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Pilot friends we remember...

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Pilot friends we remember...

Old 9th Aug 2019, 03:59
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Pilot friends we remember...

Some of us have lost pilot friends, and there have been a number recently. I lost a pilot friend to an accident three days ago.

I was thinking to myself of friends I have lost in aircraft accidents, and what those friends meant to me. Most were mentors, to whom I owe a lot, and I'm please than in small ways I keep their memory alive, by including their wisdom in the way I make my flying safer, and in a few cases learning to not do what they did.

I've recently had discussion with a couple of posters here, and other friends about pilot friends lost, and have discussed that in a very small way, they may still be remembered. So, here goes, a thread in which we may post our nice thoughts about pilot friends we have lost in aircraft accidents, and what they meant to us. What we do in our flying, which bears memory to them.

A few simple guidelines please:

Naming the person: If it is pride worthy, and very unlikely to create upset, renewed unpleasant discussion, accusations, liability or implication of fault, I guess it's okay to name the person in a good context. If in doubt, just use their first name, or initials only, or no identity, if you prefer. If the accident is within the last year or two, or if you think that there could be any lingering long term legal or insurance issues, better to not name the person, you can circle back later. A few very serious accidents can have legal proceedings for many years afterword, so think before you identify people. If what you're posting goes no deeper than reliable public record, you should be fine. Remember, the purpose of this is to refresh pleasing thoughts and memories, not unhappiness. Mods will delete any posts where a name is used and trouble seems to result - fair enough?

Condolences: no that's not what this is for. Yes, we miss them, and we can all assume that condolences are intended. Please send them to the family in a nice card, not post them here.

Events of their accident: It may possibly have a little merit to mention their accident, but that is not what is intended here. If you must, keep in light and brief, and non controversial please. If there is a reference to an accident, the only further discussion about the accident will be the positive learning type of discussion. Rehashing old details is not what we're here for, so such posts will be deleted.

We're doing this to acknowledge and appreciate the person - positive and kind please.... If in doubt, don't post about them/the accident, or make them completely non identifiable.
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Old 9th Aug 2019, 04:21
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I'll go first, with a few memorable pilots, in no particular order;

My friend Bill Loverseed, ex RAF and Red Arrows. He was an incredible mentor, and a kind person. In my opinion, he was a nice person always looking for somewhere to help. I'd flown with him a few times as a passenger while I worked for his employer at the time, deHavilland Canada. I flew over to England as one of his passengers in the Buffalo in 1984, and was kindly invited to ride jump seat during the demonstration flight at Farnborough. Two days later, his demo flight in the same plane did not have the intended outcome. No one hurt, just bent metal. Bill went on to private ferry flying, and I flew all over the world learning with him, the types and experiences too numerable to mention. He would regale me with stories of RAF and Red Arrows flying, and soem entertaining demonstration flying with deHavilland airplanes. I learned a tremendous amount from him during the ten or so years I spend sharing a friendship with him, right down to a number of sailing outings in Lake Ontario, and later Bosham Estuary. we lost Bill, and another friend Mic Saunders, in November 1998, in the crash of a Dash 7. But I keep thinking of Bill.

Vic S. a kind and wise helicopter pilot, who used to let me fly pipeline patrol with him. He gave me his new, but unused helmet while he ordered a better one. While awaiting it's delivery, flew a patrol, flew into electrical wires, and was lost. I don't think the helmet would have saved him, but I think of it when I wear it.

Rick V. Owned the Cessna Service Center local to me, and gave me wonderful opportunities to maintenance check fly different types, test modifications, and ferry parts and airplanes. Rick got too complacent with a stock C 150 one day, and was killed on impact. In my capacity as a local volunteer firefighter, I was called to the crash, and had to help lift him out of the wreck. Happily for him, he would have had about five seconds of "Oh S..." and then no suffering, and I remember all the things he taught me - a couple of do not do this. After his accident, I stopped doing a few silly things that I also used to do in 150's!

And Rob, who died flying a Cessna 207 I was responsible for. Again, I learned more from Rob, what not to do, and to what to do, but he was a nice fellow. I have a single distinct memory of Rob, he bought on of the first Ipods, and put all his music on it. He told me that he just set it to shuffle, and let it play. he'd loaded all the music he liked, so let it play through randomly. So, silly as it is, when I play my Ipod, I think of Rob.

