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-   -   Squadron Leader Tony Cunnane (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/635221-squadron-leader-tony-cunnane.html)

Tankertrashnav 1st Sep 2020 18:58

Squadron Leader Tony Cunnane
 
A few months back I heard from an ex 214 contact that Tony Cunnane had died earlier on this year, possibly in January, but he could not confirm it. Since then I have contacted a number of mutual acquaintances from 214 to see if they could confirm this, but nobody had heard anything. Tony was a familiar face on Victor K1 tankers, first of all as a squadron captain and later as OC the Victor Group Standardisation Unit. He subsequently became the PRO for the Red Arrows, a job he did for about ten years (possibly in an RO post). In retirement he lived in the Leeds/Sheffield area.

When I heard the news I tried Tony's email address but my email bounced back immediately as "addressee unknown". More surprisingly I could not get onto his excellent website, which had many tales not only from his years on tankers, but also from when he was a QFI in Pakistan, etc. I was surprised at the speed at which his website disappeared - in my experience some websites hang around for years online after their owners are deceased.

I would be grateful if anyone has definite confirmation of this sad news they could post the information on here, or contact me by PM, if preferred. Thanks

Brian N 1st Sep 2020 20:59

I never knew Tony but I loved reading his website, for the last few months it has not been available, very sad if he has passed.
He had a very varied RAF career which I found fascinating to hear about

Nige321 1st Sep 2020 22:47


Originally Posted by Tankertrashnav (Post 10876246)
A few months back I heard from an ex 214 contact that Tony Cunnane had died earlier on this year, possibly in January, but he could not confirm it. Since then I have contacted a number of mutual acquaintances from 214 to see if they could confirm this, but nobody had heard anything. Tony was a familiar face on Victor K1 tankers, first of all as a squadron captain and later as OC the Victor Group Standardisation Unit. He subsequently became the PRO for the Red Arrows, a job he did for about ten years (possibly in an RO post). In retirement he lived in the Leeds/Sheffield area.

When I heard the news I tried Tony's email address but my email bounced back immediately as "addressee unknown". More surprisingly I could not get onto his excellent website, which had many tales not only from his years on tankers, but also from when he was a QFI in Pakistan, etc. I was surprised at the speed at which his website disappeared - in my experience some websites hang around for years online after their owners are deceased.

I would be grateful if anyone has definite confirmation of this sad news they could post the information on here, or contact me by PM, if preferred. Thanks

It's still available on Wayback Machine...

Tankertrashnav 2nd Sep 2020 00:29

Nige321 thanks very much , I hadn't heard about Wayback Machine which I see is an internet archive site. Still no hard news about Tony, but I fear the worst. He would have been 82 - 83 I think, so already past his allotted span I guess.

I sometimes used to post links to his website on here, and also on the V Force page on Facebook. On occasion it would be when people were disputing whether the Victor ever went supersonic, as he had a great story about accidentally nudging Mach One directly over Paris. On these occasions he always emailed me thanking me for the sudden surge in visits to his site by people using my link. Very nice chap - and a very clever one. He also congratulated me on of my description of the Victor as a "supremely elegant work of art" in a letter to The Times and as much a worthy recipient of arts council subsidy for its restoration as "yet another mouldy old oil painting".

RetiredBA/BY 2nd Sep 2020 11:09

I’ ll never forget Tony.

He was the Valiant electrics instructor when he was an AEO.

On the final exam, he passed me, a sprog copilot, the exam paper for the AEOs. He let me sit there sweating, as I could answer hardly any questions, for several minutes smirking until he eventually passed me the pilot’s paper!
If indeed he has passed, RIP Tony.

papa_sierra 2nd Sep 2020 11:44

He delivered XH648 to Duxford on it's last flight and we delivered a 3 tonner full of ground equipment and spares. The mean minded folk then sent a bowser to drain the fuel left in the aircraft !

Finningley Boy 3rd Sep 2020 00:08

I spoke to Tony Cunnane on the phone while researching my first book about 21 years ago. He provided an interesting insight into the cold war and its positive affect on military air shows, or was it the other way round?! But on his website I read a funny story about his posting to Finningley circa 1960. If I recall correctly, he was working for OC Ops at the time. The OC was an inflexible ultra-correct type, he wanted to take some annual leave and asked Tony to fetch him a leave application, Tony told him he didn't need to fill in an application form (something I thought he would need to get signed by the Station Commander but evidently not). The OC insisted in filling in his own leave application and that Tony then place it in his in tray. When OC got round to reviewing and signing his own leave app he declined it! They don't make 'em like that anymore.

