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Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others)

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Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others)

Old 15th Jun 2016, 07:49
  #361 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
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enjoy, as they say; and keep practicing.
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Old 15th Jun 2016, 09:27
  #362 (permalink)  
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I remember Brendan in his old Super Cub flying up the front of the (then) new tower at Redhill as part of a crazy flying act during one Tiger Club display and during an earlier one in his Stampe, while cavorting around the field on one wheel he picked up a handkerchief with a wingtip which led to a skirt rip from the lady commentator... nice legs she had...!

Fun shows in them days, John Blake commentating at Biggin... ah, nostalgia...
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 17:07
  #363 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lichfield, England
Age: 60
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David Fenton

It is with a sad heart that I have to report that my father, David Fenton, chief Engineer for the team, passed away on the evening of Wednesday 29th June.

Danny Fenton
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 17:45
  #364 (permalink)  

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So sorry to learn of David's passing. A traditional LAE with high standards. He kept the aircraft in fine fettle. Condolences to his family and friends.
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Old 3rd Jul 2016, 18:39
  #365 (permalink)  
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Very sad news ...another one gone.

Does anyone know where Bob Lee is these days?
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Old 4th Jul 2016, 14:27
  #366 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 37
Dave Fenton RIP

Very sorry to hear of David's passing. A great engineer who was a credit to the team and his profession. He will be fondly membered and missed by many.
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Old 16th Aug 2016, 11:40
  #367 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 40
Brian L rang a month before he died, we had kept in touch over the years. He sent the odd manuscript my way, more for my entertainment than anything else. The Dwarf RAT of old was still in residence toward the end, but it was clear he was not well. Though not possessing much height, his character had depth beyond sounding. He was a exceptionally colourful individual who tended to sit in the background during dinner but listened intently to what was being said. He would choose his moment, deliver a well targeted, pithy remark then laugh outrageously, particularly when someone had made a dick of themselves - which was often. He was a very fine friend, we'll all miss him - bless 'im.

David Fenton is another we'll never forget, he barked infrequently, I don't remember him ever biting. We were lucky to have him, his engineering skills were legion, he inspired absolute trust. He was another thoughtful chap with a deep love of family and flying machines. Yes, he'll be sorely missed too.

Update: I came out of the left seat of a BA 777 at the hands of a pesky ailment with 5 years left to run. 40 years flying for food. Working with a tight group of people such as these - no words can describe how privileged I feel to have been there, it was only yesterday after all...
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Old 21st Oct 2016, 15:47
  #368 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Hertfordshire
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Mike Findlay

Does anyone have contact details for Mike Findlay?

After the Rothmans Solo sponsorship ended, Dave Perrin and I bought G-SOLO, G-RKSF and one other S2A from Rothmans. Dave had persuaded Mike to join him to mount a new duo of S2S and S2A. We were seeking sponsorship when Dave went to Yugoslavia for High Road to China filming.

I'd like to be put in touch with Mike, if anyone can help.

Many thanks
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Old 12th Feb 2017, 17:14
  #369 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1
Mike C

As a spotty teenager being put through my flying scholarship at Teesside Airport I recall Mike C as truly larger than life. From his crazy driving in his big old Fiat to his 'tips' on certain flying techniques...to the flying school bar, seeing various RAT pilots in entertaining form! The day before my qualifying cross country I broke my kneecap. We tried to hide it from Mike the next day but as my colleagues helped me into the Cessna I'm sure he knew. Sunderland, Leeds and back without incident, and a wry smile from Mike when I landed. RAT were true heroes of flying in every respect. Never to be forgotten.

Originally Posted by hotstart54 View Post
Hi Bob - Norman,

I heard about this thread from one of my colleagues today. 'Glad to see you are still around. You forgot Dave Fenton in your roundup of engineers from '77, is he still about? ;-) I hope that John Brobyn still walks the earth with his unique take on life. There can be few who understand aeroplanes as 'JB' does. Happy days in the CFC before we kicked of for Africa and I will never forget the ride on the back of your Harley!
It is a great shame we all never stayed in touch better than we did, I missed David and Marcus' farewell and regret it deeply. 'Tempus' does indeed 'Fugit' and maybe we all ought to get together before too long; there are many interesting faces still around and to miss the opportunity would be a shame.
You are right, there is an enormous archive of material buried in dusty cardboard boxes and I would love to collate the stories or even write the book, perhaps a collaboration? The material would make for an excellent read if it were stitched together in the right way.

Historical gap filling:- Teeside - formed late 1977

Team 1
Bob Thompson, Marcus Edwards, George Smith (Finn), David Perrin.

