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Charlie Rathbone

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Charlie Rathbone

Old 7th Mar 2019, 15:54
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Charlie Rathbone

Charlie flew the Hunter at Wittering and the F-4 in RAFG before moving to the rotary world (military and North Sea).
He passed away suddenly on 24 Feb.
The funeral service will be on Mon 11 March at 1430 at Baldarroch Crematorium, Crathes AB31 5JL
Far too young and mischievous to be taken.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 16:57
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I knew "The Bone" well in pilot training and on the F4. Charlie was a lovely chap and a Fighter Pilot through and through. He led an interesting and varied life both in aviation and with the fairer sex.

We had a great time at Valley flying the Hunter and partying around Anglesey. At that time he was with the lovely Eva who passed away tragically some years later.

The next time I saw Charlie was whilst he was on 92 Sqn at Wildenrath in the very early 80s. I seem to recall that he had some medical problem that forced him to go rotary. I understand that he was also held in very high regard by the rotary world? He and Annie met at Wildenrath and spent many years together, not sure of the end of the story?

Blue skies Charlie, it was a privilege to know you.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 17:15
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I did my mid course check on my QHI course with Charlie in Nov 89 what a real gentleman he was and fine instructor. Rest in Peace Charlie and it truly was a privilege to have known you.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 18:10
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Sad News.

Charlie was a Flt Cdr on 2 (AFTS) Sqn at Shawbury when I was there around 1987.

Photo below was 1988 at Aldergrove, Charlie is 6th from left, back row.


Last edited by lsh; 7th Mar 2019 at 18:25. Reason: Photo added
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 18:25
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 19:54
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Absolutely gutted to learn of Charlie's death. We were at school together and though we joined the RAF at about the same time our paths never really crossed. I can't make the funeral but will raise a glass on Monday at 14.30.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 19:59
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Gosh - what a shock. Remember Charlie from rotary days at Shawbs, flew with him on the Wessex and the Gazelle.

Another good guy gone. Can't make Monday sadly, but will raise a suitable glass of something Scottish (or Scotch!)in his memory on the day.

RIP Rats.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 22:44
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Another sad loss . Many years since our time together on 92 in RAFG . " Bones" was always one of the guys that brought back fond memories . R.I.P
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 19:57
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Ouch. First met Charlie in Hong Kong 1982-ish where he'd come to hold on 28 - post-ejection? He was thinking of re-roling to helis and thought he'd do a recce first. Fitted in straight away; couldn't have been more helpful to numpties such as myself whose idea of fixing a car is to wipe the mirrors and empty the (unused) ashtray when anything goes rwong. His Mum and Dad came out to visit him while he was there; I managed to return Charlie's car-fixing favour when one of them was taken unwell on a walk in the New Territories.

Didn't he eventually become OC CFS(H)?

Last had a chance to chat as I was flying the Northern Lights Bolkow a good few years later; he was very content as a civ-SAR operator and a top bloke to spend time with. Very sad news - RIP.

(AND many thanks to lsh for that pic! Includes loads of people whose company would be considered a pleasure and a privilege. Plus Marco....)
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Old 9th Mar 2019, 14:32
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Here's a CFS(H) Champagne Breakfast piccie including Charlie Rathbone. (And a few other rotary notables of all three services....)

Rats is (of course) almost exactly in the centre of the picture....

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Old 11th Mar 2019, 11:50
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Charlie was a very good student at Valley when I was a QFI, OC No 1 Gnat Sqn. He appears in 3 entries in my logbook in March and April 1974. A lovely chap, a Londoner if I am correct, so fondly remembered. I never ever thought I would outlive him. From all I read, he continued to be a top bloke wherever he went. RIP Charlie. Proud to have known you.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 13:16
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I know far too many faces in both of those pictures - ah the good old days

Charlie was OC CFS(H) when I joined the staff there but left shortly afterwards (don't think it was anything I said or did) - very sad to hear of his demise. RIP Charlie.
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Old 11th Mar 2019, 20:18
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Very sad to hear the news of Charlie. He was just ahead of us at Church Fenton EFTS on the Chipmunk and subsequently at Linton. He was certainly a fun guy. His exploits on his 1st solo at Fenton were retold at many a beer driven dining in night where Charlie proudly presented the story of the event with such verbal humour and panache. All went well, apparently, until a pretty heavy, bouncing touchdown with more than a little fair helping of dust and sparks. Charlie immediately realised it was not his best roundout and as he bounced back into the air he put on full power to go around. And full power was what he needed for the entirety of the second circuit !! Charlie staggered downwind needing lots of rudder along with the full power from the mighty Gypsy Major, just to stay airborne, before managing to then get himself and the Chippie safely back onto the tarmac. (Can’t remember if it was actually at Ch Fenton or Rufforth ?). The ashen faced duty QFI in the tower told him to shut down and that was when it became apparent that the poor Chippie was now a Cat 4 / 5 ? The prop was bent and the fuselage back was broken. But this bouncy start to his RAF flying never held Charlie back of course as he went on to fly the F4 followed by a very successful rotary career. Blue skies Charlie mate; raising a glass.
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Old 12th Mar 2019, 09:49
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but will raise a suitable glass of something Scottish (or Scotch!)in his memory on the day.
...and the 10 year old Aberlour bottle is now empty ...

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