FB

India Four Two 4th Sep 2020 06:36


It's still available on Wayback Machine...
Fantastic stuff. I started with Tony's PAF tour and am now at Masirah reading about the Victor engine change. I've wasted several hours already and looking forward to many more, as I read all the articles.

Tankertrashnav 4th Sep 2020 12:48

Funnily enough a couple of days ago I was talking to Tony's co-pilot who was on that marathon trip, and he remembers pitching in and helping with the engine change.

There is a great one later on in the 'Standardisation' section, entitled 'botulism'. The Victor had a massive birdstrike during a night takeoff at Leuchars and after a 3 hour sortie landed and they discovered there were bits of over 100 gulls on the aircraft, including in the undercarriage bays and the engines. They had been totally unaware that they had had a birdstrike up to that point, and the engines had turned without a hiccup throughout the flight. I was only thinking about this the other day when I was watching "Sully" about the Airbus landing on the Hudson. Seemed like the Sapphire was much more forgiving of birdstrikes than whatever the A320 was fitted with.

Tocsin 4th Sep 2020 17:38

I've also been thoroughly distracted by the archived website, and have downloaded the eBook version for easier reading.

I noticed that on the last capture by the Wayback Machine, the annotation "The FINAL Update to this website was on 29 January 2020
My Afterthoughts website has now been cancelled." which sounds rather terminal... hope I'm wrong!

MichaelCC 11th Jan 2021 16:18

He is risen!
 
Further to the above posts, I can report that Tony Cunnane is still very much with us – 85 and, in his own words, `A1 and fit as a fiddle!`

He took his website down about a year ago and decided to concentrate on his autobiography which, due to the passage of time, could now include aspects of his intelligence/security postings later in his career.

Tony is happy to hear from anyone through his email addresses which have not changed in years - [email protected] and [email protected]

He says he always replies to emails.

(For the record, Tony`s time as media manager for the Red Arrows at Scampton coincided with my years as News Editor at BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

The Reds could not have had a better figure to deal with media interest in them – whether the news was good or bad. He was excellent.)

Tocsin 11th Jan 2021 22:44

Glad to hear he is hale and hearty!

Finningley Boy 11th Jan 2021 23:02

Excellent news!

FB

PPRuNe Towers 12th Jan 2021 18:25

Tony has been in touch with me today, hale and hearty!

Sorting out either reviving his old registration or creating a new one for him. He is following this thread!

Rob

The AvgasDinosaur 12th Jan 2021 21:46


Originally Posted by Tocsin (Post 10878514)
I've also been thoroughly distracted by the archived website, and have downloaded the eBook version for easier reading.

Please advise this NetNumpty where that eBook may be acquired, thanks in anticipation.
David

Tocsin 12th Jan 2021 22:46

David, I got it from India42's link to the Wayback Machine above, and wandering about. The exact links you need are at the bottom of this page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190731...uk/ebooks.html

Click on either the one for epub format (IPads and the like) or mobi (for Kindles) - a pdf reader will open epub files.

Hope that helps, but if not clear, post again and I'll try to help (I'm on once a day usually!)

The AvgasDinosaur 12th Jan 2021 23:53


Originally Posted by Tocsin (Post 10966705)
David, I got it from India42's link to the Wayback Machine above, and wandering about. The exact links you need are at the bottom of this page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190731...uk/ebooks.html

Click on either the one for epub format (IPads and the like) or mobi (for Kindles) - a pdf reader will open epub files.

Hope that helps, but if not clear, post again and I'll try to help (I'm on once a day usually!)

Many thanks I’ll have a go

Tay Cough 13th Jan 2021 17:30

Good to hear he’s still rolling along. Lovely chap.

I did school “work experience” with him at CFS for a couple of weeks in 1990. We stayed in touch for a while afterwards and I still think he was pretty instrumental in helping me through the door to Big Airways as flight crew, after an injury meant military flying was no longer possible.

ex-fast-jets 13th Jan 2021 19:01

My first - and regular - instructor at Cranwell in 69.

He sent me on my first jet solo in a JP4 - so everything that followed is all his fault!!

Glad to know that he is alive and well.

Point Merge 13th Jan 2021 21:10


Originally Posted by PPRuNe Towers (Post 10966552)
Tony has been in touch with me today, hale and hearty!

Sorting out either reviving his old registration or creating a new one for him. He is following this thread!

Rob

Breaking News - former RAF pilot uses Wayback Machine to return from the 'dead'

Continuing the great read :ok:



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