View Full Version : 411A has flown west.........

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19th Apr 2011, 09:07
to those who have communicated, praised, disagreed and even dueled with 411A:
Captain Bob Welliver had his last Margaretta at the ex patriot gentleman's club in LaCeba, Honduras, in the company of a long time friend and flight engineer (ron butts) on 1 April, 2011. He died of a massive coronary heart attack talking about the L-1011 with drink in one hand, cuban cigar in the other.

Bob was the chief pilot of nasser's L1011-500 operation, privilege jet airlines. the fleet is honduran registered but jordanian owned. the stress of a charter gone wrong due in a distant land that nasser set up did not help.

he was cremated in honduras and his remains were flown home to phoenix. plans for a memorial service are in the works. his "flight gone west" was supersonic and I am sure the landing was perfect.

some people live safe, eat properly and leave a good looking body is the way to go. In my observation of Bob, smoking hand rolled only, drinking top shelf, long hours, strange places that most people would never think of going, "masterful interpretation of flight rules, systems, MEL's and flight planning" to get a plane home, allowed Bob to gracefully ignore (no, thumb his nose) at the good looking body theory of funerary tradition.....It was more like Cohiba in one hand, magnum of South African wine in the other, body worn out to the "last 25 landing tire thread limit", sliding, hooting, screaming and howling with laughter all the way to the grave saying...."man, that was one HELL of a ride!"

Rest in peace......doubtful. heaven, purgatory or hell just got a tad more interesting. have fun and puff one illegal cuban for me.

19th Apr 2011, 09:16
RIP 411A.:sad:

19th Apr 2011, 09:16
I am sorry to read the sad news of 411As departure.

These forums will be far less interesting without him, and my thoughts go to his family.

19th Apr 2011, 09:17
Sh!t, :sad:

Sorry to hear that; I just naturally assumed that like an L-1011 he would just keep going and going no matter how bumpy the ride.

RIP Bob. You will be missed, by all on the board.

Yes even those in EU land will miss sparring with you.:ok:

Just a spotter
19th Apr 2011, 09:26
Always enjoyed his contribution to the board.


19th Apr 2011, 09:26
OMG... I am immensely sorry and shaken to read of Bob's passing. I exchanged a few PMs with him as he had been in Libya in the 60s, same as me!!

I know there were disagreements with some of his views, but he was knowledgeable and never descended to slanging matches (that I'm aware of).

RIP Bob - PPruNe will never be the same.... and you had my respect.

19th Apr 2011, 09:34
I too will miss his knowledge and joy of the L1011 and his intelligent but sometimes very focused posts. I remember many wonderful flights in the great machine.
Very sad and a loss.

19th Apr 2011, 09:34
as you have heard, 411A has passed on from the stress of a bad person who has screwed several crews out of their hard earned money. nasser al shabar and his partner marwan, owners of privilege jet airlines and elite aviation, both in jordan have the L-1011-500 aircraft registered in honduras. one is in honduras with some strange mechanical issues due to bad maintenance......no parts, no pay to a mechanic in 8 months and is still stuck there. tail number on this one is HR-AVN.....blue tail with a football on it.

the other plane is currently parked in El-Alamein, Egypt with a tail number of HR-AWN. this one was chased out of Fujarah UAE about 6 months ago and is supposed to be in flyable condition. there is no original paperwork on board proving honduran registration...it is being held by the hondurans until past wages of numerous individuals working for nasser/marwan/jamal have been paid. this pay owed goes back to july of 2010.

these jordanian operators have the audacity of trying to lure more people to fly but these owners obviously had lunch with Mugrabi of orange jet/ barq aviation to learn the tricks of pilot slavery and indentured service of the 21st century....DO NOT TRUST OR FALL FOR THIS.....they have burned many a pilot and engineer from all over the world.


the plane in honduras is being liened until 411A insurance is paid to his wife, and the pilots, mechanics and flight attendants are paid.:ugh:

19th Apr 2011, 09:37
Clearly a controversial character, as I read from some of the responses to his contributions. He had the courage of his convictions and never responded in kind to the unkind retorts of others. I hope he's enjoying that magum of Stellenbosch's finest!

19th Apr 2011, 09:39
Stuckgear I just naturally assumed that, like an L-1011, he would just keep going and going no matter how bumpy the ride.

My thoughts into words. :ok: An excellent epitaph.

How about an old photograph, in uniform, in front of a ...........

I hope Rainboe reads this thread. May bring him back for one last post.

19th Apr 2011, 09:40
RIP 411A Really enjoyed your posts about the good old Ten Eleven over the last few years

19th Apr 2011, 09:41
without insurance paid out for his death on the job with privilege jet airlines, Bob's wife has to also worry about how to live as a widow. Bob had a really spiffy and well maintained cessna 411 of 1962 vintage....well kept.

19th Apr 2011, 09:45
RIP Bob, your presence will be sorely missed, even if not everybody agreed with you.

A shame the bastards got to you in the end. They were not worth it.

19th Apr 2011, 09:53
I thought things had gone a bit quiet recently. We had our disagreements but I shall miss the stubborn old bugger nonetheless!

19th Apr 2011, 09:54
RIP Bob,
Always had a lively contribution to the Forum you will be sadly missed fella.

19th Apr 2011, 09:54

There's a very mixed bunch on PPrune with various contacts, skills and abilities on many continents, keep us posted of any info that Ppruners may be able to assist in making sure that those deserving get what is due.


19th Apr 2011, 09:56
RIP 411A, you'll be missed. Hope his wife gets the insurance settlement and hope someone buys his Cessna.

19th Apr 2011, 10:01
Aviation loses another colourful character. RIP

19th Apr 2011, 10:10
I had a secret hope of enjoying a cigar on his flight deck one day.


Rest in peace? 411A? I don't think so!

19th Apr 2011, 10:11
Probably only agreed with 30% of what he posted.....non the less a true character.

RIP 411A

Chris Scott
19th Apr 2011, 10:15

Had no idea he had such a large stake in the business. Wow...

His posts were always worth reading, and often a must:


He could be blunt, occasionally even dismissive, but his love of aviation always shone through. Although he nailed his colours firmly to the mast, he respected differing opinions if the opponent knew what he was talking about.

He may have been biased in favour of Lockheed airframes and RR engines, but there's not a lot wrong with that. Impartiality can be boring.

Here's another one who will greatly miss his contributions.

(EDIT) PS (April 22/0800z)
Since the posts above, over 10 pages/200 posts and counting. Many eloquent ones... This thread may run and run, but this PS is just to ensure a link to 411A's last PPRuNe posting. A couple of days before that last Margarita, he seems to have been in typical, mildly Brit-bashing, form:

19th Apr 2011, 10:15
Stubborn, controversial, and a staunch defender of the the old Ten-Eleven.

Whatever you think of 411A, he contributed a lot to the discussions on PPRuNe and his input and pot stirring will certainly be missed.

Tailwinds and smooth skies old fella.

19th Apr 2011, 10:38
Thanks for posting the obituary.
I've been reading that guy's posts for years and sometimes wondered if he was just "laying it on a little thick".
Some people are truly larger than life.
RIP you old codger.

19th Apr 2011, 10:51
Last year Bino's, now 411A. :(

This place is a little emptier now.


homesick rae
19th Apr 2011, 10:59
R.I.P. 411A - will miss your posts!

The AvgasDinosaur
19th Apr 2011, 11:02
Dry wings and soft landings.
Missing you already,
It's a crying shame you never got your biography finished and published, would have been required reading all around the globe you graced so completely.
Be lucky

19th Apr 2011, 11:07
I can only agree that pprune will not be the same. RIP Bob

19th Apr 2011, 11:11
Yeah he was controversial....sure.....I sparred a little with him, did not at all agree with all that he said, probably knew more about L10-11s than most, especially the way the Jordanina Honduras operation worked???:D

RIP 411A :sad:

19th Apr 2011, 11:32
Bob.....we had our disagreements and we had a lot of fun too RIP matey will miss your witty remarks and stirring....of that you were a master and always had people especially us FE's biting back.

Mercenary Pilot
19th Apr 2011, 11:38
I always had a little chuckle as he managed to bait yet another over emotional poster, certainly PPRuNe won't be the same without 411A's contributions.

Thoughts to his family and friends.

RIP Capt. Welliver

Spooky 2
19th Apr 2011, 11:41
Sorry to see him go. Your description of the man is almost exactly as I had imagined him to be. Shared a few PM's and while I didn't agree with some of his message, I always suspected he was a master of his craft. God speed old man.

19th Apr 2011, 11:54
Very sorry to hear of 411A passing on - what an amazing career, he was obviously a dedicated aviator who stood up for what he believed in - will miss his postings which although controversial were thought provoking - life needs characters such as 411A

19th Apr 2011, 11:58
I won't pass judgement on what he did say, and I won't attempt to infer what he might have/didn't say. We had our disagreements in the past.

That being said, I give my condolences to his family. One of the last "true" pilots has left our ranks, and that is a breed that is growing smaller and smaller as time passes.

19th Apr 2011, 12:02
Very sad to learn of 411A's passing.

Gloriously politically incorrect, a breath of old-fashioned commonsense and airmanship characterised all his posts.

One of the last links to the pioneer days of airline flying on the 'big ol' recips', he had a lot of sound advice to pass on to youngsters in the bland world of today. His bluff, no-nonsense style had a lot to commend it, even if he didn't often take prisoners.

