Oli was born in Nottingham and was educated at Nottingham High School, where he was a member of the RAF Section of the CCF, often flying in the Chipmunk and Vigilant glider. Having gained both Sixth Form and Flying Scholarships from the RAF, he went on to read for a B.Eng (Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering at Coventry University.
Whilst at university, Oli was an active member of the University of Birmingham Air Squadron (UBAS), where he flew the Scottish Aviation Bulldog training aircraft out of RAF Cosford. Due to defence cuts in the early 1990s (known as Options for Change), there was a significant reduction in the requirements for pilots in the RAF; as a result of this Oliver left university without a secured flying position. At the ripe age of 22, upon being declared ‘too old’ to commence RAF pilot training, Oli turned to a career in Engineering, working as a Design Engineer developing engine test beds for Rolls Royce. He later moved into the IT industry and, in 1999, moved to London to start a new career in Telecoms.
Having subsequently worked for two major global communications companies, he currently works for PwC as a telecoms consultant. Oli completed his Private Pilots Licence in the mid-90s and flew ex-RAF Bulldog aircraft before joining a syndicate at North Weald airfield in 2000 operating two ex-RAF Jet Provost aircraft (a T.Mk3 and a T.Mk5a).
In 2008, Oli joined the Gnat Display Team as Manager of Ground Operations, which also afforded him the unique opportunity to undertake a fast jet conversion course to become a qualified pilot on the Gnat.