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-   -   Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others) (https://www.pprune.org/aviation-history-nostalgia/111405-rothmans-aerobatic-team-others.html)

Zlin526 8th Dec 2003 01:43

Rothmans Aerobatic Team (& Others)
Just flicking through some old pictures from UK displays in the early 70's.

Lots of Pictures of the Rothmans aerobatic team in their Stampes and Pitts S-2As. Does anyone know what happened to all the pilots?

I realise that aces such as Manx Kelly, Neil Williams and David Perrin are sadly no longer with us, but all the other guys who were with the team for only a few seasons and then disappeared into oblivion..where did they go to?

I did have a list of Rothmans pilots, but cant find it anywhere..

And what happened to Phil Symmans from the Marlboro team in the 80's?

Aerohack 8th Dec 2003 03:17

If memory serves the original Stampe four were Manx, Neil, Iain Weston and Ray Hoggarth. Then there was Mike Findlay, who went off to grow grapes in France, Nick Daniel I remember as commentator/ferry pilot at one time, Barry Tempest and Brian Lecomber were also team members. Ah, fond (if fading) memories!

Stampe 8th Dec 2003 04:19

Complete list would be very interesting Zlin!! one of my colleagues died this year after an illness and sadly shortly before his scheduled retirement I believe he was a member of the team for a period.Your spending a lot of time on here recently Zlin must be the quiet season !!hope you are well?.

Zlin526 8th Dec 2003 05:02


Yes, must get out a bit more...Roll on the summer again :ok:

I've got the complete listing somewhere, but finding it???

All the best


hairyclameater 8th Dec 2003 06:25

Heres a few;

1972 (Stampes) - Manx Kelly,Iain Weston(ex RAF College),Mike Findlay(ex RAF Qns Flt), Andrew White(ex Hunter and Sabre instructor), Nick Daniel was commentator/spare a/c

1973 (Change to Pitts) - as above

1976 No1 Colin Woods(ex RAF Vulcans, instructor and Poachers), No2 Graham Rutson (ex RAF instructor and RAFG Canberras), No3 Bob Thompson (ex RAF instructor - CFS,Gemini Pair and Swords JP teams -still current display pilot??), No4 Dave Perrin, Comm/spare was Pete Marsden

1980 (last season?) No1 Marcus Edwards,Brian Lecomber, John McClean,Rod Rea

Dave Perrin - what a talent! in 1976, at 22 the youngest aerobatic team member and won 2 years of Air Sqn aerobatic tropies.It would appear that we have lost him? -any details when?

Marcus Edwards - ex RN , instrumental in bringing the Sea Vixen back on the display circuit, his name now wiped from the cockpit rails of the great beast because of that awful Red Bull paint job ! Ugh ! get rid now!!!!!!
He wanted it restored in 899's colours -I bet hes turning in his grave.

treadigraph 8th Dec 2003 15:52

David Perrin was killed whilst a passenger in an Alouette filming "High Road to China". As I recall from a recent article about Tony Bianchi, they had probs with a Stampe used in the film; David and Tony Bianchi were offered a lift back to base, Dave accepted, Tony stayed behind to fix the Stampe. The Alouette collided with cables while flying low... Think it was around 1982? Sad, sad, sad...

Think Brendan O'Brien also flew the spare/commentated for a season or two when they had the Pitts. (Plural of Pitts?)

Stampe 8th Dec 2003 16:07

Sadly it was Colin Woods who died this year after shortish but nasty illness bravely born and tragically shortly before a well earnt retirement.I have many happy memories of being Colins co-pilot especially remembering dodging CBs with him in the Caribbean!!.I,m priveleged to have worked ,flown and learnt from guys of the calibre and background of Colin.His good humour and,practical approach and stories of his aerobatic days are fondly remembered.A gentleman in every way.He told me he gave up display flying because no matter how good it had an "inevitable ending" sad but true words which I feel reflected his wisdom on many things.On a lighter note watched a video of the Skyhawks Fournier aerobatic duo at a display at Rochester many years ago by Brendan and colleague, simply amazing best airshow act I have ever seen.So much skill, so few horsepower!! Will we ever see the likes of it again.Rose tinted specs but a golden era viewed from todays point and squirt aerobatics.:ok:

Aerohack 8th Dec 2003 16:22

<<Skyhawks Fournier aerobatic duo at a display at Rochester many years ago by Brendan and colleague, simply amazing best airshow act I have ever seen. Will we ever see the likes of it again.>>

Treadders and I have expressed this very sentiment several times on various threads here. Never bettered.

Anyone recall who was flying the Rothmans Pitts 'BAEA which crashed after take-off at Sywell in 1976? My old chum and colleague Cliff Barnett Flight International's General Aviation editor was the passenger, and badly injured. He recovered, but tragically was later to die in a midair over Hanover during a photo shoot.

