Skip to:
Page content
Royal Navy main navigation
Photo of Al Woodward

Al Woodward


My name is Al Woodward and I joined the Royal Navy in February 2006 as a pilot.  After nearly two and a half years, and having flown a number of aircraft including the Firefly and Squirrel, I find myself at 824 Naval Air Squadron carrying out my conversion to the Merlin- the RNs newest and most sophisticated helicopter. 


I was born and raised in Cardiff where I completed all of my schooling, including GCSEs and A-levels at the Bishop of Llandaff High School.  I had always had a keen interest in flying and when I finished school I decided that I would follow in my fathers’ footsteps.  Before this attended Aberystwyth University where I studied Law, graduating in 2005.


While at University I joined the University of Wales Air Squadron, that allowed me to achieve over 40 hours flying experience and an insight in to the service lifestyle.  I loved the flying and with renewed enthusiasm decided a career in aviation was a must!


Having discovered the world of the Fleet Air Arm, through one of my flying instructors, I applied to join the RN as a pilot in September 2005.  Following selection in January 2006 I started my Initial Officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College just 3 weeks later!


Since then I haven’t looked back.  The Royal Navy has given me the challenging and satisfying career I desperately wanted and an opportunity to embrace a lifestyle that allows me fulfil my sporting interests, travel, and experience a whole host of things that I might otherwise never have achieved.  Over the following months I hope to give you an insight into my life and share my experiences as I move toward the goal of becoming a qualified front line Merlin pilot. 

Posts by Al Woodward

26th January 2009

First Flight in a Merlin!

4 people rate this

After the joys of groundschool before Christmas, today I flew my first instructional sortie in the Merlin.