Liz McConaghy



Liz McConaghy is best known as the longest serving female Chinook force Aircrew member of the Royal Air force; a witty and entertaining public speaker and successful author but someone who has known personal sorrow.

Originally from a small town in Co. Down Northern Ireland Liz attended RAF Cranwell on her 19th birthday to begin her career thereafter on Chinook Helicopters. She was the youngest aircrew to deploy to Iraq aged just 21 and also the only female crewman on the Chinook wing for 4 years, making her story completely unique.

She had 2 deployments to Iraq and 10 deployments to Helmand Afghanistan in support of Operation Herrick which gave her an insightful and very personal perspective on war. Upon leaving the RAF in 2019 Liz suffered traumatic mental traumas which in turn led to her trying to end her life in Aug 2020.

After entering the Veterans Mental Health care system Liz began writing a cathartic autobiography to help her process the past. Chinook Crew ‘Chick’ was released in Sept 2022 and went to Amazon Bestseller within 3 weeks. It is an honest and humorous account of her ‘best of times and worst of times’ and how her experiences flying on the Chinook have changed and moulded her into the woman she has become.

A popular motivational and inspirational speaker, Liz shares her heartfelt stories of building resilience and battling mental health in the RAF. With an emphasis on the effectiveness of team work and the power of resilience, Liz demonstrates how you can turn adversity into positivity, even in the darkest of times.

Liz is an ambassador for mental health and specifically PTSD with Veterans, she stands as an example that PTSD does not have to be your identity, it can simply be a chapter of your life.


Liz’s presentation was fantastic. By sharing her journey coping through PTSD enabled our people to get a better understanding of the condition and most importantly, how to manage it. The audience was totally captivated on her every word." 
Deputy Chair, RAF Northolt Resilience Community

“Liz's speaking slot was excellent. I've been in the presence of what feels like half of the "SAS off the TV" squad, comedians and other more publicly visible characters and her session landed the hardest blows, in a good way.

Liz had us in stitches of laughter and her sense of humour (I guess partly from spending so long in a largely male environment) absolutely hit the mark, and that was quite often followed up very rapidly with welling up and holding back the sniffles when she opened up about some of her life events.” 

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