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RIP - Flt Lt Rod Newman - QFI to many

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RIP - Flt Lt Rod Newman - QFI to many

Old 21st Dec 2020, 14:28
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Angel RIP - Flt Lt Rod Newman - QFI to many

Sadly I have just heard from Rod Newman's family that Rod passed away this afternoon, very peacefully and with his family present. Rod flew the Canberra in RAF Germany in his early days but many people will remember Rod more for his time as a QFI with the RAF; I believe Rod logged in excess of 10,000 instructional hrs. That is an incredible feat which I doubt will be surpassed. Many of these hours will have been during Rod's time at Manchester & Salford Universities Air Squadron (MASUAS) at RAF Woodvale where Rod did several tours !

RAF Woodvale was a very quiet, backwater station . . . . Known only to a Few but Forgotten by None. Perhaps Rod's favourite Station ?

Rod played a huge part in many students' initial flying training. Many on here will have flown with Rod. I flew with Rod on the staff at MASUAS and remember him as a patient QFI with a fountain of all knowledge; not only reference instructional matters but also with regard to organising the numerous student pushes for skiing, sailing and different adventure training. He was uncle Rod to the young guys and girls.
Rod was indeed extremely popular. He was a very skilled pilot who was able to pass on his experience, skills and pearls of wisdom to many, many fledgling pilots-to-be.

I'll raise a glass tonight. Blue skies Rod.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 14:48
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Rod was Adj while I was there, many happy memories, turns in the bar, moments in the crewroom...

Per ardua.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 15:51
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RIP Rod

What sad news, even more so at this time of year and with all the COVID restrictions. My deepest condolences to his family, Rod was a true gent and a brilliant pilot and instructor who I had the utmost respect for. His patience and knowledge where boundless. He led a sailing trip for UAS students that I was lucky enough to crew on - many happy memories!

RIP Rod and thanks for everything.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 15:54
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Lovely bloke. Never my main QFI, but I flew with him a few times. Could see the humour in most things - even ham-fisted students.

Blue skies Rod, and thank you.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 16:25
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Very sad to hear this. Flew with Rod while on RFS at Leeming in 78/79; he was a gentleman and a fine aviator.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 16:46
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It is news many of us were expecting, but it is very sad to know his fight is over. He was my primary QFI for 2 years at MASUAS and much of what I learned from him kept me alive during my flying career. Apart from a tour with Exam Wg, he was at Woodvale from 1973 to 2009. He was indeed a gentleman, a great pilot and an even better instructor, a lovely guy all round who gave up much of his time to organise and lead sailing, skiing and other adventurous training expeds. And he fought his cancer with courage, dignity and humour.

CFS recently awarded him the Trenchard Memorial Trophy for 2020, news he was able to enjoy sharing with family and friends. I will always wonder why he was never given proper State recognition, there was plenty of supporting evidence for it!

I will be raising a glass to him tonight, probably one with the cork removed.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 16:47
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Rod Newman was my primary QFI for most of my time on MASUAS in the mid-80s. I flew numerous sorties in his beloved Bulldog TMk1, XX549 with the green air intake filter. An incredible QFI who had a huge influence on my time at Woodvale and beyond. Had the pleasure of keeping in touch with Uncle Rod, and saw him whenever I managed to get back to Woodvale. I can still picture those wonderfully bushy eyebrows and the collar of his faded blue shirt that he wore under his flying suit.

I recall he loved his sailing and skiing as well as being a key part of MASUAS.

Quite simply a legend within QFI circles, whose name will be permanently written in the early pages of so many aircrew logbooks; so honoured that his name features so often in mine.

Blue skies Uncle Rod.

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Old 21st Dec 2020, 17:48
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Sad News. Rod was almost a fixture at Woodvale and influenced the early careers of many pilots, RAF, RN and civil. To Misquote the Woodvale motto, Rod was known to many forgotten by few. RIP, Blue Skies, sympathy to his family.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 20:31
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Oh no; awful news.

