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Rads
19th Jan 2005, 10:56
It is with great sadness I have to tell the community that Cliff died peacefully in the early hours of the 19th January at the grand age of 80. I know a lot of you will not know my Dad but I guess some of you in the UK and maybe further a field will know him quite well and have a drink on his memory tonight.

For those who did not know Cliff his career in aviation started in 1943 when he joined the RAF. He trained in Phoenix, Arizona and returned to the UK in 1944 to find there were too many pilots and not enough jobs. (Where have we heard that before!) After kicking his heels for a short while he volunteered to train Army pilots to fly gliders. This was I believe for Operation Varsity. His last flight in a Horsa resulted in an accident that left him in hospital for a considerable time. However, during his recuperation he did meet a beautiful NAAFI girl called Ruth. They married in 1947 and had two sons Michael and Tony.

He did not fly again until he happened to drive past Cardiff Airport one day in 1957. He thought it would be fun to have a little go again. Within months he was instructing and in 1961 joined Cambrian Airways as a First Officer. He was promoted in 1963 and flew DC3ís, Viscounts and BAC1-11ís with Cambrian and then British Airways until his retirement from BA in 1980. During this time he continued instructing at Cardiff becoming a PPL examiner in 1966 (X50!) then an FIC instructor and eventually becoming a Panel Examiner for the CAA. He retired from flying as an instructor only a little over eighteen months ago finishing a career in aviation that spanned sixty years.

Cliff's funeral will take place at the Coychurch Crematorium, Bridgend at 1.30pm on Thursday, 27th January. Family flowers only donations to "W.James and Sons Charity Account" and Ruth will donate all money to the Fast Track Unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend

After there will be a celebration of his life at the Red Lion at Bonvilston.

Ruth and his sons thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. We will miss him so much.

Please call me and leave a message on 07903 761690 or email st[email protected] if you are able to attend.

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
19th Jan 2005, 11:11
I must have spoken with him many times, if not "eye-to-eye".

God Bless you Cliff..

barry lloyd
19th Jan 2005, 11:12
Rads, my condolences. I remember your father very well from my days with Cambrian Airways, and I know that he was well respected by everybody within Cambrian, and far beyond. He will be missed by all those who knew him. RIP.

flower
19th Jan 2005, 11:41
Rads,
My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Many of us at Cardiff of course knew Cliff very well and were very concerned when we heard about his ill health.

RIP Cliff , "over".

TwinAisle
19th Jan 2005, 12:00
Rads

My deepest condolences to you and your family.

I knew Cliff as the CFI at Cardiff Wales Flying Club. He was always ready to help out anyone, be they PPL student or Fleet Captain. I think I was the last person he ever examined, when he did my RT practical just before he retired - I remember the aircraft registration was a real tongue twister, and I could hear Cliff giggling as I fell over it almost every time....

So long, Cliff, thanks for everything. RIP.

TA

darkbarly
19th Jan 2005, 12:34
Rads,

Our deepest sympathy on your loss. Both myself and my wife knew Cliff as a pilot and friend at CWFC. We enjoyed his company very much.

Bye Cliff.

Viscount Sussex
19th Jan 2005, 15:05
Rads

My deepest sympathy.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cliff when he carried out my Flying Instructor's Test towards the end of March 1981.

I found him a gentleman and a professional.

Thanks Cliff, RIP.

BEagle
19th Jan 2005, 15:06
RIP indeed, dear Cliff.

He did my first 2 Instructor revalidations and I remember what a true aviation peron he was - and how much fun we had. Once, when talking about the old 'Pionair' vesion of the DC3, I asked him how many hours he'd flown. "You know, I'm not quite sure - I gave up counting at 17000" came the reply in his still boyish Welsh lilt.

A true aviation icon who will sadly be missed by all who knew him and who were lucky enought to benefit from his wisdom and experience.

RIP

Cuillin
19th Jan 2005, 15:37
Deepest condolences, Rads.

Cliff did my initial Flying Instructor approval in 1987 and all the subsequent renewals - had to make sure I was up to speed on gyros when visiting!

