A fighter pilot has shared his experiences of being deployed in Ukraine and Syria as part of a new Channel 4 documentary.

Ben Chergui, a typhoon pilot with the RAF, described warzones as “not normal” as he was filmed having to deal with a life-or-death situation about whether to attack a possible Islamic State militant.

Ben, 32, from Eastbourne, was filmed as part of Channel 4’s Top Guns: Inside the RAF, which offered unprecedented access inside the air force.

The fighter pilot, also known as “Chergs” said: “The way UK policy works you know we just don’t drop bombs willy nilly, we need to be aware of what’s going on and have the full picture.

“We see what his intentions are, and what’s going on around that area as well.

“You need to be aware of the fact that you’re flying a £70 million fighter jet which is fully armed, and there’s a lot of people below that probably want to kill you.

“That certainly focuses the mind.”


In the episode of the Channel 4 documentary, Ben checks whether an individual in Syria is an Islamic State militant by checking the targeting camera on his plane.

The person was later identified to be a farmer.

Ben said added: “There are times it can be stressful, but luckily with the training that we’ve had and the very strict rules of engagement that we have, it kind of keeps you on the straight and narrow.”

The Argus: A fighter jet from the Channel 4 showA fighter jet from the Channel 4 show (Image: PA)

The fighter pilot was also previously sent to Ukraine as part of the response to the invasion of the country by Russia.

Channel 4’s documentary is the first-time cameras have been allowed unprecedented access inside the RAF, and filming primarily took place at RAF base Lossiemouth in Scotland.

Episode two of Channel 4’s Top Guns: Inside the RAF aired on August 28 at 9pm.