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Eric 'Winkle' Brown

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Eric 'Winkle' Brown

Old 21st Feb 2016, 22:58
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This seems appropriate:-

Flying West
I hope there's a place, way up in the sky,
Where pilots can go, when they have to die-
A place where a guy can go and buy a cold beer
For a friend and comrade, whose memory is dear;
A place where no doctor or lawyer can tread,
Nor management type would ere be caught dead;
Just a quaint little place, kinda dark and full of smoke,
Where they like to sing loud, and love a good joke;
The kind of place where a lady could go
And feel safe and protected, by the men she would know.

There must be a place where old pilots go,
When their paining is finished, and their airspeed gets low,
Where the whiskey is old, and the women are young,
And the songs about flying and dying are sung,
Where you'd see all the fellows who'd flown west before.
And they'd call out your name, as you came through the door;
Who would buy you a drink if your thirst should be bad,
And relate to the others, "He was quite a good lad!"

And then through the mist, you'd spot an old guy
You had not seen for years, though he taught you how to fly.
He'd nod his old head, and grin ear to ear,
And say, "Welcome, my son, I'm pleased that you're here.
"For this is the place where true flyers come,
"When the journey is over, and the war has been won
"They've come here to at last to be safe and alone
From the government clerk and the management clone,
"Politicians and lawyers, the Feds and the noise
Where the hours are happy, and these good ol'boys
"Can relax with a cool one, and a well-deserved rest;
"This is Heaven, my son -- you've passed your last test!"

Author: Capt. Michael J. Larkin

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Old 21st Feb 2016, 23:06
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I had the pleasure of attending a meeting of the Clwyd Aviation Group where Captain Brown was the guest speaker.

An amazing aviator, the likes of whom we shall never ever see again.

R.I.P. Captain Brown.

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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 02:26
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What a man and what a pilot!

Holds the record for most aircraft types flown, which will probably never be beaten.

RIP, I salute you with a fine glass of red wine.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 02:29
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Got his book Wings On His Sleeve just before Christmas (should have been titled wings on his back), unbelievable read, had to keep checking that it wasn't a fictional.
Sad that he is gone but what a life as others have said.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 03:31
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Have volume's 1 and 2 of his "Wings of the Weird & Wonderful" describing his experiences flying 65 different aircraft. Brilliant.

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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 05:15
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Last summer, I had the honor to meet him, once and only, when he was guest speaker at West London Aero Club, White Waltham. I would never have taken him for the age he was, a most remarkable man.
His achievements and contribution to aviation will not be forgotten.
Tootle pip!!
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 07:07
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Any news on plans for a funeral ?
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 07:13
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Any news on plans for a funeral?
Something significant in London that closes a lot roads would be highly appropriate I think.

Having done it all down here, now he's going to teach the angels how to fly properly

Last edited by msbbarratt; 22nd Feb 2016 at 07:30.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 07:50
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A truly remarkable man, highly intelligent, highly skilled, flew more types than anyone in the world, conversed easily with people of many nationalities and backgrounds, and explained matters well in countless TV and radio programmes and interviews in magazines and newspapers.

It is deeply sad that he has gone before being honoured by the nation, no the WORLD he served so well, but what a man and what an innings. RIP.

One of his many fine achievements was the "Rubber Deck Landings" on an aircraft carrier in a de H Vampire with gear up. This idea went no further, but a few years later my Dad was part of the team which sold the ship to Argentina!
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 08:51
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A truly remarkable man who flew almost 490 air crafts during his life!
R.I.P Eric
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 08:57
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The best after-dinner speaker EVER!!!. A superb man. Knighthood, Pah... He wasn't an Actor, or a Celeb, or a Footballer, but to all of us with an interest in Aviation, whether large or small, he will ALWAYS be our hero.'Wings on my Sleeve' has, and always will have, pride of place on my Aviation bookshelf, signed by him with a personal message to me. A prized possesion indeed.!
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 10:53
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Sorry to hear of this gentlemans death.
Read some of his books and clearly he had a fabulous time.

Truly, a flower of Scotland.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 11:04
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A true Legend, and one of my personal heroes.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 11:15
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Met him last year (or was it the year before) at Duxford. He was the kind of bloke you could have spent all day with listening to his stories and not get in the least bit bored.

RIP Sir, you deserve that much.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 11:33
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Eric 'Winkle' Brown was honoured by his country. He received an MBE during the war, was upgraded to OBE shortly after the war and was more recently upgraded to CBE. Knighthoods are more sparingly handed out now than during the ridiculous period of the Blair years when anybody who was thought to be popular who had achieved some success in their field was handed a knighthood (or a damehood) in an attempt to make the honours system popular and "relevant". Today, the populist tendency is resisted by the body that administers the system, which is why Andy Murray has not been knighted in spite of Cameron's call for one after he won Wimbledon. Also, today a knighthood is the highest honour whereas in the past a life peerage was the highest ( as in Lord Olivier etc.). Today life peerages are exclusively a political award for people who are going to sit in the House of Lords.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 12:10
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Over 1100 deck landings, amazing.
I had enough of a problem getting on to a runway.
Decks do not stand still, go up and down and sideways when you approach.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 12:18
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Good short obituary

In The Telegraph:
Captain Eric 'Winkle' Brown - obituary - Telegraph

Without any doubt Cpt. Brown was a remarkable human being with an extraordinary life history.

Very few of the men and women who fought to defend this country in WW2 are still with us and it's essential that we try to convey some of what they represented to coming generations. Which makes it all the sadder that their commemoration by airshows like that at Shoreham are now looking threatened.

I'd agree that something approaching a state funeral would be very appropriate for "Winkle" Brown. But of course it probably won't happen. Let's hope that we at least get a major TV documentary that might be seen by a few of the people who need to see it as the British population passively sit back allowing the country to be invaded whilst barely noticing it's happening
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 12:28
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"a major TV documentary"

Like the one the BBC made a year or two ago?

BBC Two - Britain's Greatest Pilot: The Extraordinary Story of Captain Winkle Brown

Not long or technical enough for the likes of us but an excellent piece of TV for all.

plus of course the BBC made a big splash with him on Desert Island Discs as mentioned above.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 12:33
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PS I had the joy of hearing him deliver lectures three times plus shaking his hand and exchanging a few tongue tied (me not him) words when he signed my copy of Wings on My Sleeve at Farnborough 2004 (I think). Neville Duke signed my copy of Test Pilot that day as well.

Eric Brown never stopped until nature stopped him. he was booked to speak at RAeS Hatfield in April, I had arranged my holidays not to miss it. A great and long life.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 13:50
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Do we actually know he was not offered a K?
It seems quite possible that he declined to accept, or made it known that he would do so if offered. That info would only be revealed by the potential recipient so if he then said nowt about it we'd never know.

Perhaps someone will name a star after him. That would be a fitting tribute.
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