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Old 28th Jun 2011, 00:53   #1 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up The Wind Beneath my Wings - John Hutchinson, Concorde Pilot

I'm part-way through this well written and fascinating biography which has just been published (June 2011) and it's so good that I recommend it even before I reach the end:

The Wind Beneath my Wings - John Hutchinson, Concorde Pilot
by Susan Ottaway. (ISBN: 978-0-9562176-2-2)




Although best known as a senior BA Concorde captain, John Hutchinson started his flying career in the RAF. He served from 1955-1963 (Harvard training in Canada, Shackleton pilot in Singapore, QFI/IRE) and was a corporate pilot for three years before joining BOAC in 1966. He was, successively, a 707 and 747 co-pilot and then a captain on the VC10 before being selected to be a Concorde captain.
He remained on the Concorde fleet until retirement, and was a Route Check Captain. The magnificent supersonic airliner was the love of his aviation life and Concorde fans (like me) will find the tales from the sharp end interesting, informative and enjoyable.

Those who have the privilege of knowing John 'Hutch' won't be surprised by his own description of his distinguished career: "I have never worked in my life. I've been paid to enjoy my hobby in the company of some of the finest people I have ever met - my fellow aircrew."

His very interesting life hasn't been all happiness. He's experienced tragedy and great sadness, and some genuinely 'near death' experiences - not only in aviation. I don't exaggerate. Just two examples:
In 1968, after only about 18 months with BOAC, he was Second Officer on BOAC Flight 712 in which five people died at Heathrow.
In 1984, John, his wife and two friends were captured and held captive by pirates while on a sailing holiday in the Caribbean. I won't go into detail here, but what was done to John and to his wife before they managed to overpower their evil captors makes harrowing reading.

John has always given back to the profession that gave him so much pleasure and his contributions to aviation over many years were recognised in 1999 when he was elected Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators. He remains an active, highly respected and very popular 'Past Master' of GAPAN.

A great airman, who has flown more than 70 types, he is now happy flying the Auster Aiglet in which he bought a share shortly before he retired. Having spent 15 years flying at 23 miles per minute, he describes being overtaken by family cars on the motorway below as 'rather humbling'.
Retiring from professional flying hasn't meant slowing down in any other sense - he is much in demand internationally as an aviation consultant, expert witness, broadcaster and speaker.

In his Foreword, former BOAC captain Lord Tebbit describes the book as a 'must read' for anyone interested in aviation, Concorde and the history and times of the second half of the twentieth century.
I agree.


Very highly recommended.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 28th Jun 2011 at 01:04.
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Old 28th Jun 2011, 10:17   #2 (permalink)
 
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A superbly interesting read, written about arguably the most eloquent of all Concorde pilot speakers.

One of life's true gentleman and a superb pilot, it is a long overdue biography, well done Hutch.

Best Regards
Dude .
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Old 28th Jun 2011, 16:00   #3 (permalink)
 
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Very much looking forward to reading this....

Cheers,

d
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Old 28th Jun 2011, 16:44   #4 (permalink)
 
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Excellent, I will have to purchase this. I met Capt. Hutchinson on G-BOAC LHR-IAD in 1993 when I was very privileged to visit the flight deck, really nice guy - and what a view from his 'office'!
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Old 28th Jun 2011, 20:37   #5 (permalink)
 
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I don't know if the book is available in bookshops yet. I ordered mine direct from the publisher.
They have an introductory offer at the moment, but I don't know how long that will last.
Google 'Speedman Press'.


Tudor
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Old 29th Jun 2011, 06:35   #6 (permalink)

 
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I think I'll order that book...
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Old 2nd Jul 2011, 12:20   #7 (permalink)
 
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Received my copy this morning, will have to put it down to go to Waddington tomorrow, but an interesting read so far. I had no idea of the upheavals in John's early life, so it's been a voyage of discovery even in the first part of the book.
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 17:17   #8 (permalink)
 
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Signed first edition?

If you are going to the Flying Legends airshow at Duxford this weekend, John Hutchinson and the author will be available to sign the book at the 'Aviation Bookshop' stand on Sunday.


H.
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Old 5th Jul 2011, 21:44   #9 (permalink)
 
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Yeh and while your there you can get a signed copy of The Lightning Boys !!
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Old 6th Jul 2011, 14:27   #10 (permalink)
 
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A WIWOL and WIWOC meet?
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Old 9th Jul 2011, 20:04   #11 (permalink)
 
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Where can I order this?
Followed the earlier links but it seems there was only a limited print run, with all the remaining copies now on the way to Duxford for the 'signing event'.....

CJ
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Old 12th Jul 2011, 07:21   #12 (permalink)
 
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Likewise, I have not been able to find where I can order this book online.


Amazon, for example is a dead end.
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Old 12th Jul 2011, 14:02   #13 (permalink)
 
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The wind beneath my wings

The 1st edition of the book had a limited print run (200 copies). It is only available through SpeedMan Press Web Site or email enquiries@speedmanpress.co.uk There are still a few copies left and the 2nd edition should be available late September 2011.
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 05:13   #14 (permalink)
 
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As much as I would like a copy it's a bit dear for me at present.


Any chance it will be available more widely and a little lower priced on it's second printing ?
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Old 13th Jul 2011, 23:25   #15 (permalink)
 
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Pleased to see John pop up here, I've reached the early 60s in the book and after reading of his various near-death experiences so far I was a bit worried that he wasn't going to make it to the end!

Last edited by Feathers McGraw; 13th Jul 2011 at 23:26. Reason: Correct meaning
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Old 14th Jul 2011, 06:45   #16 (permalink)
 
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Smile The Wind beneath my Wings

Yes I'm still hanging on!
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Old 22nd Jul 2011, 21:15   #17 (permalink)
 
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... and what an absolutely fascinating life story it's been so far John! The book is an excellent read, beautifully written by Susan Ottaway and difficult to put down.
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Old 22nd Jul 2011, 21:20   #18 (permalink)
 
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Damn, the website states they are now out of stock.
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Old 30th Jul 2011, 18:48   #19 (permalink)
 
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The Wind beneath my Wings

Please don't despair; the 2nd edition will be coming out late September. It is due to be printed in Hong Kong and it will be a much larger print run.
We only did a limited run of 200 copies for the 1st edition as we were not sure the book would have any appeal. I think the quality of Susan Ottaway's writing has ensured that it does in fact have appeal!

Last edited by Heliport; 31st Jul 2011 at 16:33.
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Old 31st Jul 2011, 09:00   #20 (permalink)
 
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It could well be that Aviators and those interested in Aviation find the life of the subject and his achievements to be of considerable interest.
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