The first entry in my RAF Form 414 is:

15 Dec Bulldog T1 XX710 Flt Lt Newman ...

Rod had the dubious pleasure of featuring 37 more times over the next few pages. On reflection, he was a hugely significant figure in inspiring and facilitating my subsequent path. There may be a few FTS QFIs who can claim to have flown with a greater number of students but, given the nature of the UAS role, I suspect that none have been quite so broadly influential on so many young people as Rod.

Thanks Rod. Bless you.



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Old 21st Dec 2020, 21:49
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Sad news; a wonderful instructor - he had to be to send me on my first solo at RAF Woodvale - I last met up with him and his wife when our paths again crossed in NZ a few years back for a beer and a quick reminisce. A fine fellow. Lovely to see him so fondly remembered on these pages. RIP.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 22:28
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Very sad to hear of Rod's passing. I'm currently the trustee of a group operating Rod's old steed, Bulldog XX549. I was able to reunite the pair of them a few years back and I found Rod to be a delightful gentleman who had lost none of his humour, charm or flying skills. He is going to be missed by many.
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Old 21st Dec 2020, 22:49
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Iíll always remember it was Rod who threw the gauntlet down to me Ďyouíre a great bloke but youíll never make a military pilotí. 4000 hours and 23 years later, thanks for putting me straight Rod I would never have made it without you, Blue Skies.
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 10:16
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Sad to hear. I knew Rod from Canberra days etc. My vintage. Next time I fly my MASUAS Bulldog XX614, I'll think of him and ask him at the time why I fell out of my stall turn
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Old 22nd Dec 2020, 17:33
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What very sad news. I was on MASUAS from Dec 90-Dec 92. Having looked in my logbook I only flew with him three times which was a big surprise as I remember Uncle Rod very well; much more than some of the other instructors I flew with more often.

Blue Skies Rod.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 10:52
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Thatís very sad news. Ironically Iíve been getting FB suggestions to add him as a friend. He was not my instructor (I had the Honeymonster!) but I flew a few times with him as CFI, for PFB etc. One unforgettable endorsement I received from him was that, after winning the Aeros in the Reid, he sent me up with a brand new B1 to impart some of the finer points of Bulldog aerobatics. Not sure if I succeeded, but I certainly felt proud to be asked and the memory endures 33 years later.
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Old 24th Dec 2020, 14:20
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Thanks for writing this.
We would love you to add this to the Family Memorial Page.
Sarah, Rod’s daughter
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Old 25th Dec 2020, 13:40
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I've been following this post and throughout thought that the name Newman was familiar. A check of my military logbook reveals a Flt Lt Newman conducted my FHT in 1978 (Bulldog XX 555) at the end of RNEFTS - I assume the same 'Newman'. I don't recall him being part of RNEFTS, so perhaps Exam Wing or similar, conducting the occasional FHT on the training squadrons, checking on standards? I'm afraid I don't remember him well but he must have been a good chap - I passed!
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 09:53
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Rod was Adjt when I was over the road. A top bloke and, as already intimated, a stalwart of MASUAS: well liked by all who knew him. He will be missed.

Blue skies, Rod.
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Old 26th Dec 2020, 16:29
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Very sad to hear this. I never had the opportunity to meet face to face but was referred to Rod by a mutual chum, Jenx, when I started instructing on civilian Bulldogs.
Spinning a Bulldog can be 'fun' but, with his advice, the necessary instruction can be instilled into aeros students and can be done safely. I will be forever grateful.
I also still fly his old steed, XX549, and the family can rest assured we are taking great care of it. Safe flight, Rod.

Last edited by Sleeve Wing; 30th Dec 2020 at 13:12.
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Old 27th Dec 2020, 18:20
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If this is the same Rod who helped us out at Biggin Hill with Heritage Hangar tours then this is very sad to hear. The Rod I knew was a lovely bloke, full of Canberra/Lightning stories and Italian coffee. He showed me and my mum around the Concorde at Brooklands once - top bloke - same fella?

Last edited by *Zwitter*; 27th Dec 2020 at 20:06.
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