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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

Old 4th Dec 2005, 11:35
  #81 (permalink)  
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Ray Hanna;

Blasting over the crowd from behind in his Gnat in the 70's.
Flying up the dispersal at Gutersloh in a spitfire during the 80's.
Simply landing at Goodwood in the P40 a couple of years back.

Ad Astra!

PS; The dream spitfire display team; Hanna / Henshaw!
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 12:56
  #82 (permalink)  
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One of the great privileges of my life was to have known Ray as a friend and a fellow pilot. He would always greet me warmly with the question "How is your family?" Only then might we talk about flying. I have a few very vivid and special memories of some trips that I have flown over years; very many of these were in formation with Ray (and indeed with Mark and sometimes both of them). He was the most polished formation leader on whose wing I have had the privilege to fly. To combine that skill simultaneously with always providing a stunning spectacle for an airshow crowd is a very rare ability. Ray's style of low flying was unique and was one of the most talked about facets of display flying over the last few decades. It will still be talked about for many decades to come, although sadly we will not see it again other than in the many wonderful film and video clips which are his legacy to us all.

For me, Ray had always been there throughout my time display flying and was, when I was growing up, a household name as leader of the Red Arrows. He will be sorely missed both as a pilot and as a wonderful person.

Deepest condolences to the Hanna family and to the Old Flying Machine Company from all of us.

With great sadness

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Old 4th Dec 2005, 13:40
  #83 (permalink)  
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Ray Hanna

28 August 1928 - 1 December 2005

Inaugural Red Arrows team 1965 (7 ship)
Red 1 - Flt Lt L Jones; Red 2 - Flt Lt B A Nice; Red 3 - Flt Lt R G Hanna; Red 4 - Flt Lt G L Ranscombe; Red 5 - Fg Off P G Hay; Red 6 - Flt Lt R E W Loverseed; Red 7 - Flt Lt H J D Prince; Red 8 - Flt Lt E C F Tilsley

Red 1 in his second year.
(Still a 7-ship formation in 1966)
Back: Flt Lt D R H McGregor (Red 9), Flt Lt H J D Prince (Red 6), Sqn Ldr R Storer (Manager), Sqn Ldr T G Nelson (Red 7), Flt Lt F J Hoare (Red 8)
Front row: Flt Lt P R Evans (Red 4), Flt Lt D A Bell (Red 2), Sqn Ldr R G Hanna (Red Leader), Flt Lt W A Langworthy (Red 3), Flt Lt R Booth (Red 5)

1967-68 The Arrows down low - while soaring higher and higher in world acclaim
(How the rules have changed since the good old days!)

1969 - 5th and final year with the Arrows and 4th as Leader - a record never broken
(L-R) Flt Lt J D Rust (8), Flt Lt R B Duckett (4), Flt Lt P R Evans (2), Sqn Ldr R G Hanna (1), Flt Lt D A Smith (3), Flt Lt I C H Dick (7), Flt Lt E R Perreaux (5), Sqn Ldr R P Dunn (9)
Under Ray's leadership, the Team flew for the first time as a nine-ship and received worldwide acclaim for their dynamic precision formation flying.
In recognition, a bar was added to the AFC Ray had previously been awarded for feats of airmanship as a fighter pilot.

(Almost) on the track

The Biggin Hill crowd favourite

As always, total concentration before a display .....

..... but always time for a chat afterwards

..... and always time to encourage future generations of pilots

Father and son - mutual (and entirely justified) respect and pride

Leading the Breitling Fighter Team

Leading the Arrows again

A view I was privileged to see many times over the years but, sadly, never will again

Farewell Ray.

Many of these pictures belong to others.
If any copyright owner objects, contact me and I'll remove your picture.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 3rd Mar 2006 at 09:37.
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 14:56
  #84 (permalink)  
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A wonderful tribute Tudor.
Lomcevak’s words also say it all.

I owe the realisation of my dreams to Ray, and Mark and the OFMC. It was a privilege indeed to sit on his wingtip. Courteous and generous to a fault, with all his friends and employees, I still cannot take on board that he has signed his last Auth Sheet.

Duxford has become an emptier place with his passing however, he would not wish that we grieve too long – such was the man. His words of encouragement and advice will ring in my ears for evermore and I will always picture the craggy grin under his twinkling eyes. We must remember he would want us to get on with the task in hand and do just that – we owe it to him.

My sincere and heartfelt sympathies to his family.

Thank you Ray for everything.

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Old 4th Dec 2005, 19:01
  #85 (permalink)  
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A very sad day - I was priveleged to meet both Ray & Mark some years ago at Whenuapai - consummate professionals both. Thank you for the memories ....
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 20:16
  #86 (permalink)  
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What a shock! It is as though he was almost considered immortal and would be around forever.

I knew Ray on an aquaintance basis but he always remembered me and we always had a chat. I also knew Mark with whom I flew in formation - a treat I would have enjoyed with Ray - given the opportunity.

His like may never pass in the sky above again but his memory will live on and on.

RIP Ray you will always be remembered.
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 20:51
  #87 (permalink)  

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RIP, I think any kid that has ever wanted to be a fighter pilot knows Ray Hanna.

In light of his services to aviation and his native New Zealand, would it not be a bloody good show if someone can think up a decent, lasting legacy with his name attached to it?
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 21:05
  #88 (permalink)  
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End of an era for 'real flying', the likes of which we will never see again. Such a inspiration to me and so many to fly with your heart and spirit.

