Matt Lindley

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Matt Lindley is currently a commercial airline pilot and a former serving member of the UK Royal Air Force - having flown the UK Royal Family for over ten years worldwide. Matt has two distinct keynote specialties.  Firstly he is an LGBTQ+ speaker, talking about his time and challenges in the Military as a gay pilot.  Secondly, Matt is a leading expert in Human Performance Factors - drawing on experience from the flight deck to optimize outcomes, develop a speak-up culture, and flatten organizational hierarchies.


Matt graduated with a degree in commerce from the University of Birmingham. After leaving University, he joined the Ford Motor Company Graduate Training Programme and joined a team implementing Japanese Management techniques in the car industry. In 1995 Matt was selected to join the UK Royal Air Force as a pilot. During his military career, he flew many aircraft, including the Hawk fighter jet. In 2000 he was selected to fly Her Majesty The Queen, members of the UK Royal Family and Government worldwide, serving on The Royal Squadron. While serving, he became a qualified flying instructor and VIP qualified Captain. He flew missions in the Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan conflicts. Matt was one of the first openly gay pilots in the RAF once the law changed. In 2007 Matt left the Service to join a leading commercial airline, initially flying the Airbus on their short-haul network. Matt now flies the Boeing 777 on long-haul routes. In addition to flying, Matt specializes in non-technical training. He delivers Human Performance Factors keynote speeches and workshops which draw on flight management techniques to optimize outcomes while minimizing human error in the workplace. He specializes in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Matt Lindley's Experiences

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“I cannot recommend Matt highly enough. He talked to the Close Brothers community about his journey and it resonated incredibly well with all colleagues, not just those from the LQBQT community. His candour and honesty really connected with people, and the ties with wider mental wellness and resilience were incredibly topical given the current pandemic. His humour shone through and it was one of the best received external speakers we have had to date. A thorough recommendation...”

Martyn Atkinson, Chief Operating Officer, Close Brothers Merchant Bank

“Matt’s ability to use his extensive experience in the airline industry, to clearly articulate lessons and solutions to the vitally important topic of patient safety, is refreshing and insightful. Human factors, attitude to risk and creating a just culture are key areas to focus and continually improve on, whatever the industry – but particularly relevant to pharmacy. A GREAT DAYS TRAINING.”

Marc Donovan, Chief Pharmacist. Walgreens Boots Alliance
  • What is your favorite quote? The UK Royal Air Force's moto "Per Ardua Ad Astra" - which translates to " "Through adversity to the stars" is very apt for my personal performance journey.
  • Are there any moments that stand out as having a significant impact on your career? Being involuntarily "outed" in the military, was a seismic and terrifying event for me. With hindsight it was the best day of my life (although it did not feel it at the time).
  • Outside of your profession do you have any hobbies/interests? As a 50 year old I try and keep up with the younger generation at Crossfit. A punishing regime but a great community.
  • Who do you look up to as a mentor and why? Sir Richard Branson is a role model. An entrepreneur and a true market disrupter. He is also an amazing advocate for LGBTQ+ employees and rights in the wider community.
  • Is there anything else we should know about you? Whilst the keynotes often focus on diversity, my speciality is Human Performance Factors. Using Psychology and flight-deck management techniques to help businesses optimize outcomes, develop