Right now he'll be swapping tales with Ernest K Gann and others up there where the air is rare......

RIP, you wonderful old bugger!

19th Apr 2011, 12:36
R.I.P. 411A, Hope you and Gainsey, are now enjoying a beer together in the PpRune club in the sky.

glad rag
19th Apr 2011, 12:37
Oh bugger.

RIP 411A Salute!

Rwy in Sight
19th Apr 2011, 12:46
I am so sorry to hear about his demise. His contributions did make this forum much better.

Rwy in Sight

19th Apr 2011, 12:54
I remember him saying that he thought the L1011 would see him out - how prophetic was that?


Worrals in the wilds
19th Apr 2011, 12:56
That's lousy news. There have been too many unscheduled departures this week :sad:. Do the JB crew know? Some of us don't come to R&N on a regular basis.

Best wishes to his nearest and dearest.

19th Apr 2011, 13:03
411A . . . name rings a bell.

Isn't that the Tristar bloke, reasonable, thoughtful, diplomatic but a bit sensitive to peer pressure?


Thank God for that, I remember a knowledgable, awkward, feisty son-of-a-bitch with a great deal of respect.

RIP old chap, this is going to be a 'quieter' place without you . . .

19th Apr 2011, 13:13
RIP 411A. Yes, we disagreed about some thing, and agreed about others. It could be extremely infuriating to argue with him, but in the end it was a lot of fun.

19th Apr 2011, 13:16
Fair skies buddy, not your ordinary run of the mill line puke.....

Get to fly with him frangatang ??

19th Apr 2011, 13:22
Bob was Captain for my very first L-1011 flight as a newly released FE. I'll never forget his wit, wisdom and tenacity. RIP My Friend.

19th Apr 2011, 13:29
Very sorry to hear the sad news.

Don't know when he had time to work, 8000 plus posts, popped up in every thread on every subject.

Old school, and whilst you didn't always agree with him he always argued (his many) opinions.

I wonder if one of his mates might at some stage post details of his career.


Dave Gittins
19th Apr 2011, 13:33
I used to think 411A did it deliberately just to wind people up and get a reaction ... which he then ignored leaving the reactor frustrated.

After a while I grew to respect his views and the reverence with which he held his beloved Tristar. I didn't know his name until now and never realized just how long he had bben at it. He went in a good way, enjoying life with a drink and a smoke .. that has to be good. My lunchtime reading will never be the same again. Wherever you are now 411 A ... keep givin' em hell 'til eternity ! :{

19th Apr 2011, 13:38
Be nice to have a pic of him seated in the L1011 posted on this thread

19th Apr 2011, 14:02
Sad news indeed. RIP Bob, you had my respect. This place will be a little emptier.

DX Wombat
19th Apr 2011, 14:11
RIP 411A, always good reading even if his ideas didn't coincide with everyone else's.
ROSUN - your link doesn't work.

19th Apr 2011, 14:22
His forays into AH&N often included entertaining insight into the operation of "real airplanes" such as the DC-6 and DC-7, Connie and Starliner, and, of course, the Strat...

A rich vein of experience cut off.

19th Apr 2011, 14:27
Capt. Bob was born, literally, into the aviation world. His father was on Donald Douglas' staff, and at their dinner table were often characters like Howard Hughes and Ben Howard.

You've slipped these surly bonds - with or without clearance. RIP kind sir.

chris weston
19th Apr 2011, 14:33
411A made a difference.

We've all been enriched through contact with him, he was always a must read.

Can't say that about many.


19th Apr 2011, 14:40
A sad day indeed! :(

I don't know if it will help at all, but MOST of the worlds miscreants end up here in one way or the other (Philippines). I KNOW that there are others located here (at least on a temporary basis) on this site....I, for one, WILL keep a look out for any tristar landing here or news about these so called 'owners'...and will post the information here.
RIP 411a (Bob)

19th Apr 2011, 14:49
Sad news. Just yesterday I checked his last activity on his profile since it was quite uncommon for him not to post for such a long time. Saw April 1st as his last day on pprune. This explains it.

This will indeed be a quiter place (at least for a while). Whilst not always agreeing with his opinions, I still always enjoyed reading his posts.

Godspeed Bob, RIP.

19th Apr 2011, 14:50
Oh b***er,

I didn't agree with a lot of what 411A wrote, and often the way he wrote it, but nevertheless respected his experience, he certainly added colour to this place.

(I'm sure right now, wherever he is, he's getting very grumpy at the European spelling, insisting it's spelt "color") ...

Sad, very sad.

19th Apr 2011, 14:56
The 4-engine recip era bred self-reliant pilots who had to know the inside corners that were not in the books -- 411A was a fine exemplar.

Between the ages of 8 and 10, I had the wonderous privilege of visiting some of these pilots up front in B-377s and DC-3s. That was the day when short pilot biographies were printed in the inflight magazines -- now it's the parachuted CEO who's never gotten his hands dirty:{

19th Apr 2011, 15:00
good stuff PA28 there's Ppruners around with heavy gauge chains and padlocks to hand.

Mike X
19th Apr 2011, 15:01


19th Apr 2011, 15:10
There's one or two handles on Pprune whose posts I always looked forward to reading when I saw the name. His wit and pith will be missed.

19th Apr 2011, 15:12
May fair winds be on his tail and the sun never set on his eternal flight.

RIP 411A

Capn Bloggs
19th Apr 2011, 15:19
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.

And he has.

Enjoy it, 411A, for I and many others enjoyed your posts. :ok:

19th Apr 2011, 15:28
411A loved the L-1011 (and all things Lockheed). I will miss is posts and expertise. May he rest in peace!

Check Mags On
19th Apr 2011, 15:38
It is weird how you can miss or feel a loss for someone you never knew.

Not going to be quite the same on hear anymore.

19th Apr 2011, 15:40
I spend less time on here nowadays, but when I do come on, I always looked for his comments.

Sad loss for his family, friends and fellow ppruner's.

19th Apr 2011, 15:56
RIP 411A -

My Havana tonight will be smoked in your honour, Sir.

19th Apr 2011, 16:19
RIP 411A,

Your "interaction" on the thread regarding the intersection take-off by a BA 777 in St. Kitts was a particular favourite of mine.

Tailwinds my friend

19th Apr 2011, 16:25
I will miss his posts. Between his incredible knowledge and his ability to wind up self important sky gods the posts were always something to look forward to.

It is shame the biography will not be done. It would have being a fascinating story. If anyone has a link to an obituary or biography please post it.


Out Of Trim
19th Apr 2011, 16:38
I disagreed with probably 60% of what he said and found him very anti British. However, he had a lot of knowledge and I will miss his often barbed comments.

I offer his wife and family my best wishes and hope the Insurance comes through.

Rest in peace you old git! Probably not though..!

This place will be poorer without you. :{

Dan Winterland
19th Apr 2011, 16:39
Requiescat in pacem.

19th Apr 2011, 16:47
Yet another "legend" who if he had done all the things he claimed, was at least 165 years old.

19th Apr 2011, 16:56
if he had done all the things he claimed, was at least 165 years old.

Only true at your pace sonny. :cool:

PPRuNe Pop
19th Apr 2011, 17:06
The man was always controversial but..........very often he was right, a point many could not come to terms with. I never had occasion to have cross words with him but I recognized early on in my early days on PPRuNe that here was someone who could talk the talk and was clearly a pilot of great skill. His knowledge was his strength and he will now be very sorely missed. My personal condolences to his wife and family.


19th Apr 2011, 17:08
I'll make a toast with a excellent single malt Scotch raised in my hand to the west this evening at sunset, while smoking a fine cigar.

19th Apr 2011, 17:17
Always in awe of his knowledge of the L1011.

Unfortunately his arrogance and lack of empathy for pilots who were victims of abusive employers does not look well in his obituary.

It is poetic justice that stress from such an employer may have contributed to his passing.

Loose rivets
19th Apr 2011, 17:37
A while back I asked Bob for a bit of help with the 707 engine fire procedures - I needed to bring life into a stressful few minutes in my novel - Bob came back almost instantly. I got what I'd asked for and a tad more; just seemed to have that bit of colour . . . ooops, sorry, color, that I needed.

Fair winds on the tail, skipper.

I agree about the photos. After all these years it would be nice to have the imagery. Also, the biography . . . were his notes in his mind, or had he made a start? I have no doubt his life is worthy of a professional biographer taking over, if only there's enough data to make a start. I know I'd be in a long queue for the first edition.

19th Apr 2011, 17:53
411A is one of the few usernames which I believe made the transition from just another pprune username to being spoken about away from the internet over a beer or two.

I never met nor knew the man, nor indeed did I ever have reason to agree or disagree with any of his prodigious pprune activity, but to have made such an impact in an anonymous way must surely say something about his character.

RIP 411A

19th Apr 2011, 17:55
Damn. Whether or not he was right or wrong, his posts were always very informative to an enthusiatic by-stander like me. Sad, but life is a journey for all of us.

19th Apr 2011, 17:58
Wherever you are, show 'em how it's done...


19th Apr 2011, 18:08
Thanks innkeeper68 for letting us know.
RIP 411A....

Final 3 Greens
19th Apr 2011, 18:10
Damn shame.

I exchanged a few PMs with him and he was always courteous.

