HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

9th April 2021

It is with great sadness that we report the death HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was a former Chairman and President of the Royal Aero Club.

Prince Philip served two terms as Chairman of the Royal Aero Club (the most recent term being 1971-72) and had also served as President. He was also Patron of the Society of Model Aeronautical Engineers (now trading as BMFA) and despite relinquishing many of his patronages when he stepped back from public duties in recent years, he remained in place as their patron for a remarkable 64 years.  He had also served as President of the British Gliding Association, Patron of the Air League and Honorary President of the Royal Aeronautical Society.  

Prince Philip was a long-term aviation enthusiast, gaining his RAF wings in 1953 having been taught by Group Captain Caryl Gordon who had led the CFS Meteor Aerobatic Team in the 1950s.  He also qualified as a helicopter pilot with the Royal Navy in 1956 and was awarded his private pilots licence in 1959.
Many members of the Royal Family have flown solo during their training with the RAF or Royal Navy, but Prince Philip is the only one to have flown a civil aircraft solo. This he did in October 1959 when he flew a Turbulent from White Waltham. This was a significant occasion because it is the only time a member of the Royal Family has flown a single seat aircraft.
He flew 5,986 hours in 59 types of aircraft, his final flight at the age of 76 was on 11th August 1997 from Carlisle to Islay. 
Prince Philip held a lunch for the Chairmen of the RAeC Member Associations in February 2015, where he was exceptionally well briefed about those attending and proved to be a truly convivial host.  Whilst those in attendance enjoyed the flow of wine during the lunch, Prince Philip’s drink of choice was a glass of brown ale!
We are sure that all members will join us if offering our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen (our patron) and the Royal Family at this sad time.
Picture - Prince Philip with the Chairmen of the RAeC Member Associations in 2015
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