I attended the 2015 Fixed Wing Dinner in WO’s & Senior Rates Mess at Yeovilton. This was organised by the Sea Harrier Association (part of ‘Fly Navy Federation with FAAOA) as advertised in FLY NAVY NEWS SHEET. Tom Dawson was the organiser and had invited Lt Cdr Chris Götke, Commanding Officer of the Historic Flight, as guest of honor. Captain ‘ Winkle’ Brown’ should also have been there but he had another appointment at World War Two concentration camp, Bergen-Belsen which HM The Queen was visiting. Tom was delighted that I attended as very few pilots of my generation have ever attended.
I met Chris and sat with him and his equally charming Italian wife Georgia. I chatted more with her than with Chris who was of course in great demand. He did tell me why the Centaurus failed during his display at Culdrose Air Day in 2014. This will be revealed by the full enquiry before I say more, other than it was a catastrophic engine failure.
Almost all those who attended were senior maintainers of the Sea Harrier.