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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

Old 5th Dec 2005, 18:46
  #101 (permalink)  
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" Smoke on Go! Smoke off go! The blue is bad again. Sorry Boss but they have got it right where your going "


Ginger Bell
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Old 5th Dec 2005, 20:26
  #102 (permalink)  
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Sept 3rd 1989

September 3rd 1989, EGMC, 17:30 Local time;

I had just completed my GFT & was on base leg for 06 when I heard those magic words spoken by that magic voice - "Spitfire for run & break" - anxious not to spoil the show I offered to clear the approach but I was cleared to land as No 1.
I continued and just after turning off the active I heard and saw the most amazing sight that has never been bettered for me -
it was Ray I'm sure in MH434 at approx' 50 feet above on his run & break - excellent !!!
I have taken it as a personal inspiration ever since !!

Ray, I salute you, you are an Aviation legend now and for ever more.
I met you once and you were everything that I previously had perceived:- polite, knowledgeable and above all else fun. Wonderful, irreplaceable, intelligent, caring and very approachable all spring to mind but words alone cannot convey the whole person.

That such a life was possible and lived to the full is an inspiration to us all !!

Mark was exactly the same ilk in my experience and an honour to be associated with.

God speed Ray and Mark - Heaven will have to re-write the op's manual now that you're together again.
Take care - you'll never ever be forgotten.
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Old 6th Dec 2005, 07:14
  #103 (permalink)  

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Thumbs up Jul 28 1967

Log book open - Aircraft Type and Mark...Gnat XR993 Capt... FL Hoare...Copilot, 2nd Pilot Pupil or crew...Self (pax)...Duty...Red Arrows...Day Flying Dual...16minutes...

What a trip! What a memory! This was at RAF Marham and Red Leader was flying as low as ever - I had to remind myself that five aircraft were below us (as #3) so close were the trees on the right...

Judgement and skill par excellence. There was more though - this man enjoyed his flying. He must have lived a contented life. Hats Off.

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Old 6th Dec 2005, 07:30
  #104 (permalink)  
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FC - you may not be aware that Frank Hoare also sadly died a few years ago.
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Old 6th Dec 2005, 12:32
  #105 (permalink)  
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I fully endorse Heliport's suggestion that those with some good pictures of Ray - OR Mark - might care to place them on this thread. The plan is to move the R&N thread to join this one when all the tributes have been paid and the more pictures there are the better the thread will be.

I then plan to open the thread each year on December 1st for all to see and to remember.

But I would ask that they should be pictures without copyright or website url's. I think you would agree that in this case it would be inappropriate.


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Old 6th Dec 2005, 15:29
  #106 (permalink)  
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To get an AFC and Bar is very good going. Is there anyway of seeing the citations for them.

FL do you have them available to post?
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Old 6th Dec 2005, 18:04
  #107 (permalink)  
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As a new member to the Warbird scene I had not met Ray however had seen him fly. Learning of his history I wish now that I had gone up and shaken his hand.

Having watched again the Warbirds over Wanaka DVD, Ray seemed to be the essence of a pilot "Cool Calm and always Calculating"

I loved the expression on his face when he lead the Fighters under the Helicopter wash, calmly looking left, nope wasn't II, looking right, not III, always with a wry smile....

I'll turn an extra blade on Sunday in the Dak and I'm sure that you'll be remembered as a legend!
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Old 6th Dec 2005, 19:18
  #108 (permalink)  
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I just wanted to post my respect for a Master.
Man and Machine in perfect harmony...............

Thank you and Mark.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 08:59
  #109 (permalink)  
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I first met Ray in Singapore on a night stop in the late 70s.

Once known never forgotten.

What a guy! what a gentleman! what a pilot!

He was never too busy to pass the time of day whenever we met over the years and what an honour to have actually known him.

RIP Ray, I'll buy you a beer when and if I am lucky enough to meet up with you again.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 09:16
  #110 (permalink)  
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I was not privileged to know Ray Hanna, but I think that the amount of tributes says it all about the man................RIP.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 11:26
  #111 (permalink)  
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I'd like to add my humble tribute to Ray.

I've been privileged to fly to Duxford on a number of occasions in various aircraft, including JPs and a Strikemaster. It was after a typically exhiliarating run and break in the latter that I got to talk to Ray and Mark at length, because my pilot had business with them. It was great to have a coffee with them in the Legend's office and just chat, although they were both as busy as usual. Ray even washed me a mug clean . I started to tell Ray what I was involved in, and he said simply, with a twinkle in his eye, 'I know who you are, I'm one of your biggest customers!' Then he told me about his involvement in the Lowa Ltd B707, which, of course, had a worldwide set of charts on board. His memory was sharp, because I had been introduced to him only briefly at a Legends show a year or more before. I was really chuffed. Since then I've bumped into Ray twice, both at Biggin Hill, in 2001 when I flew over in JU-52, and this year as one of the sponsors of the pilots' marquee.