I have lost more friends than these fine fellows, but on to other posters with memories they would like to share....
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 08:31
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Some of us have lost pilot friends, and there have been a number recently.
Two weeks ago I witnessed an accident. Two friends died as a result of a mid-air collision between an ASK-21 and the C-182 which had just released it. The towplane severed the glider's tailboom at the base of the fin. The descent was mercifully quick.

Allan W. was a few years younger than me. He had started gliding quite late in life, but quickly progressed and by the time I rejoined my club in 2015 after an overseas assignment, he was the CFI. He had imposed a strong safety culture on the club and was well-respected and was a very nice, sociable person. As a friend said "He was one of the good guys."

Adam L. was an 18 year-old post-solo student, who was doing a pre-license flight with Allan. I had known him for two years as a friendly, outgoing club-member, who was very keen, always helping out if he was not flying. His instructors universally described him as a very good pilot. What I didn't know was his achievements in other fields. He had been doing Taekwondo since the age of five, was an instructor and had recently become a Second Dan Black Belt. He was also a very popular and well respected WO2 in a local Air Cadet squadron. He had graduated from High School this year and was going to study Physics at university this fall.

A tragic loss of two such nice people. This was the first time I had been involved with the aftermath of a fatal accident and I had often wondered how I would react in this situation. I discovered that I was able to separate the events after the accident from my interaction with my two friends earlier in the day. I went into a kind of automatic mode when dealing with police and emergency personnel at the crash site.

I have been lucky in that only one other friend has been killed in an aircraft accident. Bruce Handyside was a school friend of mine. We did RAF Special Flying Awards together at White Waltham in 1966 and then he went on to Cranwell and I went to university. After getting his wings, he went onto helicopters. He was killed in Oman in the early 70s when an underslung load hit his Huey.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 09:22
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Unfortunately, I've lost too many friends and colleagues to count over the 45 or so years I've been flying (best guess is that it's about thirty).

A very close call for me involved a biplane that crashed during aerobatics, killing my friend and seriously injuring the other occupant, his girlfriend. I'd sat in the same seat as he did on the aircraft's previous flight and had done similar aerobatics over the same place. I helped push the aircraft out from the hangar just before the fated flight. The AAIB found that a control restriction was the most likely cause.
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Old 10th Aug 2019, 11:00
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Perhaps fortunately, I have only lost 1 friend and 2 acquaintances in 30 years of private flying. All instructors.

My friend Tom, who died in Thailand, was the most talented weightshift pilot I ever met and a great character.

The two others were both talented pilots who died in Africa and Southern Scotland well before their time.

On a similar theme, I suspect I am not the only pilot to downplay a bit the dangers of flying small aeroplanes to my friends and relatives.
Do posters here think we should be more forthright about the number of friends and acquaintances that have been killed or injured flying?

PS Just remembered that I flew with Pete Clark in the Europa demonstrator.
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 23:15
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Friends: Jeremy was first. He died doing something stupid. He was an Instructor ironically my former boss was his student. He survived I would gladly reverse the result.
Last time I visited his grave I got angry because he should be an almost retired Captain by now.

Two others died pointlessly, an Instructor and student, no names. Spinning in from an engine failure after running out of fuel for an Instructor is unforgiveable.

Then recently Jim, another Instructor, another spin but perhaps he did nothing wrong and overtaken by a situation. The Jury is out.

That's just friends. I saw one fatal crash and knew a number of pilots who went out via the smoking hole route.

I only lost four friends. I think in peacetime away from military operations that's not too bad. It won't be the final toll though I fear.
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 23:21
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Originally Posted by Forfoxake View Post
Do posters here think we should be more forthright about the number of friends and acquaintances that have been killed or injured flying?.
I only recently told my wife but I'm almost out of flying . She had no idea. The answer is no.
If she realised she'd have campaigned me out. Even now I play it down.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 02:16
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My IFR instructor died a year or so after I completed the rating, went around with an unsecured turbo-hose, and didn't make it back to the runway before the engine and surrounds caught fire.