RIP

St Hilary
19th Jan 2005, 16:00
Rads

Condolences to you and your family

Did my instructor rating with your dad in 2000 , i was one of the last of many hundreds of FI's he trained

Always enjoyed his stories about his wartime training and his days at cambrian

A real character who will be missed

Silvertop
19th Jan 2005, 16:34
Radar,

I'm so sad to hear about Cliffs death, I did many an Insrtuctor course or renewal with him at Cardiff, and spent many happy years working along side him with the instructor community there on the "south side". I also remember on rainy days, hours of his flying stories, spanning decades, and no matter how many times I heard them, they were always great to listen to. He was also pretty useful on the pool table.

My sincere condolences to Ruth, you and the rest of the family, I'll certainly drink to him tonight.

Ice Man
19th Jan 2005, 16:48
Rads,

I am so sorry to hear of your fathers passing. Both myself and my Father had the pleasure of having several of our QFI renewals with him. My condolences to all of your family.

Cliff, you are a true AVIATOR. I will have a drink to you this evening. RIP.

Hare O Plane
19th Jan 2005, 18:09
Rads.

My deepest sympathy to all of you on your loss.

Cliff, You're a true gent and a great aviator. So many of us have gained so much from your help, advice and expertise over the years. Myself included.

I was one of the last instructors that Cliff hired at CWFC before his retirement in 2003, giving me my first ever flying job.

Thank you for giving me that start in my career Cliff.

So Long. I'll be raising a glass to you tonight.

Rest In Peace

Sparkle
19th Jan 2005, 19:46
Dear Rads,
your Dad did my FI test, I felt very humbled by such a wonderful person.
My sincere condolences to all of you.
love, sparkle
xx

Sleeve Wing
19th Jan 2005, 19:54
Rads. Pls.accept my condolences for your tragic loss.

I think you'll probably get a number of replies similar to mine.
Your Dad must have made his mark with a large number of people.

I only met Cliff a couple of times, I think on both occasions with Joe Sharps.
My main impression was his extreme kindness and willingness to help.

Late in the sixties, I had to divert into Cardiff in a 182 on the way to Brawdy for a reunion. Brawdy fogged out and we couldn't get anywhere to stay.
Ended up being allowed to sleep on the clubroom floor after the offer of a quick Le Bourget and back in the Viscount !

A true gentleman with a proud career.

RIP.

Sleeve.

page
19th Jan 2005, 20:48
Radar,
Just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. Like many, I owe a lot to Cliff.
All the best

BoeingBoy
19th Jan 2005, 21:57
Tony,

My condolences to you and your family.

It seems a lifetime ago (1969) that I met you and your Dad in the Glamorgan Flying Club.

Even though I was no more than the 15 year old resident pest harrassing anyone who rented the 172 for a back seat ride Cliff always spoke to me with respect and courtesy, perhaps recognising true vocation and devotion to flying. (Either that or he coudn't believe anyone could be sick that many times a day and still want to fly again)

Both you and I went on to become airline pilots and I know the love and respect that your father earned both in Cardiff and nationally.

I wish you and your family every kind wish for dealing with your sad loss.

David Barrington-Bullock.

reynoldsno1
20th Jan 2005, 07:34
Cliff's name seemed to ring a bell, but I cannot recall ever having any association with him. Reading his all too brief biography, however, does remind me of how much I owe to gentlemen and professionals like Cliff - how much of his life that lies between those few short lines has enriched so many lives after his.

Cliff, I salute you, and hope I may leave an aviation legacy a fraction as bountiful as yours to the next generations.

Adieu....

fireflybob
20th Jan 2005, 14:00
Remember doing my instructor upgrade with Cliff in 1975 at Cardiff.

One of aviations "greats" - a real gentleman who made the whole learning experience informative and fun.

Barcli
20th Jan 2005, 16:37
Nothing I can say has'nt already been said in the above postings _ A real Gent - who will be sadly missed.
Both myself and my Wife did FI initial and renewals with Cliff in the 80's - always great fun
Our condolences to you and all of your family
John and Heather

Rads
24th Jan 2005, 16:51
Please see original post for funeral details.