Where Are They Now?Please feel free to post contact information here if you are looking for long lost friends or trying to find out what has happened to colleagues. Obituaries and condolences can be posted here too.
It is 3 years ago today, on his 62nd birthday, that Michael L Wood passed away.
Mike, known to his mates as Miserable Mike and the 'Victor Meldrew' of British Airways, joined the RAF at South Cerney in 1965 on 215 course. This was followed by pilot training at Acklington (IIRC)and Oakington , then on to the Herc' OCU at Thorney Island. After tours on 24 Sqn and as a captain on 47 Sqn, Mike 'PVRed' in '73 and joined BOAC/BA.
He flew the VC10, on which he was hijacked in '74,757,DC10 and finally the 777. He retired in 2001, and surprisingly did not fly again.
Still very much missed by this family and I'm sure by all his old mates. RIP Mike, thanks for being a great friend.
I wasn't aware that Mike had gone. I only flew with him once when I was his F/O on the 777 - met him a few times after that of course. Lovely chap - we put the world to rights in Bahrain over a few beers as I recall. I didn't think of him as a 'Victor Meldrew' type, but then again that is how Mrs Exeng describes me at times.
I'm saddened by the news, and at such a relatively young age.
From what little time I spent with Mike it was clear he was a Gentleman and a first class aviator.
I remember Mike as he was the youngest Captain on the C130 fleet and I had the great pleasure of flying with him as his Loadmaster on his last trip prior to his retirement. It was a "Reccy" flight over the Icelandic fishing fleet and as we did a "low" pass over one of their trawlers, I despatched his cap off the ramp and believe it or not it actually landed on the vessel. They don't make them like Mike anymore. RIP Mike
Spot on. I was the nav on that last trip. Thanks for crediting with a 'bull's eye' even though there were no figures in MOTS PT 2 for calculating the release point for a SD hat! I remember logging the position.
The dispatched hat was the only one Mike had (it was a real route hat - the Gestapo would have been proud of it) so he had to borrow a rather ill-fitting one for the farewell interview with the boss.
As an aside, it wasn't a 'recce' flight. We were on cod War ops and located the Icelandic gun boat, the Odin, which had been harassing out fishing fleet. The kipper fleet guy on board took an official photo from the para door. I have a copy and it has 'Flt Lt Wood 47 Sqn' printed at the bottom in true kipper fleet style. Not bad for a truckie Sqn! Quite proud that the Ecko 290 weather radar located a ship.
Thanks for the Mike memory; Roy I'm fairly sure that Mike wasn't the youngest Herc captain.
I only know about the period 67-73, but I know of several who were younger than Mike.
I guess Mike did his captain course late '70 and probably was 24 ( 30/12/70) while on the course. One of his mates, who was a 'Co' with him on 24 Sqn, came on to 30 Sqn, one John Lambert, and I think he claimed to be still 23 when he arrived on 30 Sqn. Another mate of Mike and I is Chris Kelly (dob 9/4/47) and he did his Captain course 3 or 4 months after Mike.
When 48 formed with the Herc late '67, I was the youngest officer apart from a 'Co' called MIke Arthur - born about March 1947. IIRC he did his captain course in '70 and may have been only 22 when it started.
I'm sure another Pruner will know the definitive answer!
By the time Mike did his last trip, aged almost 27, there would have been quite a few captains younger than him.
I used to speak to Mike quite a lot on the R/T when I was an ATCO at LHR, he was always ready with a drole comment!
I didn't know Mike well but do remember him as a good man. Like Roybo I too was a "Loadie", during Mike's time at Lyneham I was a "sprog" on 24 before a rather hasty posting to Andovers!!! Returned to Lyneham in '76, Roybo being one of my Instructors on the OCU. I seem to remember a very young Captain we had who could of course fly all over the States but was too young to drive a vehicle hired by the USAF.
re John Lambert. I knew him well and sad to say in the prime of his life around 1978/80 he fell off his motorbike in Devon and ended up a paraplegic. I visited him a couple of times whilst he was in a Cheshire home somewhere in Surrey I think it was. He eventually got a large ( at the time )settlement from the local council and bought a bungalow in Dorset with a high tech system so he could whistle to answer phone and turn things like the TV on. He had full time nursing care.
For a few years I noticed he wrote letters to Flight magazine and I often wonder if he is still with us? Anybody know??
I was on 47 when Mike was a Captain.Cannot comment on his age (he was quite young) but as I remember it he was the last Flying Officer Captain in 38 Grp.. Baring in mind it was almost forty years ago, perhaps some of the 'older' members will comment on this, right or wrong?
A lot of guys hadn't bothered to take the old 'B' exam, a pass being necessary for promotion from Fg Off to Flt Lt (apart from the 'Green Shield stamp' university guys - always p*ss*d me off that!), but on 5th May 1972 the requirement was scrapped.
There were quite a few guys at Lyneham who collected their second ring that day, Mike being one and my old mate Chris Kelly another. Mike used to tell lots of stories of flying with co-pilots and navs ( some Sqn Ldrs) who were senior to him and ground wallahs ignoring him and approaching them if there was a problem.
Hence the saying - are u a real fll lt or a 5 of May flt lt? Brian Hardie comes to mind and he was quite p***ed off that he had to wear the second ring. Ah, the days when you could live on a fg off's salary.
I was in Masirah on 5 may 72 and there was a hell of a party when the slack fg offs were made up to flt lt. Happy days.