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Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas RAF (Retíd) - RIP

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Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas RAF (Retíd) - RIP

Old 8th Feb 2022, 01:16
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Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas RAF (Retíd) - RIP

I was very sad to hear the news of Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas’s passing today. Many will know Dave as a multi-engine QFI, a ground school instructor, a BBMF Lancaster / Dakota Pilot and also as the Vulcan Display Pilot for XH558 both in and out of the Service. The world has just lost one of the best of breeds - an absolute gent to fly with and there was always something to learn. RIP Dave, my condolences to Pam and family at this difficult time.

Dave joined the Royal Air Force in 1962. His Service career has been evenly split between being a qualified flying instructor and the Vulcan. He has completed 5 tours of duty on the Vulcan, 3 of them as an instructor, and he first displayed the aircraft in 1973. In addition to the Vulcan, he instructed on the Jet Provost, Tucano, Jetstream, DC3 and Lancaster.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 02:34
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Absolutely gutted to hear this bad news - a true gentleman, a fantastic pilot and one of the boys. Taken too early RIP Dave
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 10:16
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Very sad news. A true gent, Dave will be greatly missed. As well as flying '558, he also displayed '655 at numerous taxy runs at Wellesbourne Mountford and will be sadly missed by all at 655 MaPS.

R.I.P. and my deepest condolences to all his family and friends.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 11:31
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I spoke to Dave Thomas at Woodford in 1995, I think he may have been involved in an effort to get XM603, the last existing Vulcan B2 in anti-flash white, back airworthy. I certainly wished him the best in this endeavour. My deepest sympathies to his Family. RIP Dave.

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Old 8th Feb 2022, 13:09
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That is very sad news.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 15:23
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If ever I was asked if any particular pilot stood out during my flying career I invariably said Dave Thomas.

Dave was my instructor on a Vulcan course in the early 80's and I still remember watching in admiration as he demonstrated an ILS into Scampton on a marginal day. Everything was done smoothly and unhurriedly, the needles stayed firmly crossed and the controls hardly moved. It was a masterly performance and one I learned a lot from.

All that and a really pleasant and unassuming guy too.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 18:06
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Very sad news..didn’t know Dave that well but we crossed paths occasionally during my brief brush with the QFI world…as birdstrike says he came over as a pleasant and unassuming individual…
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 20:05
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Angry Sqn Ldr Dave Thomas

I was Dave's 44 (R) Sqn's Crew Chief on the August 1981 Chicago Air Show. It marked the return of the Vulcan after the 1978 accident so the pressure was really on. To say that our part in the event
went according to plan would be an understatement. Thanks to Dave's ( and his crew's) planning the weekend was smooth and hassle free. Without a doubt Dave was one of the best Vulcan Captains I have ever worked for, a real officer and gentleman. Rest in Peace sir you deserve it.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 21:29
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Sad news indeed! Knew and respected Dave in both training and Vulcan roles. One of the best in every way! Blue skies !!
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 23:43
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I was privileged to meet Dave when the Vulcan came to Waddington to get its Display Authorization and worked with him in getting the 2 Avro Ladies flying together. He was a true gentleman and always professional in everything he did. He was a great planner when he came to work for me at the Airshow and I was pleased to be able to count him as a friend. A sad loss and am thinking of Pam and Family at this time. Blue Skies David
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 23:56
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Will be missed

Sad to hear that Dave has passed. I wasn't close to him but we knew each other and socialised at events. He was the nicest chap, had a lovely manner and was unassumingly talented. RIP.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 09:42
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Others on this Forum are better placed to write about his flying prowess, but as an SNCO member of the Tucano Engineering Team at Scampton, I made his acquaintance when we happened to be co-located in the same hangar corridor as Dave and his team (CFS Standards?). He was always our go-to guy with questions about Tucano operation, and, inevitably, Tin-Triangle stuff would also come up.

My abiding memory, as others have said, is of a true gent. Station Commander or cleaning lady, you always got the full measure of his attention, charm, wit and wisdom.

Thank you, Sir. Blue skies.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 15:38
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My sincerest condolences to Daveís family. We were on the same course at Acklington, rooms next to each others. RIP Dave.
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Old 14th Feb 2022, 09:19
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Rest easy Dave, you will be sorely missed.
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Old 14th Feb 2022, 18:54
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I met Dave in November 1991 when I was refreshing on the JP at CFS RAF Scampton. He patiently took me through the first dozen or so sorties. An exceptional pilot, a very fine instructor and a true gentleman. In the photograph (taken after the last of Scampton's JPs was delivered to Linton in 1992) he is second from the left. To the left of Dave in the photograph, is the late Dick Woodhead, another first-class instructor. Third from the right is the late Gordon McRobbie, then Comdt CFS. Three very gifted aviators taken all too soon.

JP delivery from Scampton to Linton 1992
Rest in peace.

Last edited by MMHendrie1; 14th Feb 2022 at 18:55. Reason: typo
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