in the UK and overseas including Northern Ireland, the Falkland
Islands, Bosnia, Northern Iraq, Kenya and Morocco. In this time he qualified
as an A2 QHI and as a QHTI and taught students to fly the Gazelle and the
In 2000 Luck joined the RAF’s Helicopter Operational Evaluation & Training
Unit as the Chinook and Sea King flight commander with responsibility for
evaluating new equipment and TTPs for both helicopter types and for the
delivery of the annual Helicopter Tactics Instructor Course. The signature
activity during this time was the delivery of the Chinook Night Enhancement
Programme in 2002 to support SF ops in Afghanistan.
On promotion to wing commander in 2003, Luck moved to the Ministry of
Defence where he was responsible for airspace design and coordination
between the MoD, the Civil Aviation Authority and the National Air Traffic
Service. He was also the helicopter and UAV advisor to the Assistant Chief of
the Air Staff. After 16 months in post he joined No8 the Advanced Command
and Staff Course gaining a psc(j) and a KCL Masters in Defence Studies with
After graduation, Luck took command in March 2006 of 28 (AC) Squadron,
equipped with the Merlin HC3 and 3A helicopter. In his time in command he
led the Squadron’s successful NATO evaluation for Joint Personnel Recovery
and deployed 5 times with the Squadron to Basrah, Iraq. He was appointed as
the Commanding Officer of the Joint Helicopter Command-Iraq detachment
supporting the UK South East Multi-National Division’s operations between
October 2006 and March 2007.
In November 2008 Luck handed over command of 28 (AC) Squadron, leaving
the RAF in 2009 after 23 years of service to join AgustaWestland as a
Business Development & Marketing executive, a job that took him all over the
world in considerably better style and comfort than he was used to. The
highlight of this period was his appointment as the head of marketing and
operations for the world’s first civil tilt-rotor program, the AW609.
In August 2014 Luck applied and was selected for the job of Senior Air Advisor
to the Commander of the Kuwait Air Force, the British Ambassador, and the
Commander of the British Military Mission to Kuwait as a full-time reserve
officer in the rank of wing commander. Service was from March 2015 to July
2017, and included instructing on a Kuwait Air Force ab-initio Gazelle
SA-341L Cse at Ali Al Salem Air Base.
On return to the UK, from Sep 2017 to Jul 2019, Luck completed two courses
as a reservist wing commander Directing Staff on the Advanced Command
and Staff Course at the UK’s Defence Academy at Shrivenham.
In Sep 2019 Luck accepted a commission into Regular RAF service in the
rank of flight lieutenant in order to return to flying duties in the RAF Support
Helicopter Force. In July 2020 he qualified as a pilot on the Airbus Puma HC2
and he is now the Puma operational evaluation pilot on 22 Squadron based at
Richard Luck’s passions other than flying are road cycling and reading on political
science, defence studies and science fiction.