I'd love to see his self penned obit, guess it would go something like 'had a good run, flew the best aircraft in the world, with the best folks, ran my own ship, anyone who disagreed with my authority could take the banana boat home.'

As others have said, the world has lost a bit of colour.

Rest in peace.

19th Apr 2011, 18:34
RIP Bob, your posts were worth reading. You will be missed. :(

White Knight
19th Apr 2011, 18:39
Sad news... I loved 'discussing ' things with him here on PPRUNE... Even though he didn't think much of my 'Buses (330 and 340)...

Godspeed 411A:ok:

19th Apr 2011, 18:43
godspeed 411A

Whilst I disagreed with alot of what he said, he certainly knew his stuff and could argue his own point of view, and for that I respected his posts. The world is too full of people today who don't have their own points of view or just spout trite platitudes at everyone.
The world is always richer for having coloUrful characters and people who plow their own furrow.

19th Apr 2011, 18:46
That's terrible news to hear. Some posters are immortal to us as bait stirrers and provocateurs. It takes a real talent not to be insulting as well to avoid banning :)

I'm ashamed to admit that I might not remember the more polite among you, but I am extremely saddened to see 411 gone forever.:sad:

19th Apr 2011, 19:04
RIP 411A, you'll be missed!

19th Apr 2011, 19:31
Blue skies 411A - a character of note - you will be sorely missed.


19th Apr 2011, 19:37
Long time reader of this forum, seldom post, but wanted to chime in on this one.....

I won't forget 411A (now Bob to all of us) and his posts. Though he could be ornery as hell sometimes, he struck me as a bigger-than-life sort and definitly old school - something I rather like in an individual. His remarks always brought a reaction, often as not a smile of one sort or another I suspect.

Thanks for informing us InnKeeper. And a follow on thought for you - is there a way to let his survivors know of this thread ? Given the kind remarks herein (with only 1 exception) they might find some comfort in it, and perhaps learn a thing or two they didn't know about their husband, father, brother. When someone reminds me of my lost loved ones kindly it makes my day.

Just a thought.

RIP 411A - your absence will be noticed by all.

19th Apr 2011, 19:50
I can only repeat what has been the overwhelming reaction here, "old school" ? definitely, & all the better for it.
Blunt & to the point, yes, and why not.

He didn't suffer fools gladly in these forums, and sometimes achieved the impossible by silencing those who should have long ago shut up, or perhaps not chimed in in the first place. For that I was always eternally grateful to see his presence.
I sincerely hope his family can have these tributes brought to their attention, and that someone can indeed chronicle his life, although, unless he had already commited it to paper/computer memory, it will never be as colourful by not being told in his own forthright fashion.

The sort of guy you would want alongside you on a rough night, either in the cockpit or in some dodgy place downroute where you might need helped out.
What finer compliment could you pay the guy.

R.I.P Bob.

19th Apr 2011, 19:52
Someone else will have to take over his perpetual hating of American Airlines....

19th Apr 2011, 19:54
Very sorry indeed to hear about 411A's untimely demise.

Whilst almost always provocative he never stooped to name calling like some I could mention.

I enjoyed the odd banter with the old man. How old was he exactly????

19th Apr 2011, 20:08
A character of note, I'll miss certainly miss his entertaining and robust discussions.
Fair winds & blue skies 411A

19th Apr 2011, 20:20
R.I.P. Robert Marc Welliver, N210Z. Your contributions will be missed by all.

mary meagher
19th Apr 2011, 20:20
Can't you just imagine him reading all this postumous tributory eloquence and his comeback?

All the same, tell his family, there's a lot of us out here will miss him, even if we never knew him..

19th Apr 2011, 20:27
411A..In another life on here, had some chats PM with 411A. Such a gentleman in the best sense. I recall when someone posted about the L bird, replies posted have said "I think 411A might be posting soon"

God bless 411A and family.


19th Apr 2011, 20:31
My opinion of this individual remains private, his passing makes it irrelevant, however he was one of us, warts and all and any irritation he may have generated or disagreement he engaged in is now laid forever into history where it will be referred to fondly as banter amongst professionals.

Rest in peace, you and many like you have earned the right, as we all hope we will have earned the right when the time to sign the sheet for the final time comes.

None of us know how long we have, life is not a rehearsal, embrace today, hope to enjoy tomorrow.

Respects to the family.

Low & slow !


19th Apr 2011, 20:32
I echo everyhing. I actually opened pprune regularly, just to read his opinion on something. He was the only one I did this for.

I also loved his 'COMMENTARY' on AA.


19th Apr 2011, 20:41
While I never met the man, I feel like I 'know' him from our few exchanges on here. He will surely be missed by many, if not all.

Have a great trip, 411A.

19th Apr 2011, 20:45
Was there a more well known pprune handle? The end of an era, in more ways than one.

Farewell 411A

19th Apr 2011, 20:46
Yes he was one of us, and we will miss him. He was old school and did not mind to tell us off. RIP 411A on your final trip.

19th Apr 2011, 20:54
Condolences to the family,
Loved reading the posts

19th Apr 2011, 20:54
'Like' would be laying it on a bit thick to describe my feelings towards 411A. I doubt he was one for false platitudes anyway. But be in no doubt, Sir, you go with my respect for your vault of experience and my sadness that much of it will pass with you.

In light of his impact on these forums, not to mention the extra worries placed on his family by his employer, I'd be glad to stick a tenner into a fund if someone has the time to organise one.

PPRuNe Dispatcher
19th Apr 2011, 20:55
Captain Welliver is going to be sadly missed....

Obviously a man of high intelligence and a Pilot of great experience, he knew exactly how to push people's buttons and to keep a PPRuNe thread active and interesting. His posts certainly kept the PPRuNe moderators on our toes!

Rest in Peace, Bob.

Capt. Inop
19th Apr 2011, 20:55
I'm sorry to hear about this.

A colourful personality have gone to "the other side"

Rest in peace

19th Apr 2011, 21:06
Farewell 411A.

A top ppruner. You'll be missed.

19th Apr 2011, 21:08
In a world of political correctness gone mad, 411a was a beacon of healthy opinions and views.

Never met him or spoke to him but thoroughly enjoyed his wit and banter.

Have a Peaceful Journey.....

19th Apr 2011, 21:10
I have never, ever seen the Prune rally around a dearly departed and Great Aviator...Echoing all of the above, someone really needs to get this thread to his family and close assoctates...

Also, thanks to Danny and the Mods for keeping this thread in R&N because it really belongs here, not in the "Where are they now"...

We'll all miss him...

19th Apr 2011, 21:11
Not too long here, but long enough to feel familiar with him after reading lots of his posts.

My heart goes with his family.

Bob you are not gone, you are only one step ahead.


19th Apr 2011, 21:14
Dear 411A,
Your views were truthful and ours were wishful against yours, but yours were never missed and always read. It will be while, a long while if I may add, before we have anyone (not someone) come near your objective views and tell it how it is.
With respect, I certainly believe that you have commandeered that last L1011 to your final home destination, where ever that may be.
RIP and may your flight be smooth,

19th Apr 2011, 21:38
Loved his political incorrectness and desire to cut thru the bs.A real old time flyer.RIP to a great pprune character.

19th Apr 2011, 21:41
Sad news, I always made a point of reading what he wrote, like many have commented I did not always agree with things he said but absolutely respected his right to say them.

19th Apr 2011, 22:26
I have to admit that most of the time I didn't agree with his thoughts or statements. But I will miss him, I am sure.

Rest in peace

19th Apr 2011, 22:28
As others have said, Bob was not always popular but he was rarely, if ever, wrong. No friend of arrogant youth but very much respected.

Rest peacefully, Bob.

19th Apr 2011, 22:31
I am so sorry to see one of our key contributors head over the horizon. I never got into the political-style discussions others did, but was always encouraged when he joined in some historic discussion over on Aviation History & Nostalgia. Here I found out from him all the pluses and minuses of his experiences with the DC6 (his prop-days favourite), DC7, 707, and Stratocruiser (which he always pointed out he had handled, and there probably isn't a lot of such experience still around). He always corrected my suppositions most pleasantly and professionally.

Thanks for all the information, and RIP, good buddy.


19th Apr 2011, 22:33
Tonight I feel a profound loss.

Bob Welliver, is someone I have known for quite a while, apparently. Of course I only knew him as 411A.

I haven't read all of his posts. But then who could have?

I didn't agree with quite a few of his opinions. But that doesn't make me unique. I have enjoyed his opinions on many occasions and scratched my head on others. I have never seen him attack anyone else with petty malice.

As lomapaseo (http://www.pprune.org/members/48942-lomapaseo) notes : "Some posters are immortal to us as bait stirrers and provocateurs. It takes a real talent not to be insulting as well to avoid banning."

Bob was definitely thought provoking. He was one of the people I thought made internet forums such as pprune worthwhile.

So as I grow older and more opinionated myself, I will try to be as graceful as Bob has shown himself on these forums.

We have lost someone who maintained the passion for aviation his whole life. A rare breed these days.

My condolences to his nearest and dearest.

Sir George Cayley
19th Apr 2011, 22:39
Skip, I'd have hated to work for you, but loved to drink with you.

Heaven's full of wuss's - I think you'll be happier amongst the Flight Engineers :ok:

Miss you already.