Islander Support Aircraft/Team Manager - Me

David Fenton, Bob Lee (spare A/C Pilot), John Brobyn, Dilip Patel, Frank Wykes. Les Scattergood.
Home Team at Anvil.
Mike Dent was Chief Engineer for Anvil Aviation, he was in charge of the Flying Club servicing that Bob Thomspon had started and support for both teams while they were away.

George crashed from a spin which he entered from the inverted on base. It didn't happen on display but during the recovery to land after a Feathers (upward) Burst. I (we) believe that the spin was deliberate and used to position himself as he was high after the burst. I saw it as a positive flick entry and believe he cocked up the exit having missed the line one too many times. I had dinner with George the night before and we talked at length about his plans post RAT. Anyone who knew him would testify to the fact that he was unique, he certainly had talent and a bundle of qualities. Was it really twenty eight years ago?
'Finn', (Mike Findlay) replaced George in Lanzarote at short notice from his 'day job' in France renovating cottages with the occasionally flit to the Sudan to spray crops. The last time I heard from Finn he was with British Aerospace teaching where I understand he was very highly thought of.

Team 2. 1978-80
Mike Cairns, Rod Rea, Alan Dix, Brian Lecomber (Andy Warbridge - spare a/c pilot)
Bob Ruskell, Andy Legge, Pete Jones.

As I remember Mike Cairns Joined Team 1 for the Greek and first Middle East Tour. He flew as No.3 Dave Perrin No.4. When the second team was formed he took over as team leader team two, and Alan Dix became No.3 team one. Mike Finn flew in the No.4 position working up in Dubai during the first ME Tour.

I was trained to follow into the team but sadly I missed a chance whilst away on tour and never took my place as Rothmans sponsorship ceased in '80; any slot that I might have taken evaporated. Following Mike C in the '2 slot' was a riot; I almost lost control several times laughing at his 'twitch'. What a character and talent, he could turn his hand to anything; we met for the occasional sherbet in the mid eighties when he was in the Prestwick area spraying detergent on the sea. I gather he lost his license (it must have due to something he ate) and worked for British Aerospace (Prestwick) as a simulator instructor helping the next generation on it's way. I have flown with a number of them and they speak with respect and fondness for the skill and the kindness he showed them during their time in his care. Mike departed this life in the US, I believe from a heart attack. I doubt we will see his like again.

I left RAT 1 in Cairo in 1980 toward the close of the Middle East Tour after training my replacement. I joined the Royal Oman Police Air Wing in Muscat for three years and after a circuitous route through the Charter world, joined BA in '89 onto the Tri-Star. The -400 and a spell on the 737-400 followed and I am now back in LH enjoying the 777. I write this in the early hours of Saturday morning in the 'Inn at the Ballpark' in Houston before the ride home this afternoon.

Take care Bob, what an excellent thread! Probably the most memorable years of my life.

[email protected]

PS: I edit this as old info floods back into an addled brain (or my pals remind me).
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 18:50
  #370 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
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As one who watched in awe and amazement.
Thank you guys for every show you ever did especially those I was lucky enough to see.
Have any former team members written a biography or autobiography ?
Thanks for your time and trouble,
Be lucky
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Old 6th Mar 2017, 23:59
  #371 (permalink)  

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Rothmans 1971 season

Well after much prodding from old friends I am writing my autobiography amd have finished the element on my time with the team in 1971. Manx Kelly(1), Neil Williams(3) and Iain Weston(4) with Nick Daniels as a great commentator. Maintenance on our Stampes by Personal Plane Services at Booker. A fabulous experience but I lacked faith in Rothmans continuing the sponsorship. So, with wife, kids, mortgage and the Peterborough Aero Club to support, I regretfully declined Manx's invitation to continue after the season had ended. The salary was vastly superior to what I was getting as the CFI/Manager at Sibson and the fags were indeed a bonus; but common sense prevailed, unfortunately. Great memories after some 46 years. I am the only one left now unless Nick is still around in Canada. RIP my old mates.
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Old 6th Apr 2021, 21:30
  #372 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Bavaria
Posts: 1
Mike Cairns/BobRuskell/Andy Legge/Pete Jones

Ive been 15, when i met the fab 4 with "skippy" (Brian Waring) in Alexandria (during their middle east tour),where they flew their display. My dad was a german teacher in Alex, where he also flew gliders in the military gliding club. The RAT landed there and my dad invited them to our home, where mom cooked a real bavarian meal ;-) we had a lot of fun in that evening,and the next day dad and me had the opportunity to fly a loops,turns and rolls with Pete. Great memories! I only know that Andy and Mike died already unfortunately :-(.
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