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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:20   #1 (permalink)
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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

With deep sadness I report that my good friend Ray Hanna died suddenly yesterday afternoon.



Ray, who was 77 years, joined the Royal Air Force in 1949 having learned to fly in his native New Zealand in 1947-48. Following training on the Prentice, Harvard and Meteor he was fortunate enough to fly such piston types as the Tempest V, Sea Fury, Balliol and Beaufighter. His first operational posting was to 79 Squadron, 2ATAF flying FR9 Meteors. In the fifties, he flew nearly all the early British jets including Vampires, Venoms, Attackers, Sea Hawks, Swifts and Javelins.

Ray first led a team of four Hunters in 1957, in 1963-64 was a member of the College of Air Warfare Meteor Team and, in 1965, was selected for the newly-formed Red Arrows as Red 3. He was appointed Leader the following year and remains the longest serving Leader in the history of the team.

His outstanding leadership is acknowledged as having made the Arrows the world-renowned aerobatics team they became and, in recognition, a Bar was added to the AFC he had previously been awarded for several feats of outstanding airmanship as a fighter pilot.

Ray retired from the RAF in 1971 for a new career in civil aviation, initially flying the Boeing 707 with Lloyd International Airways followed by seven years with Cathay Pacific, again flying the 707, and for two years the L-1011 Tri-Star.
In 1979 he was asked to head a private diplomatic 707 company with world-wide operations.

With his son Mark, who was so tragically killed flying an Me109 six years ago, he built up a vintage warbird collection at Duxford which ultimately became the renowned 'Old Flying Machine Company.' In addition to achieving acclaim on the display circuit, the OFMC has numerous movie credits.



The Master in action


Ray was undoubtedly one of the finest display pilots ever, and widely regarded as the best of the best.




Ray displaying his famous Mark IX Spitfire MH434 was a joy to behold, and a sight which will be sorely missed on the display circuit.

Most important of all, Ray was a fine man, a true gentleman. Not only did I have enormous admiration for his outstanding talent as a pilot and respect for him as a man, but I regard it as an honour to have been a friend.


Tudor Owen

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 30th Jan 2006 at 17:16.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:26   #2 (permalink)
 
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We've lost a good man and a great aviator.
R.I.P.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:30   #3 (permalink)
 
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I imagine it'll be some party when he meets up with Mark, Neil Williams, Hoof Proudfoot, Norman Lees, Bill Murton et al .


RIP
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:35   #4 (permalink)
 
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Oh No!

On behalf of all at CX who knew Ray for the absolute gentleman and quintessential aviator he was...

Per Ardua ad Astra
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:35   #5 (permalink)
 
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Ray Hanna.

What a shock.

A fine, totally unassuming man who I first met in 1971 at RAF Bicester Mess.

Ray was doing his ATPL at Oxford having just left the Air Force and Bicester was the best B&B around at the time.

Helped me no end with the peculiarities of the civvie flying world and it's even more peculiar exam requirements.

He was also one of the best exponents of how to treat an expensive warbird.

We have lost our mentor.

Duxford will never be the same.

Fly on, Ray.

Sleeve.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:37   #6 (permalink)
 
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Very sad!
It was waching his displays that got me into flying in the first place.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:40   #7 (permalink)
 
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He inspired me to fly when he signed an autograph for me, a wide-eyed kid, at a Biggin Hill airshow in the mid-sixties. Years later, I was fortunate to spend a few days working with his late son Mark, also a gentleman.

An aviation great.

Fly-on Ray.....
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:46   #8 (permalink)
 
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Terrible news,

on the Saturday of Flying Legends this year, Ray performed a particularly storming display in MH434, the rumours were that it was to be his last display at Legends.

Sadly this is now true. Airshows will never quite be the same again.

RIP Ray
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:51   #9 (permalink)
 
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A more charming and dedicated and outstanding pilot would be very hard to find. I deem it a great honour to have known him.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 09:59   #10 (permalink)
 
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Sad news indeed. A truly great aviator.

RD
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:02   #11 (permalink)
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Really sad news - Biggin and Duxford will never be quite the same again.

He'll still be in a Spitifre somewhere...
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:30   #12 (permalink)
 
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Ray Hanna RIP

Ex-Reds leader and legendary Spitfire/Warbird pilot.



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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:30   #13 (permalink)
 
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Im not sure I have the words to say how respected he was amongst airshow attendees and aircraft enthusiasts.

There are few post war pilots whos names automatically pop into ones head when talking aviation his is one of them.
He truly wont be forgotten.

RIP
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:33   #14 (permalink)
 
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Very Sad News.

To my mind he was THE very best warbird display pilot in the world and there will never be any better, his displays were a joy to watch.

He will be sadly missed from the World of Aviation and there will be no other like him again.

Peter.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:46   #15 (permalink)
 
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Stunned and shocked at the sad news!

I never even knew he was ill.

Surley an inspiration to all of us aviators alike, I am proud to have known Mark and met Ray many times.

You will be missed by both family and friends for a long time to come, the war bird community has lost a great flyer.

With sadness and tears. Puff.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:54   #16 (permalink)
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RIP Ray, never forget the pleasant times we flew together for seven years. I missed you when you left, I miss you more now. For sure we'll fly together again someday in the future.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 10:56   #17 (permalink)
 
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You may wish to look on History and Nostalgia for the posting by Flying Lawyer who is (was) a very good friend of Ray Hanna.






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Last edited by Heliport; 9th Mar 2006 at 16:08.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 11:01   #18 (permalink)
 
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Sad news

Just heard the very sad news from some of the Zim guys, then read the Lawyers post.
Ray Hannah was truly inspirational and he will be sadly sadly missed.
Deepest sympathy to the family and his old crew, especially our special Kenyan Patsy.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 11:07   #19 (permalink)
 
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He was one of the finest Aviators of the last 50 years. He flew the 707 ZL or Spitfire MH434 with the same style and finess.

Please advise of any UK memorial service.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 11:11   #20 (permalink)

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Sad news indeed & a loss to aviation. R.I.P Ray
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