If any job requires a head for heights then it’s that of a pilot...but a member of RAF Coningsby’s ground crew is also proving she can handle the high life.
Most days Flt Lt Mandy Singleton can be found working as an aero systems engineer in the Typhoon Force Headquarters - leading a small team offering support and guidance on operations and exercises - but she is currently on an expedition to climb two 6,000m peaks in Nepal.
Flt Lt Singleton is part of a six-person RAF mountaineering expedition to the Dhaulagiri region with the aim of trekking up the peaks of Dhampus and Mukot.
She will be joining the British Services Dhaulagiri Medical Research Expedition, escorting members around the Dhaulagiri Circuit and taking part in research into the effects of altitude and low oxygen levels on the human body.
Flt Lt Singleton said: “I have always been a keen hill walker and since becoming a member of the RAF Mountaineering Association I have been privileged to participate in expeditions to the European Alps and Northern Canada. I also enjoy skiing, both downhill and cross country.
“Going to the Himalayas is top of my bucket list. When the opportunity came along, I jumped at the chance. I am extremely pleased to have been selected for this particular team and the chance to get to 6,000m.
“It’ll all be new and exciting, it’s fulfilling my lifetime ambition.”
In order to take part in the expedition, which got under way on Saturday, Flt Lt Singleton had to refresh her winter mountaineering skills and spend time in the hills to improve stamina and endurance.
She added: “I am concerned about my fitness, as a busy job and family have limited my ability to be as fit as I’d like. I’ve also never climbed this high, I don’t know how my body will react to the altitude.”
At the summit, Flt Lt Singleton can expect to experience temperatures as low as -24C, with little oxygen.