Group Captain John Thorpe AFC RAF - RIP

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Tester04
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Group Captain John Thorpe AFC RAF - RIP

#1 Post by Tester04 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:23 am

One of the greatest members of the aviation community, John Thorpe, passed away peacefully at home in Calgary on Saturday 21st December 2013 following a valiant battle against a serious illness. He and his wife Jenny emigrated to Canada from the UK in 2005, and he then flew for Calgary based North Cariboo Air until late 2011. He was also heavily involved in flying clubs and other aviation related activities around Calgary.

I am sure that most of the people who were lucky enough to meet him had no idea of the extraordinary flying background of this humble and modest man. He trained as an RAF pilot, was a QFI on Jet Provosts for his first tour, flew Hunters and Harriers operationally (when the Harrier was first introduced into service), trained as a test pilot at the Empire Test Pilots’ School, was a test pilot on ‘A’ Squadron at Boscombe Down, became a tutor at ETPS, became OC Fixed Wing Test Squadron at Boscombe Down, after promotion to Group Captain was the Director of Flying for the UK MOD Procurement Executive (basically, the Regulator for UK test flying) and then became the Superintendent of Flying (Chief test Pilot) at Boscombe Down. He retired from the RAF in 1999 and re-joined ETPS as a civilian tutor, a job which he continued until he moved to Canada. And there were a few other flying and executive tours along the way!

I first met John when he became my boss on Fixed Wing Test Squadron at Boscombe Down in 1988, and we worked together until he and Jenny left the UK. He was simply a wonderful mentor, role model, pilot and the simply best boss that I have ever worked for; a truly great man. Since then we remained firm friends and I was fortunate to have spoken to him the day before he left us.

Please raise a glass to one of the greatest aviators any of us will ever see. Our thoughts are with Jenny, John's children and his grandchildren.

God’s speed, John. RIP
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tferguson
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Re: Group Captain John Thorpe AFC RAF - RIP

#2 Post by tferguson » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:42 pm

I had the privilege of flying with John. Not only tremendously knowledgeable & experienced, but a most humble & honourable man. He will be missed, cheers John.
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