Ray effused a quiet professionalism on the ground, but in the air - wow! What was it about his particular presentation - quick, aggressive, absolutely beautiful!

I will never ever forget his performance at Duxford against a raincloud-filled sky when he celebrated MH434's 60th birthday. Ray just seemed to enjoy giving us enjoyment and knew what to add to his display to make you absolutely gobsmacked.

Ray's final fling at Biggin on that Sunday evening in his beloved Spitfire to the wonderful text presented in such a fine manner by the guest American commentator, was beyond belief. Ray suddenly disappeared into the valley, only to pop up over the trees and shoot into the sky, the Spitfire sillhouetted against a lovely September sky. I looked around, there was not a dry eye to be seen, no embarrassement either, was it not a just reason to show emotion!

Thank you Ray, thank you all. To Ray's family and friends, my deepest condolences at your sad loss.

I took a photo of Ray taking in Simon Ames' briefing. I thought you'd like to see it.

Best wishes,


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Old 7th Dec 2005, 12:03
  #112 (permalink)  
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I met Ray for the first time in 2002, when he, Nigel, Lee, Keith and Alistair flew in the Breitling Fighters to EHSE. This was some weekend!

My son Rick (11 years old at that time), already (genetically, I suppose) interested in aircraft, was introduced by Ray to the P40 (the photo is in this thread) and all the other Breitling Fighter aircraft, despite his busy schedule. After this weekend, Rick never stopped talking about flying himself, the Breitling Fighters and Ray Hanna.

This year, he fullfilled his dream and started flying gliders on EHWO in February, progressing to his solo on September 18th.
Ray, I thank you for the time you spent with Rick!

I met Ray several times after that weekend, and he always recognised and greeted us with his warmth. The last two times this year, on Duxford during the Flying Legends and on EHGG (Groningen, Netherlands) during the airshow, he was, as always, full of life.

I will remember Ray fondly, his piloting skills, wit and humour. Above all, his personality struck me as being modest, approachable and full of interest in other people.

Blue skies Ray, fly on forever....

Willem Braat
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 12:22
  #113 (permalink)  
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I never had the privilege of knowing Ray either, but feel his loss as sharply as the loss of my other aviation friends and colleagues.

Tudor's picture of Father and Son brought a tear to my eye.

Next time I'm hamfistedly falling about the sky in our Chipmunk, I'll be looking up for inspiration, Ray.

Alain will miss you too!

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Old 7th Dec 2005, 13:02
  #114 (permalink)  
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Alain will miss you too!
That's only fair, given that Ray missed him!

I don't think I will ever tire of watching that video.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 15:35
  #115 (permalink)  
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Ray Hanna

From RAF Benson in the late fifties, and the long journey to India, through the Vintage years, you were the example and the inspiration. Bon voyage, horse.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 18:57
  #116 (permalink)  
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Heard today about the sad news of Rays death. A LEGEND.

I was lucky enough to meet Ray (and Mark) during the 1999 Display season and two more modest and professional aviators one could never meet.

Ray's flying was inspirational. How many kids have seen Ray and his Spitfire, and been compelled to follow a career in aviation.

He will be a very sad loss to the world of aviation and especially display flying. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. I'm sure Mark and Ray are now sat around, catching up on old times and having a right good laugh.

To the Master.

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Old 7th Dec 2005, 20:41
  #117 (permalink)  
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A great man and a sad loss

I had the honour of meeting this great man during my tour on the Reds. He was one of the nicest, modest and most approachable men I have ever met. I will remember his banter, wit and goodwill as long as I live. Thanks Ray and may God be with you.
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Old 7th Dec 2005, 22:45
  #118 (permalink)  
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So very sorry to have read this in the Telegraph. He was a 'hero',which these days is a remarkable achievment. Three generations of my family,(as with many others ), were lucky enough to have worked with or met Ray.
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Old 8th Dec 2005, 04:11
  #119 (permalink)  
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Ray was a great guy, did a number of photo shoots with him and his son, the late Mark. He was planning on returning to NZ later this year and had already shipped some of the aircraft back.

His loss is a sad one and a major blow to the warbird industry worldwide. He and Mark did so much for it.

He will be sorely missed and no doubt when we end up at the pearly gates some time in the future we better keep our head down, because no doubt Ray will be there in his P-40 making us wish we had

Rest in Peace Ray and say hi to Mark when you get to the other side.

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Old 8th Dec 2005, 08:19
  #120 (permalink)  
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Watching a solo display by Ray Hanna in his Spitfire closing the Biggin Hill airshow on a Sunday night was an unforgettable experience. I think it became a tradition.

Smooth flowing manoeuvres beautifully executed as the sun went down brought tears to many eyes and always got applause from fellow pilots as well as the crowd.

(The picture isnít mine but I hope the photographer wonít be bothered about copyright or want a credit in these circumstances.)

Last edited by Anne Tenner; 8th Dec 2005 at 09:03.
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