John Cochrane 1930-2006
He was posted to the famous 617 squadron flying
In preparation for Concorde, Cochrane test-flew all the military aircraft then capable of Mach 2, twice the speed of sound, including the French Mirage series, the British Lightning and two specially built research aircraft, the Handley Page 115 and the
Cochrane saved a later production Concorde from what could have been a fatal crash when demonstrating the aircraft in 1974. His co-pilot selected gear-down halfway through a turn, which led to the left landing gear crashing out and being seriously damaged. Cochrane took over the controls, and briefed the crew and ground control for an emergency landing.Ground traffic at Concorde's Fairford base, in
After that Cochrane test-flew all the British Concordes, and was in command when Concorde 101 reached its highest speed of Mach 2.23 and a height of 68,000ft. He established record three-hour crossings of the
By the time he had helped to train British Airways' Concorde pilots, and been appointed assistant director of flight operations at what had become BAC, there was little left for him to do. So he resigned, and in 1980 joined Cyprus Airways as a captain.
One of aviation's most respected figures, he was awarded the Queen's commendation for valuable service in the air in 1971, and the