Sir George Cayley

19th Apr 2011, 22:41
As one with very limited understanding of aviation I looked forward to his posts as, whether they were agreed with or not, benchmarks of where the really knowledgeable discussion lay.

I like to think I have learned from that.



19th Apr 2011, 22:47
Destination: Sunnier than here, yet unknown.

RiP Bob aka our 411A. You will be missed. I'll be sure to soon drink a whisky or three in your honour friend.

bugg smasher
19th Apr 2011, 22:48
One of the more unflinching amongst us.

Seems somehow appropriate he ended his last sortie with a fine cigar and a drink in hand, in a faraway bar, in a strange land.

A pilot's pilot.


19th Apr 2011, 22:50

Very sad news indeed.
Rest in peace

19th Apr 2011, 22:52
I've always enjoyed reading your posts Bob. Sorry to see you fly away this final time.

Say again s l o w l y
19th Apr 2011, 22:56
I never met Bob, but I am greatly saddened by his passing.Which is always the sign of someone who made a difference.

Pprune will be a lesser place place without him. Cheerio and godspeed.

19th Apr 2011, 22:58
I guess it's at times like this you appreciate how special life really is. I never knew 411A, but followed his posts with interest and always knew that his posts would be to the point and knowledgeable, albeit sometimes controversial. A colourful figure, but one who I feel made PPRuNe what it is today - I shall miss him not popping up on these boards.

RIP Bob,


Carnage Matey!
19th Apr 2011, 22:58
I'll certainly miss 411As posts. They were often like looking into a time warp, straight from the early 80s, bypassing any knowledge or developments in the intervening 30 years. He was certainly a man of forthright opinions and his posts were like a car smash - you knew you shouldn't look but you still did. PPRuNe will be a little duller without him.

19th Apr 2011, 23:13
As a relative newcomer to this forum, I never knew or met the man known as 411A. I always read his posts with interest, I formed the opinion he was a man from whom one could learn a lot. I offer my condolences to his family and those close friends, he clearly had.

19th Apr 2011, 23:27
Very sad news indeed. I never knew Robert, but I respect those who have and all speak highly of him. A true gent of aviation, passionate and well informed - though not always right! I dueled with the big man more than once, but he knew his stuff.

PPRuNe will not only be a quieter place without him, but also less informed. His death is a loss to us all.

RIP Bob, you wound me up no end on occasion but I'm a better man for it!

Happy Landings

19th Apr 2011, 23:28
To man I never met. Miss you already. Thanks for the many hours of wisdom and wit.


19th Apr 2011, 23:41
If you read Spanish and want to know more about 411A’s last (earthly) flight, which the OP innkeeper68 described as “a charter gone wrong”, and the stress that it must have put on Captain Welliver, you can find it on a Honduran aviation forum (http://www.catrachowings.com/foro/viewtopic.php?t=1034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=675). It begins at a post by nelmejia on Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:43 AM with the flight track from BUD to LCE (La Ceiba). (http://flightaware.com/live/flight/RVN301P)

He was apparently grounded with a planeload of pax who were planning a holiday in Papette. They landed on the 26th at LCE, the Hq of Rollins Aviation (apparently the operator of the L1011) and, according to posts on the forum, the passengers were stranded waiting for the INS system to be repaired on the aircraft.

The flight was well documented with four YouTube videos:

A week later on April 2nd, the day after Captain Welliver’s death the pax were flown out (back to Europe?) on a chartered Air Italy 767.

N.B. My reading comprehension of Español limited, so I'm not sure about the Rollins relationship.

19th Apr 2011, 23:41
Never met the man, but have enjoyed his good-natured pot-stirring as well as his knowledge of Lockheed.

Quick and stupid question: Is this the same 411A (http://www.airliners.net/profile/411a)?

Condolences to family and friends...


20th Apr 2011, 00:05
Quick and stupid question: Is this the same 411A (http://www.airliners.net/profile/411a)?
Yes it is. He was busy with his knowledge and wit and spread it among many forums.

Godspeed 411a


20th Apr 2011, 00:40
Between his incredible knowledge and his ability to wind up self important sky gods the posts were always something to look forward to.

Sky God..?
At your service.
He sure did not like my moniker.

And he did not like American Airlines pilots.
Narrow minded and full of hate for one group of pilots, yet some of us are also "old school" and flew as many or more DC-3s and DC-8s as he did and smoked the cigars and drank the booze without going public spewing acid.

Guessing he applied to AA and got turned down to..Like I did the first time.:=

I never flew the L-1011 but I never sh!t on the 1011 pilots.

A bitter old man got to meet his maker:
Hopefully it is a marriage made in heaven. :sad:

20th Apr 2011, 01:10
Was there a more well known PPRuNe handle?

Well there was always The Guvnor...must be a Tristar problem.

411A was a provocative, self opinionated relic of a bygone age who appeared to have little time for the more modern aspects of aviation such as CRM and displayed disdain for a number of pilot groups - BA was one and American has already been mentioned. He was however a little piece of PPRune history and, as has been said, this site will be a poorer place without him. His 411 is based at Falcon Field, AZ and, although the extent of my knowledge of him was confined to these pages I understand he was generally well thought of by the flying fraternity here.

And not a bad way to go really either!

20th Apr 2011, 01:21
411a gone away? That news hurts so much. He and I shared a deep love of the L1011, an aircraft so ahead of it's time and such a great flying machine. I was hoping it would see him safely out of a long career, but wasn't the L1011 that hurt him in the end.
He was of my generation and often spoke so well of how it was, and ought to be. I did not agree with his opinions at times but he had a lot of aviation wisdom to pass on and he will be sadly missed in these forums. I wish he could have flown the B777, he might have found a new love...

20th Apr 2011, 01:51

A man for whom 'Political Correctness' was an oxymoron and 'Situational Awareness' his credo.

I look forward to sharing a Cohiba and a glass with you, when I meet you in that great hangar in the heavens.

glad rag
20th Apr 2011, 01:57
A bitter old man got to meet his maker:
Hopefully it is a marriage made in heaven.Well, when your time comes, I hope it's in a bar, drinkin, and eying pussy, 'cos mate, if it ain't, there's a lot of folks who's gonna be saying, that F U C K just put us in the ground.:(

20th Apr 2011, 02:10
As a faithful reader and very infrequent poster, I too add my nickel to 411A's testimonial pot...

I grew up in aviation being taught by those old hands similar to Bob. And now he has joined the Aircrew Eternal.

You will be missed Captain.


Flying Lawyer
20th Apr 2011, 02:43
DownIn3Green I have never, ever seen the Prune rally around a dearly departed and Great Aviator
Nor have I.
And it's all the more remarkable because he certainly never sought popularity.

He wasn't afraid to say what he thought even when it was controversial. His posts were always thought-provoking and invariably provoked a discussion. Yes, some of his views were 'old-fashioned', but modern isn't always better. I'll miss reading his posts - PPRuNe is the poorer for his passing.

It was very obvious from his knowledgeable contributions in several forums on this site that he was an aviator to the core, from his prized Cessna 411A to his beloved L-1011, and he always struck me as just the sort of pilot I'd want in command if there was a sudden serious problem which had to be dealt with quickly.

One of life's characters. With just a very few exceptions, the comments on this thread show that there's still room, even in our modern grey world, for characters. Thank goodness for that.

20th Apr 2011, 02:47
Tailwinds, 411A.

Desert Dingo
20th Apr 2011, 03:21
As a mark of respect I'll take him off my ignore list.

20th Apr 2011, 03:47
We may have butted heads but he was very knowledgeable.

I suspect at this time he is telling his Maker how awful American Airlines pilots are to this day. :-)

Cleared unrestricted climb, 411A.

Broomstick Flier
20th Apr 2011, 04:16
While I do not post that much, I was always delighted with his deep aviation knowledge and passion for Lockheed's finest...

His witty, and sometimes acid, remarks will be missed.

RIP and goodspeed Sir...

PS. Now you can aviate in peace, dear AA pilots :}

20th Apr 2011, 04:35
411A WAS a great contributor to these forums, and made alot of us think about things we agreed or disagreed with him about.

He was THE ppruner who launched thousands of sometimes indignant responses opposing his matter-of-fact, straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter-no-bullshit posts.

Pprune is better off for his 'contributions' - and I will miss his posts.

See ya on the other side, Bob.;)

20th Apr 2011, 04:40

He died of a massive coronary heart attack talking about the L-1011 with drink in one hand, cuban cigar in the other.


Bob was the chief pilot of nasser's L1011-500 operation, privilege jet airlines.

They couldn't have picked a better guy for the job.

Carnage Matey!

I'll certainly miss 411As posts. They were often like looking into a time warp, straight from the early 80s, bypassing any knowledge or developments in the intervening 30 years.

Yeah, they kind of were. I never thought of it that way though

He was certainly a man of forthright opinions and his posts were like a car smash - you knew you shouldn't look but you still did.

I think a car-smash would be a bit hyperbolic, but he was blunt and direct.


And he did not like American Airlines pilots.

Why didn't he like BA and AA pilots and crew?

20th Apr 2011, 04:43
He was a bit hard core, lots of fun to read and mostly right although not my cup of tea with some of his opinions. Young guys and gals could learn lots from him...Godspeed my friend.. :sad::D

Brian Abraham
20th Apr 2011, 05:08
A bitter old manIn my book such an assessment says more about the author than the subject.

