Adrian Nance OBE – Chairman and CEO
Adrian Nance is an entrepreneur and an experienced employer of air assets. He also has a charitable heart.
Time in the Royal Navy…
Adrian spent 33 years in the Navy. His first link to aviation was as a ship’s helicopter marshalling officer in 1978. In his 5 years as a ship’s bridge watch keeping officer he was responsible for safety, including the launching and recovering of helicopters. Adrian also survived the sinking of HMS SHEFFIELD in the Falklands Conflict in 1982.
As part of his career, Adrian chose to be a warfare officer in 1983. He specialized in air operations for over 6 years. And he oversaw air defence operations in a high readiness NATO force. Also he served twice as the senior British air warfare officer in the high paced Gulf Tanker War between Iran and Iraq. Training others, Adrian was then part of the elite staff of the Flag Officer Sea Training.
And commands followed…
In 1990, Adrian was promoted to command of the destroyer HMS NOTTINGHAM. At the time, he was one of the youngest commanding officers in the Royal Navy. He then transferred to HMS CARDIFF. And he deployed to the Arabian Gulf for the escalating tension before the Gulf War in 1991. CARDIFF was the closest non-US ship to Kuwait for the first 4 weeks of the Gulf War. Her helicopter sank 6 ships at long range and in highly demanding circumstances. Adrian received the OBE by Her Majesty the Queen as a result.
After jobs in the Ministry of Defence and in the USA, Adrian was promoted Captain. And he immediately took command of a squadron of seven new frigates. He was then given one more shore command. Then he was promoted Commodore.
Adrian immediately went again to the Ministry of Defence. This time he was one of the UK’s Directors of Operations. There he was responsible for tri-service warfare policy, joining up and coordinating the efforts of the Navy, Army and Air Force. And then he was then lucky enough to command the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL. It was a wonderful job, unlike many others. His last naval job was another command, his seventh. This time he had the pleasure of supervising the 1500 staff of the large Royal Navy training school. It is spread across 8 sites, and is based in HMS COLLINGWOOD. He went on the prestigious Higher Command and Staff Course in that last appointment.
And Adrian enjoyed his naval career hugely. He has plenty of experience of command and he served front line in 4 war zones.
Adrian after the Royal Navy
Since retiring aged 51, Adrian has started a consulting company, a charity and two aviation not-for-profit companies, one in South Africa. Wings Like Eagles is the charity. The charity aims to send helicopters faster to disasters, initially in southern Africa. Here Adrian is using his 35 years of experience of aviation. He wasn’t a pilot, but he has had five jobs authorising their flights. And in 2011, he saw one of his companies being given a helicopter!
Wings’ provided disaster responses in 2007, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
The 2013 response was quite big. Adrian and the team worked to sustain 3 villages in a flood. And they helped the government, the World Bank and bridging engineers best target the millions of aid given.
In 2014 and 2015 we saw the helicopter doing crop spaying. This was to create more food in the region. And in 2017 Wings put it water pumps into the Zambezi delta in the drought. Then in 2019 Adrian coordinated the air group in disaster response. He was helping the 1.8 million people affected by Cyclone IDAI. It hit Beira in Mozambique. And in 2021, Wings and its allies responded to Cyclone ELOISE. It hit in the same region.
Are you interested in Adrian Nance speaking about his work?