Airport Operational Services
Farewell flypast to Chris over his grave

Farewell flypast to Chris

What can we say about this gentlest of gentlemen that hasn't, already been said by his many friends and collogues, well I can say this. I was a humble fire inspector as part of various teams with Chris and he was required to teach me some basic information about airfield inspections and I had to do the same about fire inspections for him, some fancy brainwaves of clowns, we became good friends during this time and we visited airfields far and wide including a couple of years on airfields in Portugal, Scotland and other places. We were a team of seven and Chris and I would be considered as the jokers of the pack, me with my silly sense of humour and Chris with his intellectual wit. Always dressed in sandals and normally no socks even on the coldest wettest day, his hair and beard dishevelled and smoking that foul smelling pipe of his.

We very nearly coursed an international incident in the very posh Rieds Palace Hotel at Funchal on Madeira when after a hard hot day on Funchal Airport we returned to the hotel in working kit late evening. Sitting in the side lounge having a tipple I over heard a German couple expressing their disgust at seeing Chris looking even more dishevelled than normal. Having a smattering of German I sidled up to them and explained that this scruffy little man was an ace pilot and was responsible for many of the safety features that allowed them to fly with confidence. They apologised profusely and were as nice as pie to us for the rest of our stay. The moral is that it is not the size or the shape of the package but the quality of the contents and Chris had an abundance of that. A great man to work with and he will be sadly missed by me and many many others. He was not a religious man but I would still bless him.

John Goupillot (Ex CAA Fire Inspector CAA)

That's sad news! I never met Chris but did speak to him on the phone on a number of occasions when we were planning the AGL lighting. Such a wealth of knowledge lost!

Everywhere I go I hear of men who have been affected by this bloody prostate cancer! Sodding hell its about time they were able to crack this disease once and for all. With all the technology we have available today we can go to Mars and to the bottom of the ocean but were still unable to cure cancer!

Mike Taylor West Wales Airport

I first met Chris some 35 years ago when he was working as a Flight Inspector at the CAA and I was responsible for airfield visual aids research at RAE, Bedford. In particular, we worked together to introduce PAPI into international service through the deliberations of the ICAO Visual Aids Panel. Since retirement we kept in touch, often discussing issues that had come to light in the consultancy world. In his memory I have the honour of completing and circulating the paper on PAPI harmonisation that he was working on when he died. Three days before he died he told me that this paper was his final word on the topic.

I valued Chris as a very gifted colleague and friend. He truly was an expert; a total aviation person. I shall also miss his humour, including his unique annual Christmas card which he published under the name of "The Jericho Demolition Company" This annual publication gave him the opportunity to expose a particular lunacy that he had encountered.

Thanks Chris for your advice and for brightening many a dull day. You are sadly missed.

Tony Smith

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