Boss Raptor 9th Dec 2003 00:33

Rod Rea has been a 146 TRI at TNT for many years

InFinRetirement 9th Dec 2003 03:38


Brendan's "colleague" was either Mike Dentith(?) or John Taylor. You remember now? They were good. But just a tad too close to the ground for my liking but I always followed Neil Williams best advice. "When doing aeros, the most useless air is that above you."

Anyway, as I got older I realised I WANTED to get older! ;)

treadigraph 9th Dec 2003 15:27

It was John Taylor. I seem to recall the pair of them arriving at West Malling and one of the Fourniers suffered a gear collapse... probably just a minor inconvience...! And B O'B turning up at Redhill sans Taylor who, if memory serves, had lost the engine while getting airborne from Biggin. Brendan was needed for the commentary at Redhill! Ah, indeed, the Skyhawks... And as the film music thread says, accompanied by Pink Floyd... Youare right IFR, they did wind up close to the ground in the finale. Seem to recall they started high and gradually descended to maintain the pace on the available HP.

I recall the Rothmans fairly well, but none better than the solo display (G-RKSF?), David Perrin at Biggin Hill in 1981 or '82... I was pushing my bike up the main road past the threshold when the Pitts blasted overhead, inverted and seemingly so close one could catch it in one's outstretched arms. Probably not as at the very least the prop would have gone though the fence, but it might explain the challenged foliage I now sport...!

Brian Lecomber and John Taylor now perform an excellent close formation duo in a pair of Extra 300s if you have yet to see them.

hairyclameater 9th Dec 2003 20:04

Think the Rothmans team continued until 1980 (with a second team set up in the mid-East due to demand apparently! pilots anyone??), the solo until 1982. That would tie in with Daves untimely death thanks for the info, very sad. And Colin Woods RIP.

Thought the solo was G-SPIN?

The 1974 Rothmans were I.F.Weston, M.D. Findlay, D.H. Mills and Dave Perrin.

Ill carry on digging through my airshow memorabilia- Ive got tons of info that may help anyone out whose interested re display pilots etc.

What happened to Phil Meeson??

I'm sure Mike Dentith had a stint with the Skyhawks/ Unipart duo- did they try a trio at some stage ??

I remember the first time seeing "Skyhawks" and/or "RF4 duo" on a flying display programme and as a teenager with modern miltary interest only, I certainly wasnt thinking of powered gliders!!
Ended up being a tad disapointed but they certainly grew on me - great airmanship and cracking music (but always played far too loud over the pa and so it became piercing and distorted)
Great days:ok:

treadigraph 9th Dec 2003 20:16

Ah, and one of those names is a regular on this forum! I've lost your email address Tim... ([email protected]@dy Outlook!)

Not sure about G-SPIN, it was imported second-hand from the US, while the others were all brand spankers... G-RKSF stood, of course, for Rothmans King Size Filters... cough...

Blimey, the second team...

G-BADW-'AEA, were the original aircraft, ('DW still registered with Bob Mitchell, he of the stored Miles delights)

G-BGSD-'SF and G-RKSF registered in 1979 were the second team... Or did they replace the originals?

Phil Meeson is still running Channel Express isn't he?

After B O'B moved on to truck top landings and flying ski-equipped Tin Otters, Matthew Hill, Mike Dentith and Tizzy Hodgson variously flew with the team.

Aerohack 9th Dec 2003 21:31

The combination of O'Brien's and Taylor's silent aerial ballet and 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' always gave me goosebumps. Another piece of Pink Floyd 'music' still does: the sound of former PF drummer Nick Mason's Ferrari 250GTO!

treadigraph 9th Dec 2003 22:16

And Dave Gilmour's P-51D... shame it's gone back to the US!

Negative 'G' 10th Dec 2003 03:31

Just a bit of info on pitts G-BADW, I last saw it looking VERY VERY dusty in a museum storage hanger on the southside of Cosford in the mid/late 90's along with several(3) of Bob Mitchells 'PT-Flight' aeroplanes :D

Maybe someone else knows more regarding the current location/condition of these lovely aeroplanes ?

Neg G:D

Aerohack 10th Dec 2003 03:50

All still there, I think, along with his ex-Rothmans Stampe 'AWIW, KZ-VIII (how nice it would be to see that flying again) and Stephens Akro.

Negative 'G' 10th Dec 2003 04:12

Ah yes the Akro was there but sadly no Stamp, mind you I am talking of possibly 6-7yrs ago, obviously you've seen them since then.
Are they all flying again or just gathering dust ?

Neg G :D

Aerohack 10th Dec 2003 04:29

Saw photos a while back, all gathering dust. There were some exchanges on this Forum some months ago (maybe the MMMMiles thread?) castigating Bob Mitchell for hanging on to all these, and his two Miles classics, but they're his aeroplanes.

RileyDove 10th Dec 2003 04:42

The hanger in which they are stored seems to suffer in the winter. A friend saw the Whitney Straight not so long ago and the damp was having a serious effect on it. Posession
is indeed 9/10ths of the Law but it's an incredibly sad situation for the aircraft.

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