411A has always been, if not at the top, certainly near the top of my "must read" list. Told it like it was, and I'm sure his demise was a result of frustrations in attempting to do the right thing by those for whom he felt responsibility. A Captain who, figuratively, went down with his ship.

Flyer's Prayer

When this life I'm in is done,
And at the gates I stand,
My hope is that I answer all
His questions on command.

I doubt He'll ask me of my fame,
Or all the things I knew, Instead,
He'll ask of rainbows sent
On rainy days I flew.

The hours logged, the status reached,
The ratings will not matter.
He'll ask me if I saw the rays
And how He made them scatter.

Or what about the droplets clear,
I spread across your screen?
And did you see the twinkling eyes.
If student pilots keen?

The way your heart jumped in your chest,
That special solo day-
Did you take time to thank the one
Who fell along the way?

Remember how the runway lights
Looked one night long ago
When you were lost and found your way,
And how-you still dont know?

How fast, how far, how much, how high?
He'll ask me not these things
But did I take the time to watch
The Moonbeams wash my wings?

And did you see the patchwork fields
And moutains I did mould;
The mirrored lakes and velvet hills,
Of these did I behold?

The wind he flung along my wings,
On final almost stalled.
And did I know it was His name,
That I so fearfully called?

And when the goals are reached at last,
When all the flyings done,
I'll answer Him with no regret-
Indeed, I had some fun.

So when these things are asked of me,
And I can reach no higher,
My prayer this day - His hand extends
To welcome home a Flyer.

by Patrick J. Phillips

As the poem says, Bob would have admitted to having had the greatest of fun, and going out with boots on very fitting. A respected member of this band of brothers. RIP

Air Profit
20th Apr 2011, 06:34
....can't believe he's gone! Even though I disagreed with his attitude towards many things, I always credited him with a thread of knowledge and truth in much of what he had to say. I really feel his loss, and can only extend my deepest and most sincere sympathies to his wife and family. Will miss you Bob....RIP.

20th Apr 2011, 06:45
Sad news. I liked 411A's writings, contentious though they may often have been. RIP Bob. And you're well shot of those blasted Jordanians, believe me!

20th Apr 2011, 07:33
As a mark of respect I'll take him off my ignore list.

I'd be willing to bet our Bob would get a chuckle out of that Dings.

20th Apr 2011, 07:36
High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941

20th Apr 2011, 08:12
My sincere condolences to his Family and may he rest in peace.

He will be missed on PPRune, his posts were always well worth reading.


PA 18 151
20th Apr 2011, 08:49
411A, a member of the elite pilot group who pioneered the jet-age, people who worked it out and passed it on as they went along, and those of you who say little can be learned from these men are fools indeed.

The days when flying was risky and sex was safe. Wouldn't we all in our hearts prefer those times to now ?

The snippets of his real life he did disclose left me wanting to know much more. With his passing we will all be less informed.

20th Apr 2011, 08:53
If you enter face book with Bob Welliver you can see Bob. Not sure, but....

Tailwind and smooth flying, Bob. See you, before of after.

20th Apr 2011, 09:09
I don't mind a bit of controversy and of course everybody is entitled to his/her opinion, but IMHO 411A was just one wind up merchant and a relic of the past.

Isn't he the official PPRuNe record holder for being on people's ignore list? :}

As the topic starter wrote: "masterful interpretation of flight rules, systems, MEL's and flight planning." In addition to that he was strongly anti-union combined with the CRM skills of a dictator. Is that what we really need in today's busy skies and deteriorating T&C's? Hell no! :sad:

RIP 411A

20th Apr 2011, 09:20
If people put 411A on their ignore list it was probably because they didn't want to hear what he had to say and there are none so deaf as those that don't want to hear.

Bob was very direct, knowledgeable and usually correct.

Personally I agree with the maxim that, "If you can't think of anything good to say about a person then it is best to say nothing"..........especially if they have just died.

20th Apr 2011, 09:34
RIP 411A.
I may not have agreed with his command style but had to respect his knowledge, experience, and integrity.

20th Apr 2011, 09:59
Our paths crossed a few times over the years, will miss you, RIP.

20th Apr 2011, 10:04
What was the guy like to fly with?

If his flying character was anything like his Pprune character then I don't think his place was in a modern FD.

I wasn't aware of his background and I respect what he had achieved. We needed people like him in the pioneering age of jet aircraft. Flying airliners has moved on since then and I am not sure that he appreciated that.

I will, however, miss his posts. RIP

20th Apr 2011, 10:10
Sad news indeed... I've had a few altercations with 411A; nonetheless, I respected most of what he had to say.

Some time ago he did PM me with the offer of a job... many thanks Bob; it would have been an interesting interview.

RIP dear chap.


20th Apr 2011, 10:21
Personally I agree with the maxim that, "If you can't think of anything good to say about a person then it is best to say nothing"..........especially if they have just died.

I have to agree with that.

411A may have rubbed people up the wrong way, me included a few times, however that doesn't detract that he was a very experienced person in this industry. His manner of being forthright and pragmatic may have got up some peoples noses, but here's the rub it caused you to 'think'. I never met Bob (411A) and had a number of exchanges with him, some i agreed with some i did not, yet the exchanges caused one to use ones brain matter and explore different aspects, he didn't come across as the hand holding, spoon feeding, 'PC', heart on his sleeve, type; He promoted you to use your grey matter.

Yes the large bulk of his career was in a previous era to the current one of aviation, but is that a bad thing ? We still need to remember the wider basis of this industry and that it is not about spreadsheets and accounting software packages day in day out.

As for his CRM skills, unless anyone had flown with him, then it's a misnomer to cite his CRM skills. Personally I would rather a CP/very experienced captain promote me to use my grey matter and think through situations.

He kept going to the bitter end went with his boots on. And there is respect to that.

Much more, he was one of us. A professional pilot.

20th Apr 2011, 10:23
PA 18 151:

411A, a member of the elite pilot group who pioneered the jet-age, people who worked it out and passed it on as they went along, and those of you who say little can be learned from these men are fools indeed.

How old was 411A? Those who pioneered the jet age are in their 80s.

Dream Land
20th Apr 2011, 11:16
I'm very sad to hear of his untimely departure, but it sounds like it happened in grand style, I always enjoyed reading his posts, I will miss his contributions.

Blue Skies Captain!

Crosswind Limits
20th Apr 2011, 12:00
RIP 411A - an old school character and aviator to the core!

mach 84
20th Apr 2011, 12:02
RIP 411A, will be missing your postings.

Captain Sensible
20th Apr 2011, 12:49
My condolences to 411A's family - Pprune will be the poorer for his passing.

20th Apr 2011, 12:51
RIP 411. It was nice!

20th Apr 2011, 12:53
Deepest condolences to Bob's family.

I do sometimes wonder if he was deliberately trying to generate discussion with his viewpoint or whether he really was as curmudgeonly as he seemed. Regardless, another character passes on.

Fish Head on Final
20th Apr 2011, 13:01
I Was his copilot with Air Universal Great Guy. RIP

Cpt. Underpants
20th Apr 2011, 13:04
RIP Captain Welliver.

I was drawn to your posts like a moth to a flame! I knew that they would likely upset me, but I read them nonetheless.

Smooth landings old fella.

20th Apr 2011, 13:32
Always read those powerful posts. Will be missed by all who like to hear the voice of experience. Sad for his family. RIP Bob.

John Boeman
20th Apr 2011, 14:13
As soon as I read the title of this thread my heart sank....

I always pictured him as being exactly like my first Chief Pilot when I transitioned to jets - as bugg smasher said, "a pilot's pilot".

A CP who would back his men to the hilt as long as they played it straight and one who would only cause you to worry about what the state of your head would be like the following day, if you were lucky enough to bump into him down route, because you knew you were going to be in for an enjoyable evening.

We didn't have t'internet in those days so I do not know if he would have been as abrasive in writing as 411A could be, but I do do know I'd have followed him anywhere to fly for him.

Since the beancounters took full control, there are few CP's like them left. Damn, it is not nearly as good without them. Like most people on here, he will be badly missed by me. My sincere condolences go to his family.

20th Apr 2011, 16:18
awww crap...

We argued a lot, as we are often on other ends of a thread, but he will be missed...

Tailwinds buddy...

Pugilistic Animus
20th Apr 2011, 16:38
Flying Lawyer
"It was very obvious from his knowledgeable contributions in several forums on this site that he was an aviator to the core, from his prized Cessna 411A to his beloved L-1011, and he always struck me as just the sort of pilot I'd want in command if there was a sudden serious problem which had to be dealt with quickly."

You said it better than I could ... I wish people could understand him better ... I 'got' him and am better off as a result ... and he went out working, I don't think he really wanted to retire anyway

Descanse en Paz - Capitan

20th Apr 2011, 16:55
I never met Capt. Welliver, I just corresponded with him via PM. He was the kind of character that I truly admire, a gentleman's gentelman and a true aviator.

It really saddens me to know he's gone, but reading what was his situation in Honduras I think that the community here at PPRUNE should do as much as possible to shut down shady operations, specially those involving L-1011s that are not airworthy, many pilots, enginners and techs have suffered because of irresponsible and crooked owners and I think that it is the responsability of those here that can to make it stop.

20th Apr 2011, 16:59
A nicely run race, Captain Bob, aka 411A. Sorry I never knew you but you always sounded like my kind of guy in a grey and conformist world and I read every one of your posts. Maybe we have a few laughs in the afterlife?

