Saturday, December 15, 2007

Donald Burn Wright OBE, FRAeS 1930-2005

Between 1944-46 he was a Cadet at HMS Worcester Royal Naval Reserve and between 1946-53 he was with Merchant Navy as a Cadet then followed as 4th & 3rd Mate (Navigating Officer) in Blue Star Line, 3rd & 2nd Mate (Officer) of Athel Line oil tanker.
In 1953 he joined the RAF as aircrew with pilot training in Canada (RCAF) and in 1954 he was posted to Bomber Command, joining No 115 Squadron RAF Marham flying Canberras. In 1956 the Squadron detached to Cyprus (Nicosia) for Operation Musketeer, the invasion of Suez. In 1957 he was posted to Little Rissington for flying instructor training prior to posting to Swinderby as instructor on Vampires later on Meteors. In 1960 he went on No 19 Course, Empire Test Pilots' School, Farnborough. In 1961 he was posted to Royal Aircraft Establishment Farnborough test flying various RAE ideas and problems associated with Structures and Mechanical Engineering,
using aircraft types from Hunter, Canberra and Javelin, to Beverley, Hastings and Lincoln. In 1964 he left the RAF to join Short Bros as Senior Experimental Test Pilot and was later the project pilot for the development and flight testing of Skyvan, and later of the SD3-30, commuter turbo-prop aircraft, on which he undertook maiden flight on 22 August 1974 Also, development test flying on the Belfast freighter, auto-land and 3-engine ferry flight performance
In 1969 he was appointed Chief Test Pilot in succession to Denis Tayler.
1976-79 Retired from Short Bros in 1976 to become Personal Pilot to HRH Prince Mohammed Bin Faisal Al Saud flying an executive HS125 and later a BAC 111 based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
1979-90 He returned to UK to join Air Europe, a new holiday charter company, as a Captain and Training Captain flying the Boeing 737, until retiring at the age of 60 he then joined Channel Express as Captain flying part-time on freight and the night mail flying the Handley Page Herald.