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Eric Thurston

Old 10th Jul 2013, 14:14
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Parabellum,

The Capt. Smith you mention was Peter Smith. He's still around as well as Eric!

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Old 10th Jul 2013, 18:01
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Thumbs up

I met up with Eric last weekend. He has enjoyed reading these reminiscences. He still is working (albeit not flying) and shows no sign of slowing down or retiring!
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Old 10th Jul 2013, 18:04
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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No sadly Pete Smith is no longer with us. I flew with him a lot on Kingair operations.
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 17:55
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Capt Eric Thurston OBE

Eric is one of life's finest gentleman. He taught my father to fly in the early 60's
at Stapleford Flying club in the Aircoupe, with Neville Browning. I still remember my fathers check-ride with Eric in Twin Comm G-ASSB when I was 7.

Little did I know then that I would be flying myself ten years later with Eric, Fred Wells and then Alan Turner, complex single, multi and Instrument.

My best flying thought with Eric was when we both decided to fly Beech 200
G-IRPA on New Years eve 1985 looking for Halley's Comet over the North Sea at
FL270 on a clear night. We also gained special VFR clearance to orbit Trafalgar Square at 23.59hrs from 2000ft. Amazing!

Eric still visits Stapleford. :ok
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Old 11th Jul 2013, 18:55
  #25 (permalink)  

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Join Date: Oct 2001
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Twin Comm G-ASSB

Which was acquired by Northern Exec.

My God, I had many, many frights in that dreadful aircraft.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 07:39
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Grasscarp,

Pete Smith no longer with us?? Thats terrible news, when did that happen?

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Old 13th Jul 2013, 07:41
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Uranus
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Jetblu,

I flew many hours in G-IPRA, the aircraft that Conrad Ritblat's wife jumped out of to end her life.
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 08:22
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Pete died on 3 September last year. I went to his funeral. A gentleman who was always calm and dignified. Whenever we went somewhere and had to wait for passengers he would want to walk - and these were always several miles!
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Old 13th Jul 2013, 08:32
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Uranus
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Grasscarp,

I didn't hear this sad news last year, thankyou for letting me know.

I flew loads of hours with Peter in Thurston's Kingairs as well as the 125's. He was a real gentleman, I've also walked miles and miles with him as well as played many hours of squash with him. I'm really sorry that he's no longer with us, he taught me such a lot. I never once saw him angry, he was always calm and pleasant. He kindly sent me a copy of his book called 'A Flying Start'. Such a decent chap.

RIP Peter.

Grasscarp, many thanks again.
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Old 14th Jul 2013, 00:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: In the Pa
Age: 65
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ET 21

His title should be Sir Eric Thurston OBE, BGB (Bloody Good Bloke).......singlehandedly he is probably responsible for a good many bums on all types of pilots seats since the middle of last century....A unique old school Gentleman that seemed to attract the most enthusiastic and interesting people and staff into his circle.

Would be obliged to find a copy of Pete Smiths book, "A flying Start"

'Onya' and thanks ET21
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 08:52
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Talking of Eric and Peter, anyone know what happened to Adrian Brook, David Burbridge and Roy Thorpe who were there early 70's?
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 18:28
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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StressFree

Looking at my late fathers logbook, not only is G-ASSB present but it looks as though he also had 65.8 hours in Twin Comm G-ASSA.

Small world eh!? I was helping Nick, (Conrad's son) a few years back with his basement swimming pool in Queens Grove NW8. I did not realise it was that a/c.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 19:25
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Adrian Brook had a long career with Britannia. He is now retired and flies his RV4 from Shoreham (having sold his Twin Com, Gemini and Messenger).
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 07:40
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Jetblu,

It certainly is a small world!

It was definately that aircraft, the way I remember the circumstances it left Stansted for Nice and on the way the door warning light kept coming on. On arrival Mrs.R decided she wanted to back to the UK. On the approach to Elstree the door light came on again, the P2 went back to investigate and found the door open and Mrs.R gone.....
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 12:41
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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I saw Eric last night and read him some of these last posts. He especially liked to be reminded of the flying over Trafalgar Square jetblu. Seems he really enjoyed that.
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 16:26
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Grasscarp,

When you see Eric again please pass on my best regards, Matt.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 13:18
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Grasscarp,


Both Eric and I have reminisced about that specific flight a few times.

If I am honest, I think the 2000ft height mentioned earlier was on the conservative side. From recollections now, the clearance was "not above 1000ft"
I recall Eric saying to me, something along the lines of "Uumm, the clearance was not above 1000ft, nothing about reposition or topple Lord Nelson, can we gain some height please"

Whilst that flight was purely a recreational pleasure jolly, I recall returning to Stansted and calling localiser established for 23, when all of a sudden Eric pulls one of his tricks out of the bag, systems failure/zero thrust on port.

I still fly today with all the golden tips/rules that Eric taught me, like all the hundreds/thousands of other pilots that have had the pleasure of Eric's professional knowledge and mentoring.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 14:54
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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zero thrust on port
He did the same to me when doing an 1179 on a twin com.
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 09:35
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: West London
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StressFree - I will pass on your regards to Eric. I am making sure he sees all posts on here, as he is way too busy to be looking at PPRuNe each day!
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Old 8th Aug 2013, 05:52
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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How nice to hear Eric is still busy! I did my flying scholarship at Stapleford then had the pleasure of coming back to do my 1179 with Eric after many years in the mob - just after he'd had both knees fixed!! He was generous enough to put me up for the night as well.

Well do I remember his giving me the books for the Seneca and saying "why don't you go out and familiarise yourself" while he finished debriefing another student. Cue my embarrassment after having spent fruitless minutes trying to find it and say "which ones the Seneca?"

It was all downhill from there....
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