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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

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Sqdn Ldr Ray Hanna AFC*

Old 15th Dec 2005, 20:22
  #161 (permalink)  
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Ray Hannah Reds Tribute

Nice story on the BBC website regarding the tribute to Ray Hannah.
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Old 15th Dec 2005, 20:45
  #162 (permalink)  

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Does anyone have a link?
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Old 15th Dec 2005, 20:59
  #163 (permalink)  
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The story can be found here,



Old 15th Dec 2005, 21:07
  #164 (permalink)  
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Red Arrows in tribute to founder

The Red Arrows have flown over a funeral in tribute to one of the pilots who made them famous.
Five jets swooped low as New Zealander Ray Hanna, who helped to develop the display team in the 1960s, was buried near his home in Parham, Suffolk.

Squadron Leader Hanna died earlier this month aged 77.

On Thursday, a Spitfire joined the flypast to mark Mr Hanna's work as an airshow display pilot following his retirement from the RAF.

"He was a key figure in the history of Red Arrows," said a spokeswoman for the team.

"He was the leader of the team when it became famous in the late 1960s and one of our greatest pilots."

She added: "Under his leadership, the team flew for the first time as a nine-ship formation and received worldwide acclaim for their dynamic precision formation flying."

Mr Hanna was a founder member of the Red Arrows in 1965 and led the team during its formative years between 1966 and 1969.

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Old 15th Dec 2005, 23:49
  #165 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
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Dear all,

Just had some very sad news from someone close to me, on top of the loss of Ray. I have some serious regrets about them and Ray...

Biggin Hill at various shows - Ray, the master, in Spitfire MH434. Who could ask for more?

Bless you Ray for the pleasure that your displays gave to me and to so many. I never met you, but saw you fly frequently over the last three decades. Never disappointed. Wish I could have shared that with you over a beer or few.

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Old 15th Dec 2005, 23:57
  #166 (permalink)  
Gnome de PPRuNe
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What a fabulous set of photos of the Master!

Keep them coming, and how about some videos?

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Old 16th Dec 2005, 09:10
  #167 (permalink)  

Grandpa Aerotart
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How come he (seemed to) prefer canopy open in the Spit?

Did CAA ever give him any grief...he seems to have spent more than his fair share of time spontaneously arriving around light poles and hangars...and reporters?

Who's the young chap with the model in the picture below?
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Old 16th Dec 2005, 12:17
  #168 (permalink)  
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Like many great artists, it's difficult to believe he's gone. If Spitfire MH434 was a Stradivarius, Ray was as good as Paganini.

But, as ever, he's going up...

(MH434's 50th birthday party, 1994)

Thanks for the memories.
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Old 17th Dec 2005, 12:53
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I have been asked to post a few words about Ray's funeral last Thursday, and I know that his family will be touched by your interest in this farewell to him.

The funeral took place in a small, beautiful church in the quiet Suffolk village that had been Ray's home for many years. It was attended by his family and close friends; from his village and from New Zealand, from today's air display community and his old Red Arrows team mates, from Cathay Pacific and all of Ray's other walks of life. One of the other Spitfire legends, Alex Henshaw, also came to pay his respects.

The service and hymns were very traditional and appropriate. Nigel Lamb read a passage from the Bible and Ray's daughter, Sarah, read a poem that epitomised my memories of Ray's character.

Tudor Owen (Flying Lawyer) eloquently gave an address that described Ray's life as a pilot, a husband, a father and simply as a great man; many aspects of this address have already been included in posts on this thread. It was a service that, whilst tinged with much sadness, was a true celebration of his life with a great tribute to Ray.

The coffin was carried from the church and up the gentle slope of the churchyard, followed by a procession of the mourners. Uncannily, a rainbow then appeared in the thin cirrus cloud layer high in the crisp, clear blue sky. As the coffin was lowered into a grave alongside that of Ray's son, Mark, the Red Arrows flew past in a 5-ship vic formation. This was followed by a final tribute, a low pass over the grave by the aircraft that had become synonymous with Ray, Spitfire MH434, flown by his former Breitling Fighters wingman, Lee Proudfoot.

Ray's family and friends then made the short walk to his home which overlooks the church and Ray and Mark's graves. Many stories were told of the wonderful times that we had all spent with him. For me, it was a day of sadness but one which made me realise what a great privilege it had been to have been able to fly with someone who will always be respected as probably the greatest display pilot that any us will ever know.

Ray, we will never forget you or what you gave to us all. Thank you.
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Old 17th Dec 2005, 14:24
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I have also put a personal report of the funeral on the Rumours and News thread.
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Old 17th Dec 2005, 19:20
  #171 (permalink)  
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LOMCEVAK..... Thank YOU , Sir .
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Old 17th Dec 2005, 20:45
  #172 (permalink)  
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RIP Ray, and thank you.

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Old 19th Dec 2005, 11:53
  #173 (permalink)  
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Chimbu chuckles
"Who's the young chap with the model in the picture?"
Sqd Ldr Jock Maitland - organiser of the Biggin Hill Air Fair for many years.
The Red Arrows gave their first public performance at the Biggin Hill airshow in 1965 and have appeared there most, or possibly all, years since.

