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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

Old 2nd Dec 2005, 16:58
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Earth
Posts: 563
Never met the great man, but saw many of his aerial tricks. As an aviator myself it is a great loss to the community.
Fart Master is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 17:37
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Oh for the good old (slightly politically incorrect days). He must have breached a few European laws there, but wasn't that just Absolutely Bloody Fabulous?
Thanks so much for taking me back to that lovely time when we were allowed to laugh/swear/ frighten ourself, without dressing it up as a corporate event.
captplaystation is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 17:44
  #43 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I had the pleasure of meeting Ray a couple of times, albeit very briefly. He always struck me as being a perfect gentleman, his superb skill and ability never went to his head.

His flying displays, whether solo or as part of a team, were always the most beutiful works of art, showing the aircraft to its best without being flashy, with the crowd (and commentators) in a rapt silence, a tingle of excitement running up my spine.

RIP Ray, my condolences to the family.

zarniwoop is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 17:51
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 365
Goodbye Ray, and thank you for my lifelong interest in aviation....

(Tollerton Air Display 1973 in a Spitfire, my parents tell me)
Jobza Guddun is online now  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 17:53
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK FIR South
Posts: 39
Thanks for all the stunning memories Ray.......
(Keeping good company now with so many - like your son Mark and his great friend John Watts et al)
Avalon is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 18:26
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Retired to Bisley from the small African nation
Age: 64
Posts: 461
Angel Spectacular flying

In 1979(or maybe it was early 1980) I was at 1 FTS RAF Linton-on-Ouse when Mark Hanna graduated.

Ray turned up in a Spitfire and gave the most stunning demonstration of flying skills - a modern display safety team would have been aghast, though he maintained loads of speed to convert to height in the event of problems.

Images that will always be in my mind include a Spitfire arriving round the end of the hangar at near enough 90 AOB, slaloming though the dispersal floodlight pylons, and a low pass along the taxiway in front of the hangars. Somewhere I have a photo, taken from ground level, showing Ray in straight and level flight. The top surface of the wing is clearly visible.

The next day OC Ops called in the entire student population of 1 FTS for a warning in forceful terms not to try emulating Ray's display in a JP!

A life well lived, and a reputation that will stand for many years.

Sven Sixtoo is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 18:56
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,782
I sadly can't claim to have known Ray Hanna well, but I'd met him a few times and seen him fly. He always came across to me as a really pleasant fellow, and an incredibly capable aviator. He's left us too soon - my deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

Genghis the Engineer is online now  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 19:11
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Bloody Hell
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I remember seeing him lead the Reds when I was a kid several times. Smoke On Ray!
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 19:25
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Kidderminster
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This news has really shocked me. I never had the honour of knowing Ray Hanna. I am not a pilot or aviation proffesional. I am but an aviation enthusiast who enjoyed his talents. Whenever I was told that Ray was displaying at an event, my ears would perk up knowing that a master of his trade would be showing off his skills. The display circuit has lost one of it's grand masters.

My deepest condolences to all of his family, friends and colleagues.
oulton35 is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 19:34
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 135
A terrible loss to aviation. Enthusiast professionals like Ray are what flying is all about and we need more of them to prevent aviation becoming the dominion of dullards, robots and bean counters.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 19:45
  #51 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: England
Posts: 50
Can't claim to have 'known' either Ray or Mark Hanna, I just met them on the odd occasion. However, I will always remember talking to Mark about the formation of a kind of OFMC 'supporters club' at a Duxford Airshow sometime around the summer of 1996. During our conversation Ray was displaying '434' - he flew down the crowd line before pulling up into an impressive steep climbing turn. Both Mark and I paused to watch man and machine in all their glory, then Mark turned to me again and -with obvious pride and a huge grin on his face- said, "He's not bad for nearly 70 is he!"
Both sadly missed....RIP
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 20:17
  #52 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
Posts: 297

I can only add my humble sincere condolences to all his family, close friends, and all else who loved him.

Those left behind will miss him very badly.


Tartan Giant is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 21:32
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
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R.I.P Ray---you thrilled many an onlooker at Warbirds Over Wanaka---thankyou so very much. Condolences to the Hanna family
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 22:12
  #54 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
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I too watched quite a few awe inspiring displays by Ray Hanna over the years, many thanks for the opportunity to see the Spitfire flown with such skill and dexterity. RIP.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 22:29
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I had the pleasure of meeting Ray and Mark several times when I was living in Wanaka, New Zealand.

I specifically remember one time, standing with Mark at the taxiway/runway intersection as Ray took-off in Tim Wallis' Mk XVI Spitfire, FUP.

Ray had a particular technique when getting airborne in the Spitfire, he'd stay very low, get the gear up and then sort of drop down a bit lower till he got to the threshold, then he'd climb out. What made it most interesting to watch was that, as the gear was coming up, the Spitfire would be wobbling around a bit with the wingtips dipping down to a few feet of the ground, and the nose pitching about. Presumably it was all to do with having to change hands on the stick to get at the gear lever.

Anyway, we're watching him take-off and he does his usual thing, looking like he's going to clip a wing any moment. I look over at Mark, who's grinning madly and shaking his head, he says "Jesus I hate the way he does that." It was quite obvious that he didn't hate it at all and was as enthralled as I was.

I am saddened by the loss but also happy that Ray, despite the many hours spent engaging in a fairly high risk activity, made it into his late seventies and was taken by natural causes rather than some misadventure in a warbird.

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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 23:10
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
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As a fellow kiwi I mourn the loss of this extraodinary man. I only had the pleasure of meeting him and his late son for a relatively brief moment, but they were both as friendly and down-to-earth as anyone could wish for!
From an aviation point of view I had the pleasure of watching his displays in Wanaka and the UK and you could not see a more professional display of warbird flying, which I am sure will be endorsed by those that were lucky enough to work more closely with him!
RIP Ray. You have done NZ proud.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 23:11
  #57 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Age: 80
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I've not missed any Wanaka Air Show, and to watch Ray Hanna at any time was one of the reasons. No matter how many times you saw it, the disappearing trick along the riverbed never ceased to astound even those who knew about it. A true master of his craft who will be sadly missed.

Wanaka will never be the same.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 23:18
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: I have a home where the Junglies roam.
Posts: 151
Ray and Mark are flying a Merlin formation as we speak. Heaven never sounded so heavenly.
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Old 2nd Dec 2005, 23:38
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cotswolds UK
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I was very lucky and met Ray and the Reds after a practice display at Shawbury in 1969. I had just come out of hospital at the time and at about ten years old. I needed serious cheering up. It was an experience that lives with me to this day and the hope that you promised Ray, I will never forget..

Thank you. It worked. RIP.

Conan the Librarian is offline  
Old 2nd Dec 2005, 23:40
  #60 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: This Sceptered Isle
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He inspired many of us. RIP Ray, you were a great aviator...

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