20th Apr 2011, 17:23
I am sorry to hear this. Rest in peace does not seem appropriate, and I'm sure he'll find someone to debate with in the wild blue yonder. Will raise a toast to him tonight.

20th Apr 2011, 17:29
He had opinions that many of us did not share, and his occasionally brusque manner didn't endear him to many at first glance. He could be cantankerous, arrogant, dismissive and vain - sometimes all at once!

As a non-pilot, I usually did my best to avoid irking him - however the one time he had cause to correct me he was as gracious as he was matter-of-fact.

He was a link to much that was good and a fair bit of what was not-so-good about the pioneer days of jet travel. But one thing cannot be argued with - he walked the walk and had the courage of his convictions, no matter what anyone else thought of those convictions, and for that he does deserve a decent measure of respect from all of us.

Ave atque vale, Sir.

20th Apr 2011, 18:10
Smooth flying and tailwinds 411A.
I share his enthusiasm for L-10s and DC-6s, and although we disagreed on political issues, I always had respect for his technical knowledge.
Anytime I needed L-10 info either glhcarl or 411A were the best sources!

20th Apr 2011, 18:26
He last posted on the TEC LOG section. Worth reading, at least one more time, just to admire his style....

Opposed engines in normal climates..'.pulling through' is NOT recommended by either Lycoming or TCM Continental, and....if either magneto is not properly grounded, there is a slim chance that the engine might attempt to start (especially if warm), so....I would avoid.
I own a TCM GTSIO-powered airplane, and I will not allow the propellor to be 'pulled through' by hand, as that is precisely what the installed electric starter is there for...:}

'Pulling throuth' by hand, must be a Brit thing...:rolleyes: where old outdated procedures die hard.:ugh:

Sleeping Freight Dog
20th Apr 2011, 18:48
Fairwinds and clear skies to a man who clearly transcended the bond between
actual aviator and knowledgable author on the web.

I too never met the man but looked forward to his replies and descriptions on His Take.

RIP 411A!

20th Apr 2011, 18:49
As others have said, it is surprising how you can miss someone you never knew.

I always thought 411A wrote a bit like Hemingway: simply and directly, but powerfully and eloquently. Not surprised to learn he lived a bit like Hemingway too.

Not sure if I would have liked him, found him impossible, or both. But I always appreciated his writing, even on those few subjects when I thought I knew enough to disagree.

Thanks for your contributions, Captain, and condolences to your family and friends for their loss.

Boeing 777-300ER
20th Apr 2011, 18:51
I also didn't know 411A. I once sent him a PM asking for some advice about life in the ME and he was most helpful.

My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones

20th Apr 2011, 18:57
I don't know how many people there are like me on this forum - I just read it because I'm interested in flying and don't say much. For me he was one of a handful of people who's posts were always particularly interesting, informative and [/or] entertaining. Thank you 411a.

20th Apr 2011, 19:21
I came in about the time people like 411A were on the way out so that I have learnt a bit by abrasion from such as he, when they were, while often 'incorrect,' not usually wrong! I think I knew where he was coming from and I had a lot of respect for his substance although not much use for his style.

If you have to go, that might well be the way to do it, cigar in one hand, drink in the other.

Of course, if that dodgy operation he was flying for hadn't seen their plane grounded for paperwork then this guy's passing might have been made known to far more people, starting with those 200-odd passengers of his. Good that it was a bar stool and not the LHS!

One last thing he did 'incorrectly" but right, so let us raise a glass to 'old age and cunning' over 'youth and quick reflexes!'

AN2 Driver
20th Apr 2011, 19:52
Very sad news. 411A was definitly one of the first names to look for on the daily pass through this forum and yes, this place will be poorer now that he's gone.

I thoroughly enjoyed his posts, his knowledge and the way he would say things the way they are, not what others deem them to be. People like Bob would do a lot of good in today's over regulated and sometimes hostile industry, where common sense has often be replaced by buerocrat nonsense.

It is sobering to think that one of the videos posted probably shows his last landing?

411A, Sir, whereever you are, thanks from the bottom of my heart for your contributions here, for your patience with this pilot who will never reach where you have, but for whom you had time to answer questions when ever I had them. May you rest, debate, have your Havanas or whatever else is to your liking for ever and in peace.

With sincere regards and condolences to Bob's wife and family.

AN 2 Driver, currently near LBPR, Bulgaria.

20th Apr 2011, 20:15
I'm probably going to upset a few people here but I'm not going to indulge in hypocrisy for the sake of appearances and I won't try to sugar coat the fact that he was (at least when posting on PPRUNE) a dinosaur and a troublemaker. He clearly believed in opinion first and diplomacy second, so my comments are in that spirit.

That said, it looks like he went out in style! :)

It's always sad when someone dies and my condolences go to friends and family.

20th Apr 2011, 20:35
Always a pleasure to read his posts,

a character indeed,
a sad loss.

20th Apr 2011, 20:58
Never met or even knew his name, and disagreed with most of what he wrote, but RIP to a colleague.

Destination (Author unknown)

I hope there's a place way up in the sky,
Where airmen can go when they die.
A place where a guy can buy a cold beer,
For a friend and a comrade, whose memory is dear.
A place where no doctor or lawyer can tread,
Nor a management type would ere be caught dead.
Just a quaint little place, kind of dark, full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke.
The kind of a place where a lady could go,
And feel safe and protected by the men she would know.
There must be a place where old airmen go,
When their paining is finished, and their airspeed gets low.
Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young,
And songs about flying and dying are sung.
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd flown west before,
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door.
Who would buy you a drink, if your thirst should be bad,
And relate to others, "He was quite a good lad."
And then through the mist, you'd spot an old guy,
You had not seen in years, though he taught you to fly.
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear,
And say, "Welcome, my son, I'm pleased that you're here,
For this is the place where true flyers come,
When their journey is over, and the war has been won.
They've come here at last to be safe and alone,
From the government clerk, and the management clone,
Politicians and lawyers, the Feds and the noise,
Where all hours are happy, and these good ole boys,
Can relax with a cool one, and well deserved rest,
This is heaven my son..... You've passed your last test!"

20th Apr 2011, 21:11
Well said, QRH.

Worth saving!

20th Apr 2011, 21:11
Feel better now Moggiee?

20th Apr 2011, 21:18
Possibly not best known for his diplomacy but hell, does it matter. I would rather have a knowledgable guy who says it as it is. 411A said what he meant and meant what he said and as many have commented, his words were mandatory reading.

RIP Bob, thanks for your contributions to these forums, you will be missed. Sincere condolences to your family.


20th Apr 2011, 21:44
I found that I actually agreed with 411A most of the time, I swopped a coupleof PM's with him over the years. This forum will be much poorer without his contributions.

Happy landings Bob. :*

20th Apr 2011, 21:50
moogiee, Nicely said, I hardly ever agreed with him either but he was an interesting poster. I am sure he is in a better place. Hope they have a bar up there so we can all tell our stories when we get there.

Narrow Runway
20th Apr 2011, 21:50

I mean he's only died. It's not the end of the world!!

That's what 411A would have said about his own passing, even if it did create a difference of opinion!!

Dinosaur. Maybe.

Gentleman. Likely.

Rogue. Oh, yeah!!


20th Apr 2011, 22:13
Here is a link to a site that has a few of Mr. Welliver's vital statistics.Robert M. Welliver - Obituary - Fountain Hills, AZ - Tributes.com (http://www.tributes.com/show/Robert-Welliver-91301278) . The life you lived made a difference.

Robert was born on August 25, 1943 and passed away on Friday, April 1, 2011.
Robert was last known to be living in Fountain Hills, Arizona.

Tributes received this obituary from The Social Security Death Index, a public source.
No further information other than what is displayed is available.

20th Apr 2011, 22:33
Sad news. Despite his rather caustic style, the responses received so far on this thread speak volumes of the respect with which he was regarded.

His unfiltered posts of opinion and fact, and the controversy they stirred up, were always interesting, and sometimes quite informative, and certainly prompted a debate.

I've hardly posted on here (and one of my few posts was attacked by 411A), but I've read a great deal, and his presence will be missed.

I always pictured him as an interesting character.

R.I.P., and condolences to family and friends.


20th Apr 2011, 22:33
I have to say April 1st is apt:)

20th Apr 2011, 23:21
Farewell Bobby.

I won't forget those disagreements we had in Air Atlanta about AA pilots and the '89 Pilot's dispute but that's what's great about having a difference of opinion I suppose. I also won't forget having smoke from your huge "Cubana" blown all over me over a couple of lagers at the George Hotel in Crawley. Clothes reaked for a week!

Deepest sympathy to Jenny and family.


20th Apr 2011, 23:34
Although I never knew you, you replied to my posts in the '1011 forum. RIP, 411A.

20th Apr 2011, 23:46
I have to say April 1st is apt:)

I have to say my first thoughts when I saw the date were:

"Nah, he wouldn't..."

"What am I saying? He probably would..."

But by the time I was 4 pages in and no cackling "April Fool, suckers!" message was forthcoming, all I could think was:


20th Apr 2011, 23:50
RIP 411A

Although I would never dare crossing swords with you (I know I don't know enough), I enjoyed reading your commentary.

