Monday, November 26, 2012

Don P Thometz 1922- 2003

Don Thometz (centre) with student pilots

Don Thometz was an Army Air Corps instructor during World War II and a United Airlines DC-3 copilot in United’s early years. He flew nonscheduled cargo operations to Alaska and flights that supported the building of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line in the Arctic in the late 1940s and early 1950s. He finally landed a job as a test pilot for Boeing in the KC-97, B-47, B-52, and KC-135. When production of military air planes slowed down in the mid-1960s, he transferred to Seattle as a senior flight instructor in the B-707, B-720, B-727, B-737, and eventually, the B-747, instructing pilots around the world.

By the time her retired, he held airman certificates in 23 different countries.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sqn Ldr Leslie V. Worsdell 1917-2008


Leslie Worsdell was the first apprentice flying instructor trained pre-war by Marshall of Cambridge. He played an important part in flying training over a career of 50 years in aviation, which included working as Marshall of Cambridge’s Chief Test Pilot where he was involved in the introduction of the C-130 Hercules aircraft to Royal Air Force Service. Leslie became a Director of Marshall in 1977 and served in that role until his retirement in December 1987.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jack D.Wells 1920-2011

Jack Wells, Northrop test pilot flew the maiden flight of the Northrop X-21

Jack Wells was born in Ardmore, OK. He served 6 years as a pilot in the Pacific during WW2. He then obtained his Aeronautical degree at Northrop University and was immediately hired by Northrop Corp. to be their chief test pilot, which he happily served for years. During this time he built his own 2 seater plane, thus enabling him to fly the children of Parents Without Partners and other volunteer projects.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

George Wood 1927-1978

George Wood was born  in 1927 and educated at Manchester Grammar school. He joined the Royal Air Force  as a Flight Navigator in Bomber Command, serving on a B-29 Washington Squadron. After leaving the RAF he joined British United Airways.

He joined British Aircraft Corporation at Wisley, as a Flight Navigator in the flight test programmes of the Valliant, VC-10 and BAC 111. He joined the Concorde flight test programme and flew as operating navigator in Prototype 002 G-BSST prior to the; eventually successful, installation of Litton Inertial Nav systems. Subsequently he flew from Tangier, Morocco, in Concorde 01 G-AXDN during the engine air intake flight test programme when Mach numbers in excess of Mach 2.24 where first achieved. He continued to fly in many overseas Concorde trials until sadly in 1978 George was fatally injured on the M4 approaching Filton for another day in Flight Ops.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Brian George Watts 1928-1996

Brian George Watts was the Flight Engineer on the first flight of Concorde 002 G-BSST back in 1969.

Brian Watts was born in Bristol, England in 1928. He served as an Engineering Apprentice for the Bristol Aeroplane Company before being called up for his National Service with the RAF as a Pilot. He subsequently re-joining Bristol's, in the Flight Operations Department as a Flight Engineer / Communication's Pilot.

 He flew under Walter Gibb as Test Flight Engineer during the Britannia flight test programme. He became the Concorde project Flight Engineer and in 1969 flew with Brian Trubshaw and John Cochrane on the first flight of Concorde 002 G-BSST from Filton, and later Concorde 01 G-AXDN. He continued Concorde test flying from Fairford until his retirement in 1978. He died in 1996 at Bristol.