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Capt “Stack “ Butterley

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Capt “Stack “ Butterley

Old 12th Oct 2020, 17:43
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: London
Age: 76
Posts: 416
Capt “Stack “ Butterley

It is with great regret I report the death of Capt “Stack“ Butterley.

Stack was known to many of us as a QFI at 6 FTS at Acklington and latterly as a Concorde captain.

He died, airborne, in a Tiger Moth.

RIP, Stack.
RetiredBA/BY is offline  
Old 12th Oct 2020, 18:46
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: south of 60N
Posts: 245
Very sorry to hear of Stacks last flight.
A great guy and an amazing aviator
wrecker is offline  
Old 12th Oct 2020, 20:48
  #3 (permalink)  
Mistrust in Management
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 962
A great chap who will be sorely missed.

I flew with him a on a number of trips whilst his F/E on the 747. He was one of only about 10 pilots during 40 years of flying i could say was a 'natural' pilot - truly exceptional with hand flying skills. I never came close.

We had some great nightstops. I remember once in Delhi after a good night out Stack, the F/O and I decided we would have a race back to the hotel in the local tuk tuks - paying a few extra rupees of course. Stack was up for it as always. Unusually Stack came last - reckon he paid the driver to go a bit slower!

Many other stories but while decent they will remain with me.

He died whilst flying in the back of a Tiger Moth. Whilst sad it was an end that befitted such a gentleman - I doubt Stack expected it but as it was inevitable I would imagine he would be pleased to be airborne in such an iconic aircraft when he finally departed.

Sorry to see you go Stack.

KInd regards
exeng is offline  
Old 13th Oct 2020, 15:59
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 1,026
Sad news - as I mentioned on the other Stack thread, he was a drinking buddy of mine when we both lived in Bourton, Dorset and I have many fond memories of him. My LHR/LL ATC Concorde jolly was with Stack to Miami and that was great fun. Several of my LHR colleagues also experienced their jollies with him - I'm sure none of them ever forgot flying with Stack!

RIP John.

Brian 48nav is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2020, 09:55
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: beds
Posts: 23
Very sad news.
He saved me on my wings course. Very early on, I was being ground down, and he took me on for a while, and I learn't that flying didn't always have to be po-faced serious.
" Cx-x, you are a Scotsmen, aren't you?"
"Yes sir"
"I'll show you the hing. Tighten your harness!"
He rolled the aircraft inverted.
"We are now hinging in our straps!"
Not much, I suppose, but important to me at the time, and we went on to have more laughs before normal service was resumed. And I passed the course.

bigjok is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2020, 09:13
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: EGKK
Posts: 16
'Stack' was a good friend of mine and an unforgettable character. He started flying as an ATC cadet and won a flying scholarship to learn to fly on Tiger Moths. Afterwards he trained in the RAF and graduated to fly Shackletons on 37 Sqn in Aden. Later he qualified as a QFI on Jet Provosts at the Central Flying School.

He joined BA and progressed to become a Concorde captain. Following retirement from BA his insatiable appetite for flying took him to City Flyer. After achieving a flying career up to the maximum age limit for commercial flying he took a job as a ground school instructor with Skyblue Aviation.

So, he started his flying career on Tiger Moths and was still flying them at the end!

Many will remember him with great affection. Stack’s departure is a great loss to aviation and he will be remembered.

Eagles Forever
Eagles Forever is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2020, 09:42
  #7 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: EGKK
Posts: 16
Here is the report by the pilot who was with Stack on that fateful flight:

Advantage was taken of a relatively benign forecast for Sunday to collect the group’s Tiger Moth from Lee-on-Solent airfield after its annual inspection, and fly it back to the private strip at Frensham where the aircraft is hangared. A fellow group member, drove Stack and myself down to Lee with the intention that Stack and myself conduct the post inspection air test during the flight to base.

Being the unique individual that he was, Stack was his usual jocular self, engaging in banter over a sandwich and a cup of tea before taking to the air; Stack in the rear cockpit (with the primary controls, radio etc.) and myself in the front. The plan was for me to do the take-off and hand over control to Stack for the test requirements, control back to me for handling practice in cruise, then a final return of control to Stack for the landing since the crosswind was forecast to prove a little ‘tricky’ and he was the more experienced on the aircraft.