20th Apr 2011, 23:54
As the rogue individuals some of us see us to be, I appreciated the O/P' eulogy. Can't say I really care as I did not know him but clearly know the type of person he defined himself as and respected him as sutch.

Blue skies 411A!

20th Apr 2011, 23:57
RIP Mr. Tristar.

Died on 1st April in a Latin bar talking shop.
It just had to be him...

Notso Fantastic
21st Apr 2011, 00:34
I am probably in the top 2 or 3 percent of UK pilots in highest flying hours. I always respected 411As opinions- he was invariably right, even if he did trample on modern ideas of CRM, and had very set in his ways opinions. But I had to admit to myself if the chips were down and things were looking bad, even I would rather he were flying me than me flying him. He was a walking encyclopedia of aviation, and knew most things. He not only knew the DP Davies effect on the redesign of the 707, I think he probably also knew him. I always read his posts and found them to be plain unvarnished truth, and used to wince when some of the idiots here joined in a puerile attempt to belittle him- I would certainly prefer he were flying me than those aggressive twerps who used to be so rude- always playing the man never the ball as they would lose every time.

Sadly he, along with most pilots of my generation, after a full career found the whole damn industry had changed under us. Whilst the equipment is amazing now, the job has changed out of recognition. It's not a place I would come to now. But if there is one flying character I would dearly love to have spent an evening with, it was he. He was full of stories of characters and flying things, and they are lost now. I hope some feel guilt at the abuse they indulged in to somebody who knew more about aviation now than anyone else, and it never seemed to be censored. I did engage in some private emails with him, and despite belonging to a group he despised, I greatly enjoyed conversing with him.

Good luck Captain Welliver- you left your stamp here and on aviation- shame the stories pass with you and you never got to spend your time flying your plane in Arizona. I shall toast you as I toast all my lost flying colleagues.

Flying Lawyer
21st Apr 2011, 01:05
But I had to admit to myself if the chips were down and things were looking bad, even I would rather he were flying me than me flying him.

I hope you'll take this in the spirit I mean it: Coming from you, that concession is one of the finest compliments paid to 411A in this entire thread.

(Good to see you beginning to post on PPRuNe again. Your posts were always on my 'must read' list. :ok:)

21st Apr 2011, 01:24
This is very strange – Never met him, didn’t even know his full name until today and still I feel a loss.

I went through some of his posts to reminisce.

Re flying an inverted 737
Besides which, the engines will, in a short period of time. be starved of oil, and this is generally not a good thing. The Coffee will make a mess first, however.

Commenting on why somebody left Emirates
I expect it was because of a slight mental defect...on your part (IE: a child),

Re Australian regulators
Loony then, loony now. Nothing changes.

Re birdstrikes
In my considered opinion, large excursions of the flight path of a faster moving jet airliner, to avoid potential bird impacts, is highly unlikely to be met with favorable results.

On somebody threatening to leave a job with Emirates
Good luck with that.

Suggestion for upgrading low time pilots
A few steel girders for extra bracing on the nose gear, and presto....problem solved.

On giving F/Os a break
We certainly do at our small company.
If said F/O paints themselves into a corner, it is up to them to find a way out.
Otherwise...they learn very little in the process.

On changes in Africa and the middle east
Used to see Idi Amin in the Safeway supermarket, across from the Sands Hotel in JED, where he resided for a long time. Big guy...size-wise.

On how to buy groceries
Look in cupboards and fridge. Make list. Go to laptop, and send an email to the local grocery store, indicating my desires. In two hours, the groceries are delivered, free of charge, where I then write a check for the total purchase, or...they send me a statement at the end of the month. Works for me.

On Smartcockpit.com
Seems to me...we need many more smarter pilots, and fewer so-called 'smart cockpits'

Re a CRM discussion
Some folks apparently have an authority problem...they clearly do not understand the concept. IF those folks are First Officers, there are those in attendance to help them understand...one way or another.

21st Apr 2011, 02:23
I have known 411A for quite a few years, Saudia ,Air Atlanta etc.
Remember a few years ago I spoke with him about Mughrabi and moving N149AT to Amman from MIA.
He told me that I would get screwed on the money from this one and to leave it alone.
He was correct the company cheated us, he was smart enough to stay away from this one.
Last I seen him was in JED about 3 years ago, he was flying with Privelage jet on the haj, was happy, new company,,shiny Tristar on the ramp.
He was one that always had a comical come back line on everything and always spoken with a smile on his face and great to fly with.
RIP 411A ,,Tristar world will never be the same.

21st Apr 2011, 04:20
I have never butted heads with 411A, and have found his writing to be opinionated but sincere, and never mean spirited. He wasn't hesitant in sharing his knowledge and viewpoint and he probably enjoyed tweaking the tail feathers of the newer generation when their preaching from the "good book" reached the strident level. He had the knowledge to carry this 'tail feather adjustment' process with a high level of skill.
I've have wondered whether or not I would have enjoyed flying in the same cockpit with him and decided that I probably would. You would just have to understand that he was the Captain.
We have lost one of those assets our community, a teacher who freely dispensed his knowledge whether you wanted to receive it or not. I for one will miss his contribution.

21st Apr 2011, 07:14
I recall Cap 411A and I going round a tiny bit on the AA587 crash. When I offered information not generally known, he clearly had the good graces to let it lie. Bob was a gentleman when and where it truly counted.

21st Apr 2011, 08:01
You will be missed 411A.
We never crossed keyboards as far as I can remember, but like many, I enjoyed your posts. For me you were part of what PPRuNe's all about.

21st Apr 2011, 09:18
What you said, couldn't have put it better will miss the ould bugger

21st Apr 2011, 09:24
Farewell, 411A! And condolences to your family and friends.

We never crossed swords, but you were a huge part of PPRuNe, and of what made it a good place to read and learn.

21st Apr 2011, 10:19
As an aviation person of his generation I knew exactly where 411A came from. Exchanged a few PMs with him some years ago and never got around to taking him up on a jumpseat ride on his beloved L-1011. Never met the man in person, yet I feel strangely sad at the news of his final departure. He will be missed on PPRuNe.

My sincere condolences to his family, colleagues and friends.

So long 411A

21st Apr 2011, 10:44
I had quite a few brush-ups with the guy and I thought him as an opinionated, supercilious dinosaur.
I then realised that he made an obvious couple with another extinct species : the last of the pilot's airplane par excellence, the Tristar.
It is fitting that he didn't fade away into the sunset.
He probably chose that brutal ending with the same finality as most of his opinions.
The disappearance of that vast reservoir of knowledge, aviation lore and airmanship makes us poorer.

May gentle breezes blow on your contrails up there, Bob !


21st Apr 2011, 11:00
Any pics of the dear departed Captain Bob available? Would be great to put a face to his mighty 411A observations/explanations.

RIP 411A

jolly girl
21st Apr 2011, 11:03
Happy Trails 411A, you will be missed.

21st Apr 2011, 11:54
RIP 411A - it was always a pleasure to read you posts - controversy or not - will miss you!

Wannabe Flyer
21st Apr 2011, 12:03
YouTube - Missing Man Formation with BIG warbirds (http://youtu.be/wmFPevZD8R0)

I am sure he deserved a better and bigger one, but this is the closest I could find

:ok: Be Safe, now you are where you always loved to live in the sky

The AvgasDinosaur
21st Apr 2011, 12:48
Quote fireflybob Be nice to have a pic of him seated in the L1011 posted on this thread
Quote 20driver It is shame the biography will not be done. It would have being a fascinating story. If anyone has a link to an obituary or biography please post it.
Quote stilton
After all these years of anonymity a Photograph of him would be welcomed by all.
Quote aviate1138 Any pics of the dear departed Captain Bob available? Would be great to put a face to his mighty 411A observations/explanations.

We are not all on facebook or whatever. Please could someone fill in some of the blanks.
Be lucky

21st Apr 2011, 12:57
Ref post #194, unless I have truly failed the "numerical reasoning" test, he would have been 68 in August.

Am I correct in believing he was still flying his beloved L1011 as PIC ?

If so , how did he manage that one ? :hmm: , just for reference of course :rolleyes: . . . if I make it that long I'd like to pull the same trick.

21st Apr 2011, 13:33
Going out with a bang at 67... His passengers should all be happy he did not do it on short final in crappy weather.

411A. On our discussion on flying past 60? I rest my case!


Robert M. Welliver - Obituary - Fountain Hills, AZ - Tributes.com (http://www.tributes.com/show/Robert-Welliver-91301278)

21st Apr 2011, 13:39
From The Kathryn Aviation Report... Think this is a vid of his last trip

YouTube - Lockheed TriStar 500 HR-AVN landing at Ferihegy


21st Apr 2011, 14:48
I'm only a PPL but whenever I came to the R&N part of PPrune I read and enjoyed his posts. When I saw the thread, I immediately had a strange feeling of loss. Would've loved to meet the man.

Tailwinds and may your L1011 contrails go on forever!

Capn Bloggs
21st Apr 2011, 15:09
Think this is a vid of his last trip

The effo would have copped a walloping from 411A for that long landing! :D

21st Apr 2011, 15:45
Reading on R&N his "barneys" with others always amused me. He sounded like a great character. He obviously thought that the L-1011 was the best plane. Remember flying them a lot as SLF in the late '80's/90's never any probs.

May his last trip be calm with no turbulence. RIP 411A

21st Apr 2011, 16:13
I echo the sentiments and sadness at the passing of 411A.