Blue skies forever.

Thoughts with the Hanna family and all those who have lost a friend.
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 22:20
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Like many others I was deeply saddened to hear the news about Ray and can add nothing more to what has already been said.

Ray, you were an inspiration to us all and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed such genius in the air.

Duxford & Biggin won't be the same without you and I hope your passing will be marked in the appropriate way next year.

Is it now perhaps the time to suggest a permanent memorial to Ray and all the other fine display pilots now sadly no longer with us at Duxford?

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Old 4th Dec 2005, 22:29
  #90 (permalink)  
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Ray will be missed - he was a one-off.

I first met him at Linton-on-Ouse following the graduation of his son Mark. I was a course behind Mark (he was on 38 course from memory) and we were part of the graduation parade which was held on the ramp in front of the hangars. After the display described elsewhere by Sven, Ray taxied the Spit onto the ramp, shut down and climbed out, pulling on the jacket to his three piece suit he was wearing - why wear a flying suit when you can fly in style?!

Sven left out one small detail - during the pass between the parade area and the taxiway, his prop was whipping up the cuttings from the freshly mown grass. Ray was a legend and I was very priviledged to meet him at the graduation party.
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Old 4th Dec 2005, 23:23
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A life, lived to the full. An inspirational figure, whose skill impinged upon so many. God speed, Ray.
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 01:03
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Ray and Mark Hanna

Tis a sad day with the passing of these two GREAT, GREAT Hanna aviators and gentlemen.

Threads merged - link deleted

Last edited by Heliport; 9th Mar 2006 at 17:43.
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 08:26
  #93 (permalink)  
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I heard the sad news of Rays Hanna's passing while driving to work this morning. My sympathies to his family, friends, and fellow admirers everywhere.

The first time I saw his flying was at Wanaka in 1992. For those who don't know the place, in addition to the deep gully off the end of the runway there, there is a low set of hills behind the crowdline, just outside the airfield boundary. Mark Hanna was airborne in the Me-109J, and the display was to be one of the dogfight set pieces that the Hanna's did so well. Ray had taken off earlier and disappeared. Mark was tooling around being the baddie while we waited for the Spitfire to come in and save the day. However it was no-where to be seen or heard. Suddenly I heard the growl of a merlin, and turned just in time to see Ray blasting over the ridge of those low hills, clearing them by not very much, and the fight was on. I can still see the shadow racing downslope underneath the aircraft. It was the best entry to a display I have ever seen. Inspirational, and my favourite airshow memory. I still privately refer to the location as 'Spitfire hill'. At the end of the day after the show had officially closed, Ray took the Spitfire up again, displaying in the late afternoon sun as the crowd dispersed.
Every display of his I saw, be it in the Spitfire, P-40 or P-51 had the touch of class. The last time I saw him fly was in a P-40 at Masterton in January this year, and he was still untouchable.

So long Sir, and thanks for the memories.
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 09:18
  #94 (permalink)  
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Of all the flying displays I have ever seen, the ones that stick out are those involving Ray Hanna and the Spitfire. Man and Machine in perfect harmony. We will never see their like again.

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Old 5th Dec 2005, 09:26
  #95 (permalink)  
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Daily Telegraph obituary of Ray Hanna.

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Old 5th Dec 2005, 10:36
  #96 (permalink)  
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The most outstanding display pilot of his generation, and probably of any generation. Ray Hanna was respected by other pilots and admired by millions of aviation enthusiasts all over the world.
He will be missed for many years to come. Thanks to television and film footage, his extraordinary talent and contribution to aviation will never be forgotten.

The resolution isn't great but, to me, this picture captures what the airshow crowds (and I suspect he) loved best .....

Fast and low at Biggin Hill
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 14:14
  #97 (permalink)  
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I've received many messages enquiring about funeral arrangements. Please excuse me for not replying to each personally.

Subject to confirmation of date:

Ray Hanna will be buried at Parham Church, Suffolk at noon on Thursday 15th December.

Please note that the funeral is for family and close friends.

The family have found the messages of condolence and the tributes a comfort at this very sad time, and realise many people would like to pay their respects to Ray. A Memorial Service will be held in London early in the Spring.
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 15:43
  #98 (permalink)  
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I too was at that graduation display - in between sorties on the JP5 probably - I seem to remember that at met brief the next morning the CI stood up and said RH would never be invited back again and if any student ever thought about that manoevre between the floodlight stanchions and the flight line...............

nb I was on 36 so Mark must have been somewhere around 33-35 cse ----
Blimey - 26 years ago !!!!!!!!!
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 16:51
  #99 (permalink)  
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Ray Hanna was the airshow display pilot of all time for me.
Glad I savoured his last two Biggin Hill displays in MH434, Ray displayed a Spitfire better than anyone I've ever seen.
Ray Hanna was a true inspiration.

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Old 5th Dec 2005, 16:53
  #100 (permalink)  

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His flight under Winston Bridge was truly mesmeric.

Not flamboyant – quietly calculated and superbly handled.

His life thread was inspirational – I have talked to my sons at Duxford when he displayed and recalled that event.

They would say - “Dad – is that him. Is that the man”

His presence lives on very personally in our family.

He must have touched and enthused the lives of many he never met.
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