Another picture showing Ray's famous precision at low level which always thrilled the Biggin crowds -

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Old 19th Dec 2005, 13:32
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Sad times indeed.

Over the past few weeks we have seen Ray Hanna and Dizzy Addicott and pass away.

God bless.

Threads merged - link deleted

Last edited by Heliport; 9th Mar 2006 at 18:21.
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Old 20th Dec 2005, 20:27
  #175 (permalink)  
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For me, it was a day of sadness but one which made me realise what a great privilege it had been to have been able to fly with someone who will always be respected as probably the greatest display pilot that any us will ever know.

Ray, we will never forget you or what you gave to us all. Thank you.

Cant really top that, thanks for the post lomcevak, real tears to the eyes stuff, and i think will give alot of us an idea of the sadness, mixed with the joy and celebration of a day so many wished we could have been there for.

See you on the other side Ray..

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Old 20th Dec 2005, 22:49
  #176 (permalink)  
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I too was in the congregation at Ray’s funeral and had also been asked to post a few words. They are regrettably a little late, due to logistical reasons, for which I apologise. I had written this at about the same time as LOMCEVAK and I hope he won’t mind my contribution.

The day was bright and clear as we made our way to the church from the paddock carpark, unable to miss seeing the mound of floral tributes gathering at the graveside in the distance.

Acting as ushers at the church were well known faces from the world of UK display flying. An organ was playing unobtrusively as my lady and I walked down the aisle to take our places. Ray’s coffin, adorned with a huge floral display of lilies, was already in place at the front of the church with family and close friends sat in the choir stalls, facing it from either side.

In the pews in the main body of the church were many recognisable faces, some of whom had worn, in bygone times, the red flying suit with which Ray was so famously associated and were indeed his team members from so long ago. Also present were family, friends and fellow pilots, some of whom, had travelled half the globe for this very sad occasion.

The service started with the singing of a traditional hymn, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’, which was followed by a reading from Isaiah by Nigel Lamb.
Tudor Owen (our very own Flying Lawyer) then stood up to speak about Ray’s life and times in aviation and about his fine qualities as a man. A hard emotional task but beautifully delivered. Indeed a chuckle rippled through the congregation at the comment that Ray would be wholly embarrassed by ‘all the fuss’ - and that is putting it politely.

Then followed the hymn ‘He who would valiant be’, followed by prayers led by the vicar. The hymn ‘Jerusalem’ was then sung followed by Sarah Hanna reading a poem by Stephen Spender. The vicar brought the church service to a close by reading the blessing during which the the pall bearers advanced forward for the carrying of the coffin.

As the coffin was slowly manoeuvred onto the shoulders of the four men the church fell astonishingly quiet, each individual present locked into their personal thoughts of Ray. Immediate family followed the coffin out of the church with the congregation following respectfully, and silently, behind. The cortege made its way slowly up the sloping ground to the top of the graveyard.
Poignant indeed was the muted sound of a Merlin engine in the chill breeze holding out of sight in the distance as the last of the congregation completed the steep walk to the graveside. The assembly stood in bare-headed silence as the vicar started to read the committal.

An air of expectancy was sated by a rushing, roaring noise as five Hawks of the Red Arrows, trailing smoke, streaked in and banked to the left, abeam the grave in fond salute to their most respected member. Within moments the familiar liquid gold sound of a Merlin at high power reached our ears followed by the sight of MH434 bearing down at speed on the graveyard, seemingly at tree top height. It was a fitting tribute as Ray’s coffin was slowly lowered into the ground next to the grave of his son Mark.
At the conclusion of the committal prayer Ray’s wife Eunice stepped forward to drop flowers onto the polished wood coffin as Sarah, in turn, dropped Ray's well worn flying gloves to be with him for eternity.
In heartrending, symbolic style MH434 circled lazily heavenwards and slowly disappeared from view.

As the immediate family slowly walked back down towards the church and Ray's home, individuals formed a respectful queue to stand for a few moments in front of the open grave with their individual and personal thoughts about Ray. I had a lot to thank Ray for as I too took my turn.

A beautifully simple, yet moving ceremony for a man who came to mean so much to so many.
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Old 21st Dec 2005, 11:45
  #177 (permalink)  
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Red Arrows Flypast

BBC pictures
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Old 21st Dec 2005, 20:39
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A big thank you to Lomcevak and Fokkerwokker for taking the trouble to write about the funeral.

I think the family were wise to keep the funeral itself private, but it's good to read that a highly respected aviator who inspired other pilots and gave so much pleasure to so many people was paid fitting tributes both in the service and in the air.

Thank you both.
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Old 27th Dec 2005, 19:26
  #179 (permalink)  
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What can I say that hasn't already been said.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ray briefly at WoW'04, but had seen him fly many times before.

Again, the sight of Ray and Mark "in combat" over Wanaka in the Spit and Me109 will last for ever.

They are both missed!
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Old 30th Dec 2005, 23:01
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Today's Sydney Morning Herald has Ray's obituary, here.
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