Getting airborne at 14:21, everything went well with the plan, up to and including the handover portion of the cruise phase. The intercom in our Tiger is a bit ‘hit and miss’ but was working well on the day. In retrospect I can now say that the last words last words Stack uttered were, “You have control.” When I tried to hand control back to him for the landing there was no response and I could see in the rear view mirror we have fitted that his head was down and I naively thought he was pre-occupied with something in the rear cockpit.

With further attempts to communicate on intercom proving fruitless, although I had sidetone, and his head not coming up, it dawned on me that something was seriously wrong and I went on and landed uneventfully, taxying the aircraft up to our closed hangar doors with nobody else to be seen.

I extricated myself from the paraphernalia of harness and headset and got out to find Stack’s head slumped forward. I managed to get his cloth helmet/headset off and undid his harness but there was no way I was going to be able to get him out of the cockpit by myself.

I called our fellow group member who was on his way home by now and he alerted the ambulance service and called Stack’s wife, Teri. Meanwhile I administered CPR as best I could from the side of the aircraft (not ideal) until the ambulance arrived and took over. It took four of us, the three crew and myself, to get Stack out of the aircraft and laid on the grass where the paramedics continued with the CPR, defibrillator shock and oxygen. Stack’s son, Neil, had picked Teri up and with his daughter-in-law as well, drove to Frensham where, by the time they arrived, the ambulance staff had abandoned attempts at reviving Stack and, without being able to specifically identify cause of death, could only suggest that cardiac arrest was the most likely.

In a nutshell that’s the sequence of events with just the obvious police attendance and undertaker being called to take care of the body before being able to call it a day ourselves.

All in all a most unexpected and desperately sad event but one where we can all be grateful for small mercies; primarily the fact that Stack was not alone in the aircraft when it happened and the fact, as we can all acknowledge, he went doing what he loved most and those of us who knew him can treasure the memories of one of aviation’s truly ‘colourful’ characters.
Eagles Forever is offline  
Old 15th Oct 2020, 17:24
  #8 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: HK
Posts: 17

Stack with friend 20/9/20
Cavitasian is offline  
Old 20th Oct 2020, 10:02
  #9 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: uk
Posts: 31
John Butterley, fondly known to us all at CityFlyer as ‘Stack’ was a true legend.
I remember so many hilarious moments working with Stack. There are just too many to mention them all as everyday of working with him was memorable! I remember his wonderfully funny PAs to the passengers. Some had me bursting out with laughter in the middle of the cabin and others...well they were just wholly inappropriate! I remember taking children and their Dads to visit the flight deck. Stack would ask me to give him a minute so he could prepare his toys. Yes, he carried a few novelty items in his flight bag (which was an old crumpled up duty free bag), to entertain the children (and adults) in the cockpit. When we went in he would be wearing a pair of very thick fun spectacles and would pretend to be almost totally blind. He would have prepared the poor FO to act as if he was deaf! He would then start fumbling around pretending to try and find the controls and would shout at the FO who had to pretend not to hear him! He used to call this the “Hear no evil, see no evil game”!! For the first few seconds (or maybe minutes) the visiting customers would seem very alarmed until they realised he was playing a joke on them! Never great for a nervous flyer but even they would relax in his company. He would also have some wind up toys that would be jumping around on top of the coaming. Some were, shall we say...somewhat phallic!

For all his crazy antics and right royal mickey-taking Stack had a good heart and a very kind soul. He had made friends with Mehran Karimi Nasseri also known as ‘Alfred Mehran’ who was an Iranian refugee that had got himself stuck in transit in terminal 1 at Paris CDG airport. Alfred, as Stack fondly referred to him, lived in the terminal from 1988 to 2006.
I remember when we landed in CDG, Stack would gather all the unused newspapers and any spare food, bag it all up and take it into the terminal to give to his friend.

I found some old photos of Stack, each one makes me smile as I remember some of the best days of my flying career. I have attached a couple here.

Rest in peace Stack, you have left us all with wonderful memories. You will always be remembered as one of life’s aviation greats.

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