Goodbye Pete

It was with great sadness that we conducted the funeral of our friend and colleague Peter Gray in January. On Tuesday I joined members of Pete’s family at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. The Centre had long been a major part of Pete’s life, in particular their Lancaster, Just Jane. Pete had volunteered and assisted at the centre for many years, so we had arranged to have his ashes scattered in the propeller wash of the Lancaster on the first taxy day of the year. Unfortunately the aircraft could not taxy on the day due to maintenance issues, but they were still able to run her engines. Mr Panton, one of the brothers who started the museum, personally escorted Pete’s wife and daughter to the rear of the aircraft while the pilot revved the port outer engine. Pete’s ashes were released into the powerful blast from the propeller to be scattered over the airfield. It was a perfect way to say goodbye to a good friend.

Are you messing with us, Pete?

The video shows the third attempt to start the port outer engine, the one being used to scatter Pete’s ashes. It did feel as if he was having a bit of fun at our expense.