The gentleman that taught me the ins and outs of Corporate flying crashed into a ridge in Alaska delivering diesel to the drill sites...

and a few more, the circumstances of which I know less, but the outcome was the same.
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Old 1st Sep 2019, 10:18
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Pause for thought

Thank you Pilot DAR, for creating this thread.

There have been too many friends and acquaintances lost over the 40 or so years that I have been in and around aircraft of all shapes and sizes.
Whilst I am not going to revisit any of these in particular, I do wish to make a general observation.

During those years, I have lost just 2 friends in a single road accident, whilst the comparitive number from GA accidents is well into double figures.
My feeling on this, even taking into account the relative sample size of non aviation to aviation related friends and acquaintances, is clearly demonstrated by the adage:

Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous.
But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.

Stay safe.

TR



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Old 3rd Oct 2019, 13:13
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One of my first instructors at Barton, John Casson, who had climbed a rung or two higher up the ladder to captain a Bandeirante, just after take-off from Leeds Bradford on 24 May, 1995, en route to Aberdeen went IMC just after take-off in fairly rough air with TS nearby and 4 minutes later dived into a field after reporting "a problem with the artificial horizon'.
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Old 27th Oct 2019, 10:39
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I've know well into double figures of colleagues and acquaintances who have been killed over a 30 year career, but i've also lost the two people in my life who i would describe as being my "Best Friends".

Both died after (different) otherwise survivable accidents because they were not wearing appropriate safety equipment in one case and not wearing it properly in the other.

Please folks - wear the right kit and wear it properly!!!
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Old 29th Oct 2019, 17:26
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Where do you start?
its a weird thread we have here, it’s a bit sad but it made me stop, think and remember. I wasn’t upset, I actually ended up smiling at the fond memories.
Biggest impact for me was the Bessbrook Puma/Gazelle midair. Mike, JNav and Jan were such different personalities ��
Mull of Kintyre Chinook was terrible, hit us all so hard
Dave Traill and his crew at Clutha Bar Glasgow, what a character, RIP hotlips
Chris Herds Puma in Germany was so unlucky, survived the initial impact, only to have a tree fall on the cockpit
Tommo in a Hawk midair. Doc told him if he didn’t reduce his cholesterol intake, he would end up dying young ��
Andy Crous and McGoo in the Kosovo Puma crash. 10,000 beauties committed suicide when they lost Andy
And I couldn’t ever forget AJ Smith, sadly lost in a cfit whilst transiting the Mourne mountains, taught many young pilots SO much about flying whilst managing to pee them all off at the same time.
Great memories of all mentioned
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 21:12
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There was the Falklands C130 Sea-King collision that took one of my best childhood friends away.
We grew up from the age of 5 thinking kerosene fumes were perfume at Farnborough

DH, Never forgotten.

Last edited by Teddy Robinson; 30th Oct 2019 at 21:16. Reason: I forgot something
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 21:33
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Some of us have lost pilot friends, and there have been a number recently. I lost a pilot friend to an accident three days ago.

I was thinking to myself of friends I have lost in aircraft accidents, and what those friends meant to me. Most were mentors, to whom I owe a lot, and I'm please than in small ways I keep their memory alive, by including their wisdom in the way I make my flying safer, and in a few cases learning to not do what they did.

I've recently had discussion with a couple of posters here, and other friends about pilot friends lost, and have discussed that in a very small way, they may still be remembered. So, here goes, a thread in which we may post our nice thoughts about pilot friends we have lost in aircraft accidents, and what they meant to us. What we do in our flying, which bears memory to them.

A few simple guidelines please:

Naming the person: If it is pride worthy, and very unlikely to create upset, renewed unpleasant discussion, accusations, liability or implication of fault, I guess it's okay to name the person in a good context. If in doubt, just use their first name, or initials only, or no identity, if you prefer. If the accident is within the last year or two, or if you think that there could be any lingering long term legal or insurance issues, better to not name the person, you can circle back later. A few very serious accidents can have legal proceedings for many years afterword, so think before you identify people. If what you're posting goes no deeper than reliable public record, you should be fine. Remember, the purpose of this is to refresh pleasing thoughts and memories, not unhappiness. Mods will delete any posts where a name is used and trouble seems to result - fair enough?

