Thursday, November 22, 2007

John Samuel Fay 1921-2021

John Samuel Fay was born in Brazil in 1921 and brought up in New Zealand until the age of nine when he came to England.
He was educated at Bradfield College and went straight from there to join the Fleet Air Arm in 1940. His training was on Miles Magisters,Fairey Batlles and then on to Swordfish and Albacores. He was appointed to 832 Squadron in HMS Victorious and operated in the Arctic and the Mediterranean. He also had a short spella Manston operating in the English Channell. The Victorious crossed the Atlantic at the end of 1942 and after some modifications joined the US fleet in the Pacific. In the meanwhile 832 Squadron converted to Grumman Avengers and had the distinction of being the firts British squadron to operate from an American carrier,which was the USS Saratoga.
After returning from the pacific he joined the Sevice Trial Unit at Crail until being appointed to the first helicopter course in Britain at Hanworth in March 1944.

After the war he joined the British European Helicopter Unit, which acrried out pioneering work such as mail carrying,passenger carrying,instrument flying and pilot training.

On joining Westland aircraft as a test pilot and instructor he flew the aircraft being produced thre such as the Dragonfly,Whirlwind,Bell 47-B3-1,Widgeon and Wessex,plus the Hughes 269. He also trained some 300 service and civil pilots from Britain and foreign countries. He demonstrated several Westland aircraft at the Farnborough Airshows in th 1950's and 1960's.

He has publised several books on helicopters,notably The Helicopter. History.Piloting and how it flies.