View Full Version : Captain Dave Smethurst

22nd Nov 2001, 22:36
It is my sad duty to reproduce the following message from the Britannia Chief Pilot, with his permission, for those who do not have access to our forum and may have had the privilege to know this true gentleman of aviation.

"It is with the deepest sadness that I have to report the death of Captain Dave Smethurst.

Dave passed away peacefully at the North Cheshire Hospital in the early hours of this morning, with his family around him.

Dave was highly respected and much liked, not only by the pilot workforce, but throughout Britannia as a whole. His charm, his humour and intelligent good sense will be greatly missed by us all.

A further notice will be issued when funeral and flower arrangements are made.

In the meantime all our thoughts are with Dave’s family."

23rd Nov 2001, 01:15
Not only respected by BAL, but also staff from the handling agents who worked with him.
A true gentleman, and a credit to the pilot community.

Heart felt condolences to his family and friends.

23rd Nov 2001, 01:39
Furthermore and more importantly, my deepest condolences to all those close to Dave.

Racing Snake
23rd Nov 2001, 01:42
Condolences too Dave's family.He will be greatly missed.

[ 23 November 2001: Message edited by: Racing Snake ]

23rd Nov 2001, 15:26
I am saddened this morning to read this news.

My condolences go out to his family.

He was a great person to know, highly respected and admired for his professional and dedicated manner.

He will be missed.

23rd Nov 2001, 16:31
I'd like to add my respects and condolences. I concur with the comments above.

Big Tudor
23rd Nov 2001, 19:18
Deepest sympathy and condolences to all who were close to Dave. The world is a poorer place for his passing.

23rd Nov 2001, 19:37
I can remember Dave Smethhurst when he joined Court Line fresh out of Hamble with 200 hours to fly the BAC 1-11. I'm very saddend to hear of his death. He was still a young man in his 50's. My condolences to the family.

Jonathan Hope
24th Nov 2001, 03:35
A true gent....will be missed by all Dispatchers....

Condolences to his family

24th Nov 2001, 15:50
I have known David for over 25 years. He was a wonderful pilot, an excellent Captain, a fair and honest Pilot Manager and an example to us all. It is tragic that someone so young is taken from us.

My condolences to his wife Cindy and his 2 sons.

He will be greatly missed by us all.

24th Nov 2001, 18:39
I was very sad to see the notice about Dave's death.

Being a PPL holder, just starting my correspondence ATPL's and working at EGCC as a refueller, I asked a Britannia engineer about 2 years ago who I could contact about obtaining a jump seat flight with his company. The name I was given was Dave's with an internal 'phone number.

Building up enough courage to make the 'phone call - knowing Dave was the base captain and not wanting to sound an idiot - I contacted Dave to explain who I was. We chatted for a while before I asked if it would be possible for him to organise a jump seat trip. He could not have been more approachable and helpful.

My jump seat flight was organised with Dave himself for 18 September 2000 to Ibiza with a mid afternoon departure.

This day finally came and, making sure I was smartly dressed, I arrived at Britannia's crew room and was welcomed by Dave. He immediately got me a coffee, introduced me to his First Officer for the flight, whose name was Ian, and then began to go over the flight plans. Time was not an issue and Dave went into particular detail for my benefit. Once this was all done and a fuel figure was decided, we then made our way down to the aircraft, 767-300.

During the outward and inbound flights, the First Officer Ian spent quite a bit of time, without my having asked him, to explain how the computer and navigation systems worked.
During this time I noticed that Dave never contradicted or patronised Ian in any way whatsoever. If I did not know that Dave was the base captain I would never have guessed it. No offence meant to base captains.

On arrival back in EGCC I could not thank Dave or Ian enough, and hoped that I had not been an inconvenience.

It wasn't until about 3 or 4 months ago, whislt working on the apron, that I learned of Dave's illness. I was really shocked.
Since then when on the apron, if a Britannia pilot during his walk round came and chatted to me, I would always ask how Dave was. I could tell from the responses given that they were saddened by his deteriorating health.

I would like to thank "whitehat" - and the Britannia Chief Pilot for giving his permission - for posting this thread and bringing this sad news to everyones attention.

My thoughts are with Dave's colleagues and many friends.

[ 24 November 2001: Message edited by: EGCC4284 ]

[ 24 November 2001: Message edited by: EGCC4284 ]

[ 24 November 2001: Message edited by: EGCC4284 ]

24th Nov 2001, 20:35
Deeply saddened to hear the tragic news.
Dave was a great manager and people person. It was an honour to work for him.

Condolences to his family and colleagues.

25th Nov 2001, 12:11
A tragic turn of events, one of the most decent chaps I have ever met. Dave will be sorely missed by us all.

26th Nov 2001, 00:03
Couldn't agree more. A great guy and a excellent manager to deal with. Will be sorely missed at Manch.
Condolences to all his family.

26th Nov 2001, 00:39
Very sad news.

He will be greatly missed.
My condolences to his wife and family.