PPRuNe Forums

PPRuNe Forums (https://www.pprune.org/)
-   Where Are They Now? (https://www.pprune.org/where-they-now-20/)
-   -   Eric Thurston (https://www.pprune.org/where-they-now/516390-eric-thurston.html)

aviator1966 5th Jun 2013 10:55

Eric Thurston
Hello everyone.
I'm brand new to this forum, but started 25 years flying with a PPL under the guidance of Eric Thurston at Stapleford Tawney, Essex.

I did most of the poling around in a tiger moth and had a lot of fun.
But I was wondering if anyone out there knows/knew Eric and if he is still about, or maybe he's giving instrument ratings to the angels now...
I would be glad to hear from anybody.

doubleu-anker 5th Jun 2013 17:42

Eric is still around! Aged 94.

Comes to Stapleford on Sundays I believe.

fantom 5th Jun 2013 17:51

Drove me around the airfield in his blue Roller; ET21, I think. Mind you, I was paying cash...

aviator1966 5th Jun 2013 18:58

Thanks for the reply. He always was a dynamo, but still around at 94 is almost unbelievable.

Landflap 6th Jun 2013 09:04

Just remember Thurston Aviation but no real recall. Can someone ask him what the secret is (I mean, 94, fabbo).

LAS1997 7th Jun 2013 06:29

I remember Eric Thurston and how nice it is to hear he is still with us at 94! He always used to wear two watches; one with GMT on it and the other local as I recall. We used to charter Kingair 200's from him on occasions in the 1980's which he sometimes flew. A fine gentleman then; I also remember that Thurston Aviation became Tal-Air after a revamp in the late 1980's and a Michael Palin as the MD (not to be confused with the comedy actor); not quite sure what happened after that; did it become LEA? They had a base at Stansted and did some handling was it in co-operation with Universal? Maybe someone could fill me in on the history after that?:confused:

StressFree 7th Jun 2013 07:01


I had my first flying job at Thurston Aviation, flying King Air 200's, Navajo's and then HS-125's. It was a great little company but finally went bust when a new owner got over ambitious.......

We weren't paid for the last three months of work, this must have been around 1990.

LAS1997 7th Jun 2013 09:03

Thank you Stress Free; that rings a bell with me now; especially the HS 125, was it a 3B series? I seem to recall seeing a Tal Air brochure with it included.

bedsted 7th Jun 2013 09:28

I was there (Stapleford) in the 70s, GFT/IR training, joy flights and charters on Piper Arrow, Apache, Aztec and Navajo. Not forgetting a few beers after work at the flying club bar,:ok::ok: John Chicken was the owner I think.

cavortingcheetah 7th Jun 2013 10:30

Eric Thurston did an IR renewal for me on an Aztec out of Stapleford many years ago. Ever after that, at renewal time, the examiners would always comment in wonderment upon finding his sign out in my licence. I am sure that just having his moniker there assured me of success in some of my future attempts to hang on to the rating.
The test with him was one of my great UK flying experiences; some of the other ones are only great in the mind because they should be forgotten. It was a fun morning's flying and I welcome this opportunity to salute him.


staircase 7th Jun 2013 13:53

It was an HS125 3b reg G-AZVS, ex EasternAirways?GenAir. It arrived at TAL in summer 1984, and was sold to (I think) Food Brokers Ltd in 1985, but was re reg'd to G-MRFB.

Last seen flying between a couple of islands off the West African coast.

StressFree 9th Jun 2013 07:58


The HS-125's I flew at Thurstons at Stansted were a fan 3B, owner by the boss of Baron Hotels and Leisure, G-KASS, and a 700 series, G-MHIH owned by Moat House International Hoteliers.


staircase 9th Jun 2013 09:17

well after my time then!

Romeo 87 9th Jun 2013 14:53

Eric Thurston
Couldn't agree more, absolute gentleman.
When I finished my Commercial I was broke,so had to save a bit for the I/R training. Eric just said never mind that, just continue with the I/R and pay me when you can afford it. They don't make them like that anymore!
Great people,great times at Thurston Aviation.

Boeing man 9th Jun 2013 15:21

Yes VS was a 3B ended up on Irish reg EI WDC 1994 till 2002
I flew it until 1996 it was sold on to somebody in Africa

Grasscarp 9th Jun 2013 16:01

Did my instrument rating with Eric. He remains a good friend of mine and I will let him know about this thread.

cavortingcheetah 9th Jun 2013 18:32

That would be a great idea.
Tributes to the living are far more fun than requiems for the dead.

boeingbounder 11th Jun 2013 21:36

Eric did similar for me around 1974.I was rushing through my I.R. training with little cash and not flying very well due to that pressure alone.Also not easy converting from Nimrods to Apache. Eric told me to forget about the money and repay him when I had settled into a proper flying job.After 6 months with BAC I paid him back every penny.One of the kindest gestures I ever recieved and still remembered with gratefullness.

Grasscarp 24th Jun 2013 17:17

Contact Eric
I have been talking to Eric about this thread and sent him a link.
He is happy for anybody who wants to get in touch to have his email address. [email protected]

parabellum 9th Jul 2013 22:54

Yes, PA31 conversion, my log book says I did some with Capt. Smith and quite a bit with Eric around 9th to 13th August 1973! Both excellent value.

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:40.

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.