Captain J.B.C. Surtees ( - )
Brian Surtees commenced Flying whilst still at school in the United Kingdom in 1956 on an RAF Flying Scholarship and obtained a Private Pilot's Licence flying Tiger Moth and Auster aircraft.
Below: Brian Surtees in 1958 (Photo: Brian Surtees collection)
On return to the U.K. Brian completed the remainder of 12 years service as an instructor in basic, advanced and operational conversion roles, flying Vampire, Jet Provost and Canberra aircraft.
For the next 24 years Brian enjoyed a career flying F.27, Merlin, Rockwell Commander 1000, and F.28 aircraft on navaid calibration and occasional V.I.P. work. The area of operation ultimately encompassed Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, the South Pacific islands, Vietnam and Indonesia. During this time he was Type Specialist on the Merlin and F.28 aircraft and acted as Chief Pilot on several occasions. On retirement in 1998 he had accumulated some 14,000 hr as a pilot.
Click here to read Brian's account of airways calibration work in Vietnam.
Left: In the early 1990s Brian Surtees appeared in CAA ads in as one of the 'Guardians of the Skies'. Click on the image at left for a larger version.
(Brian Surtees collection)
Below: Captain Brian Surtees in VH-ATD, one of the Department's F.28s.
Brian came out of retirement for a short while to work as a ground school instructor for Kendell Airlines, conducting conversion training on the Bombardier CRJ jet airliner. Unfortunately the job disappeared with the demise of Ansett and its subsidiaries. However it did enable Brian to get right up to date with the latest "glass cockpit" technology.
As a member of the volunteer staff at the Airways Museum, Brian has been busy cataloguing the exhibits, collections and libraries and entering them on a database. Click here for some of Brian's work.