He had great experience and knowledge and his postings were always interesting although some were clearly intended to provoke.

Anyone know if Rainboe is still alive?

21st Apr 2011, 16:22
Anyone know if Rainboe is still alive?

Yes he is, I'm pleased to say.
Another poster whose contributions have added greatly to PPRuNe.

Notso Fantastic
21st Apr 2011, 16:53
draglift, thank you for asking- sadly Rainboe, on a solo aerobatic session, didn't do his HASELL checks well enough and got blatted by his wallet in a half turn Immelmann. Although grievously wounded, he mysteriously couldn't recall his log on password and email afterwards. However that splendid chap Notso has leapt in to provide all support to him.

We are trying to fight the CAA over a daft suspension of our medical certificates, but they might just have a point this time. We still won't give them any peace.

However, back to the subject of the thread. Bob was never known to be wrong. The way he passed the message grated with most, but he was succinctly spot on accurate, if brutal. I recognised this early on and gave him respect from early on. Truly he was a walking aviation encyclopaedia, and could have produced a book of Gann proportions. As I said, I was from one of the two groups he despised- 7 years and a generation separated us, but he had all my respect as a true master aviator. Sadly the book will never be. Unbelievably gone before his time too.

21st Apr 2011, 16:58
Someone mention Rainboe? My post No 10 said;

I hope Rainboe reads this thread. May bring him back for one last post.

Come to think of it, could it be that Nots ......... no. :hmm:

21st Apr 2011, 17:05
A poor obituary for someone we 'know' so well. Maybe this thread should be dedicated as his obituary.

Robert M. Welliver - Obituary - Fountain Hills, AZ - Tributes.com (http://www.tributes.com/show/Robert-Welliver-91301278)

I am surprised that I have been unable to find an official obituary and that all elusive photo is still eluding us, he must have been photographed among real live friends? :D

21st Apr 2011, 17:33
Never crossed swords with 411A but always enjoyed his posts, from one L1011 pilot to another. RIP Bob. I'll miss you here on PPRuNe.

21st Apr 2011, 17:54
411A as a fellow L1011 Fan you knew your stuff where they all were and who they belonged to the L1011 will be missing its biggest fan RIP

21st Apr 2011, 20:14
It's a funny world aviation, and a small one. Two ends of the same story were tied up by this thread, and I never would have expected it.

I've been on PPRuNe since it's inception, the mailing list days of the 90's when we waited for the evening mail to give us that days "Rumours and News". Somewhere around the same time 411A joined the fray and ever since I've read his posts with interest - as much a character as any other on here and always worth a read. I'm guessing that's 10 years worth at least.

Since last year I work for an International Flight support company and we get a huge variety of trips, but none more 'interesting' than a Tristar flight we had in March. As previously identified, the airplane has been sitting in Honduras and was being dusted off for a series of trans-Atlantic charters.

Before the flights commenced, we wanted to clarify some performance data for flight planning, so I was given a number and told to call their Chief Pilot. One Robert Welliver, in Arizona. Being a fan of the airplane, I was curious who this gentleman was and what his career history had been. Robert spoke with great enthusiasm about the aircraft and between the two of us we adjusted the figures to get an accurate representation of the aircraft data in the Flight Planning, and discussed some of the ins and outs of operating across the Atlantic.

There were more aircraft and operational 'snags' in this trip than any I've ever encountered, which made the series of flights a serious challenge for both of us. Yet Bob was relaxed and helpful throughout.

My shock on hearing of his passing at the bar in La Ceiba - knowing him only as Capt. Welliver, was naturally great. Discovering now that the two were one and the same - well, I feel somewhat honoured to have 'met' the man before his passing.

RIP 411A, and RIP Capt. Bob.

21st Apr 2011, 20:28
Entertaining posts - Yup. Spoke a lot of common sense, even if I wouldn't apply it the way he did..

..Now how old was he when he passed on?

21st Apr 2011, 20:56

According to the obituary referred in post 228, he was 67.

Sorry to hear of his passing, loved his to the point comments.

21st Apr 2011, 21:17
A consumate and passionate font of knowledge on the Tristar and aviation, the forum has lost a valuable contributor, albeit a rather forthright one.

God speed

21st Apr 2011, 21:31
67 seems to be his age in another record.

A bit more info here. Seems HR-AVN had a mechanical problem enroute Honduras.

Foro CatrachoWings® :: View topic - Rollins Air (http://www.catrachowings.com/foro/viewtopic.php?t=1034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=725)

Foro CatrachoWings® :: View topic - Rollins Air (http://www.catrachowings.com/foro/viewtopic.php?t=1034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=750)

Someone with a good command of Spanish might join that forum ^^ and make further inquiry. There are several posters who have PM'd on his death.


Brief ATC conversation, don't know if it is him.
YouTube - Privilege Lockheed L-1011 TriStar

Landing at Budapest March 26. I think he might have been amazed at all the photographers.
YouTube - L-1011 Tristar

Smooth skies always Captain Welliver.

21st Apr 2011, 21:51
Foro CatrachoWings® :: View topic - Rollins Air (http://www.catrachowings.com/foro/viewtopic.php?t=1034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=725)

I have an administrative technical curiosity: the FAA regulations are more stringent than the EU (European Union) say because the categorization of Honduras are level II and allowed to fly in European skies Honduran-registered aircraft in quite some years!
What then is the real status of Honduras?
Another question, why does not associate with the name of Rollins Air?


Foro CatrachoWings® :: View topic - Rollins Air (http://www.catrachowings.com/foro/viewtopic.php?t=1034&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=750)

get what you pay ...

Are aware of another paradise on earth!

411a - Fair weather en-route

21st Apr 2011, 22:28
I enjoyed reading 411A's posts over the last couple of years. I'll raise a glass this evening.

RIP 411A. :ok:

Turbine D
21st Apr 2011, 22:58
Although rather new to the PPRuNe, I looked for 411A's posts and read them wherever I could find them. Bob was in love with a great airplane, the L-1011 and I am sure he will lead many L-1011 discussions in the great forums in the sky. RIP up there 411A after your Westward flight....:ok:

jolly girl
22nd Apr 2011, 02:23
Any word yet on a fund to help his wife?

Zorro Polilla
22nd Apr 2011, 04:24
Reviewing some of his posts reveals the breadth of his knowledge across so many areas. The book would have been a best seller for sure. RIP 411A

22nd Apr 2011, 05:14
It's an amazing thing to watch all the volume of the response to 411A's passing on.
When you consider how many of us he managed to stir up !
Myself included, as with so many of you though I will miss him as well.
There was no one quite like him.

It's funny that even after he has left us he still provokes such a response.
I think he would have been delighted.
I did cross swords with him a few times, he was cantankerous, stubborn, single minded with a massive chip on his shoulder and 'always right'
If he acted the same way in the cockpit as he did on these pages I would not have wanted to be his FO.
On the other hand his posts were always entertaining, sometimes informative and unique.

I cannot hold a grudge and will miss him.
Smooth ride 411A.

22nd Apr 2011, 08:52
RIP. Will surely miss his entertaining posts.
Condolences to his family

22nd Apr 2011, 09:09
An absolute terrible shock.

Over the years I have constantly been infuriated, entertained and sometimes in total agreement of a lot of what 411A has said.. he was often predictable maybe.. but I felt as if I knew the guy... and gained enormous pleasure from his posts (and seeing the reactions of many others).

What a way to go though. Cigar and talking about his beloved Tristar.

And so soon after Gainesy.

Times like this make me reflect on how fragile we all are. RIP 411A mate...

Edited to totally agree with CaptPlayStation who summed it up best (to quote)

The sort of guy you would want alongside you on a rough night, either in the cockpit or in some dodgy place downroute where you might need helped out.


22nd Apr 2011, 10:51
The photographs show an 'interest' as Elk Grove Bowl which, by some coincidence, is in Elk Grove, Illinois, pretty close to United's HQ I think.

411A lived not far from Mesa, Arizona.

22nd Apr 2011, 12:48
How come 411A was still flying as a Captain of a commercial airliner aged 67??

I thought 65 was the cut off for commercial pilots.

22nd Apr 2011, 13:16
My sincere condolences to Bob's family and close friends. With Bob's untimely passing, aviation has lost yet another of the really good people. RIP Bob.

Broomstick Flier
22nd Apr 2011, 14:10

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I understand that the age 65 limit is not enforced by all aviation authorities worldwide (some less, some more?) and as long he is OK with the authority of the State of Registry of the aircraft in question, (Honduras) I guess he is good to go.


22nd Apr 2011, 14:20
I don't think we met while I was on the Tri-Star but we certainly met here! RIP 411A. Blue sky's and tailwinds !

Mr Optimistic
22nd Apr 2011, 15:35
This is sad and depressing news. Would be nice to have a picture.

22nd Apr 2011, 15:40
it's really an eye opener the things you find out about a person behind a forum name. It really makes us realise how human we are in real life.

22nd Apr 2011, 16:57
Condolences to his family, it is always sad when someone dear departs.

But I hate to spoil this forum's party. If it takes to belittle every first officers who complains about career or situation, if it takes to ridicule all those complaining when venturing the ME waters he had walked earlier to raise so much attention when you leave, then so be it.

He might have been a knowledgeable aviator, but we have all learnt that the Misters Know It All are not necessarily the best.

Let him rest in peace.