''NEV' (RICHARD NEVILLE)
Married to Thelma since 1977.
Children: Ian aged 36 and Alexandra aged 35.
Now living in Devizes, Wilts.
At FISGARD from May 02 1949 to September 1950.
Left RN April 1958.
RN CAREER Post
HMS THESEUS: May 1953 to November 1953, including 6 weeks at Hal Far,
Malta (804 Sea Furies and 820 Firefly Squadrons).
RNAS Culdrose: December 1953 (various + workshops) to April 1954.
ROYAL ARTHUR: May until June 1954 - 361 Petty Officers' Course (six
HMS BLACKCAP (RNAS Stretton, Warrington): June until November 1956. Venom
and Vampire Receipt & Despatch Unit on Tiger Moths, Vampire 5s, Vampire
Trainers, Venom 20s and 21s.
Released from RN in April 1958 (discharge by purchase).
"I hated fitting, so I learnt to fly gliders. At Stretton, I started
a flying club with Commander Air (Commander Ron Hay) and built a glider
winch, and helped to build a Slingsby T31 glider from kit (and test flew
it). As a member of the Army Gliding Club, I helped with the Dartmouth
cadets summer gliding courses at Bramcote.
I did several makers' courses (DH Venom airframe and engines, Dunlop
Maxaret and Dowty fuel systems)."
HMS GANNET (RNAS Eglington, Londonderry): 719 Fairey Gannet Squadron,
I/C D Flight. Gannet airframe & engine courses at Arbroath.
"Then I was taken off aircraft work and made "Buffer of Eagle Site",
which resulted in my being refused promotion to AA3 because I was 'not
currently employed on aircraft', making me very angry. I complained to my
MP then applied to BOAC for a job as a Flight Engineer Officer, and was
accepted. I was posted to Station Flight (S51 & S55 helicopters) and took
airframe & engine courses at Arbraoth in the Spring of 1958 when I was
also offered a May 01 Britannia 312 course at Heathrow by BOAC, subject to
my getting released from the RN. So I phoned Commander Hay (the
ex-Commander Air of Stretton, who was by then the Drafting Officer at
Lee-on-Solent) for help, and was released in April 1958 for �200.
"I then joined BOAC (later British Airways) as a Cadet Flight
Engineer officer with two other ex-'tiffs' and served on Britannia 312s,
VC10s, DC10s & Boeing 747s, clocking up 18,000 flying hours worldwide.
In 1974, I was seconded to Gulf Air Bahrain for three months when they
took over the VC10s from BA. In 1975, I was seconded to Air New Zealand
when I was being trained to operate DC10s - I also held New Zealand Flight
Engineer and RT Licences, and Civil Aircraft Department (CAD) Flight
Engineer Instructor's rating on the DC10.
at the panel of a 747 in 1985
"In 1968, I was
injured when (as a passenger in a 707) #2 engine caught fire and fell off
just after take-off. After landing, I happened to be on the
starboard wing, getting the passengers out, when the port wing blew up.
"I became an instructor, teaching pilots and flight engineers how to
operate DC10 and B747 aircraft. I held Maintenance Approvals for
airframes, engines, electrics and radio on all types, plus a Flight
Engineer's Licence, a Private Pilot's Licence, an RT Licence and IMC
"I then became a CAA Examiner and Instructor (simulators) and retired
from BA as a Senior Flight Engineer in 1988, only to be 'recycled' as a
747 Virgin Atlantic Flight Engineer!
"In July 1994, I was paid off by Richard Branson when he purchased
Airbus aircraft, which did not carry flight engineers.
"I have been
married three times; being abroad 200 days a year is
not helpful in matrimony.
"In retirement, I have approximately one acre of garden - so now I'm
"I have complete machine-shop facility with lathe, milling machine, gas &
arc welders, and I build coal-fired and
electric 'sit-on-and-ride' 5 inch gauge railway engines."