Post by kiwithrottlejockey on Sept 30, 2014 11:19:13 GMT 12
My brother and I had an interesting discussion with Mark at Warbirds Over Wanaka the year they first displayed the Polikarpovs. He was in the VIP enclosure by the fence between there and the Gold Pass enclosure and we wandered over and started chatting to him. My brother made a comment about the Polikarpovs landings and Mark replied that “the old man doesn't want to know about flying them”, which surprised us, although the next Warbirds Over Wanaka, Ray was flying a Polikarpov, although Mark was deceased by then. I found Mark to be a very approachable person who was happy to spend several minutes chatting to us.
If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space!
Post by seafurysmith on Sept 30, 2014 22:18:21 GMT 12
A hello to all on this forum and many thanks for letting me join. Can't believe its so long since Mark went, I was lucky enough to chat to him several times and he was always very approachable and I watched him flying with 74 Sqn at RAF Wattisham on a number of times. Sadly missed still along with Ray - to me growing up they were air shows.
Here's a shot of Mark starting up G-BTTA when dressed up to represent a FW190 - Duxford early 90's hope you like it! Love New Zealand.......
I'm somewhat surprised at the surprise expressed by those who "wander over for a chat and found him [Mark or Ray, take your pick] "friendly and chatty", because when all is said and done they were enthusiasts, both ex-RAF pilots, and friendly individuals. Why wouldn't they talk to you? I do it all the time to complete strangers at air shows, ask my son! Many haircuts ago I was stationed at RAF Cottesmore where the Station Commander was one Jonnie Johnson who had a habit of sneaking into work via a crash gate for which we had the keys. He often stopped on his way in for a chat, and a thoroughly nice guy he was. Fast forward a few decades, and he was a guest of Sir Tim at Wanaka, and I just happened to bump into him and immediately reminded him we had met before! He then confessed the reason he snook in through the crash gate was that he could be in his office for an hour before anyone knew he was there because if he had come in the main gate "the Snowdrops [RAF Police} would blow the whistle" as soon as he arrived. Just another normal guy really!
On the Key Publishing Forum I saw that yesterday marked ten years today since Ray passed. I remember crying when I heard the news. I watched the Warbirds Over Wanaka videos most weekends as a child, along with reading the books and Classic Wings Downunder. I really looked up to Ray and Mark. I was lucky enough to meet Ray, briefly, at Wanaka in 2004. I very shyly walked up to him, clutching a copy of The Best Of Warbirds Over Wanaka and a pen, hoping to get an autograph. He saw me and said to his companion, "Excuse me a moment, I think this young man wants to talk to me" (or words to that effect). I still have the book, and will never forget those last Breitling Fighters routines.
I also saw him the following Easter at Omaka, his final New Zealand show, flying P-40E ZK-RMH. I feel extremely lucky to have seen him fly, and feel tears coming again now.
If you ever want to get an insight into how sorely he is missed, check out his Obituary thread at PPRuNe. It was wonderful to see the esteem in which he was held by his fellow airmen.
Post by johnnyfalcon on Apr 2, 2019 18:44:48 GMT 12
Holy crap! No offense intended, but nowhere do we see top-shelf fighters being flown like that anymore
I was there Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and was completely smitten. Awestruck at the accuracy, vigor (aggression even) with which these two legendary pilots displayed their machines. Twenty five years later, and in seemingly ancient technological viewing, the guts and effervescence of the Hannah magic has not lost any of its spell.
Posted this else where a while back, thought it suitable to add to this great thread, perhaps one of the most daring stunts performed in a WW II fighter in modern times.
Featured in a couple of TV series, Peace of Cake and Foyne’s War, Ray Hanna flies his MK IX Spitfire MH 434 under the Winston Bridge.
Moggie under Winston Bridge.
Awesome that there is a memento of this event, also great it is acknowledged for plane nuts like me. When you are up close and personal you realise this stunt was no mean feat. I am no pilot so please take my comments with this in mind, the arch of the bridge fits a Spitfire with a bit to spare. To be honest the tight bit looks like the approach with all the trees over hanging the river.
You don’t see it in the tube clips, there is an island with some smaller trees which are in the line of flight! Perhaps back when the flight was done these would have been smaller or some removal was performed. It looks like some of the footage was shot from this island.
Looking north-west up the River Tees from the bridge.
Looking South-east down the River Tees.
Some more low flying film work, "Cadillac of the skies."
Last Edit: Apr 4, 2019 6:43:41 GMT 12 by planecrazy