Condolences: no that's not what this is for. Yes, we miss them, and we can all assume that condolences are intended. Please send them to the family in a nice card, not post them here.

Events of their accident: It may possibly have a little merit to mention their accident, but that is not what is intended here. If you must, keep in light and brief, and non controversial please. If there is a reference to an accident, the only further discussion about the accident will be the positive learning type of discussion. Rehashing old details is not what we're here for, so such posts will be deleted.

We're doing this to acknowledge and appreciate the person - positive and kind please.... If in doubt, don't post about them/the accident, or make them completely non identifiable.
I believe you have this about right.

The problem is with all aviation accidents is that they are ruthless, taking away 1, 2, 4, 6 or more in a stroke.

Their loss should not be their legacy as many of those, whilst part of the aviation community, were not pilots themselves, but people we knew as friends.

These were people that loved the smell of a grass airfield in the summer, and lived for the day that they could actually go flying.

Nobody set out to have an accident, these things sadly happen, but the impact is massive.

In some respect, this changed my entire outlook as an instructor, examiner and latterly as a line pilot with "cadets" to educate.
The horror of seeing so many perish in avoidable accidents has never left me, and never will, and you sir have seen similar.

That is our mission.

To educate, raise awareness and remember.
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Old 30th Oct 2019, 21:36
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Originally Posted by Kit Sanbumps KG View Post
Too many. Far too many. It’s difficult to remember the anniversaries, but as I travel and pass by the sites, I remember them.

Tomorrow, I am fortunate that my travels allow me to pay respects at the place where two uniquely talented and respected aviators, and their passengers, lost their lives, as I shall pass by Leicester City Football Club’s ground. I expect very mixed emotions there, as some supporters have been invited to assist in the final work on the memorial garden, and their sense of loss will contrast with their pride in the club’s recent success on the field (LCFC, playing away, beat Southampton 9-0 yesterday). A reminder that life delivers ups and downs. I don’t believe in an afterlife or similar, so I cannot wish ‘rest in peace’, but I celebrate their memory and take enduring counsel from the way they lived their lives.

Beautifully put.
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Old 4th Dec 2019, 14:57
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T18
 
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A very interesting though sad subject, may I add my experiences also.
Wing Commander Jock Dalgleish OBE, a true gentleman and a great instructor with so much experience and knowledge.

Jock completed my training as a PPL, I would sometimes think Jock was asleep as we flew along, one trip as we headed from Glenrothes to Crail our local flying area, Jock, eyes closed heading east along the coast a pilot radios Leuchars "request descent from 10,000 feet due to falling airspeed", this was aknowledged and minutes later, the pilot calls again "request descent due to falling airspeed", Jock casually reaches for the hand mike and makes the call, "pitot heat", minutes later said pilot requests climb to 10k.

Jock conducted my GFT,and after several maneuvers he looks out to the sea and says, it looks cold out there, I agree, ok close your eyes I want you to recover when I tell you, no worries I get the C152 level and back ontrack just as the engine and propellor stops - OMG a real emergency, Jocks training kicks in, he had turned off the fuel and climbed to stop the prop, great, I seemed to need three hands to get the engine started from around 2000ft, all went well, however as we returned to Fife airport the setting sun practically blinded me but by using my peripheral vision I was able to line up a long final and land.

As we walked back to the clubhouse I ask Jock "what do you think", yes I enjoyed that was all he answered and after the paperwork was completed he told me I had passed!

I went back for several evenings to listen in on his ground school lectures just to enjoy the anecdotes he would recount during the lesson, taking off from an air base and climbing to 50' in a bomber for miles to burn fuel before being able to gently climb, being at 28000' flat out out just above the stall, fascinating stuff.

Jock died in Dec 1999 and I discovered that he was a life long friend of King Hussein of Jordan whom he taught to fly and went on to save his life while flying a DH Dove, in Syrian airspace he was "bounced by two migs who tried to make the Dove crash by heading straight for it, Jock took control and dived for the desert floor and flew feet above back to Jordanian airspace. It' worth googling the whole story.

I understand that King Hussein would fly to Perth and he and Jock would grab a C150 and fly to Edinburgh on a purple airway.

So many lovely memories, I wish I had spent more time with him.

Having been in a few tricky flying situations, his training still holds good.

T18
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