Martin "Jack" London

Although not Army related, I wanted to express my deepest condolences to the family of Lt Cdr Jack London RN who sadly died yesterday when his Sea Harrier went in on take-off from RAF Wittering.

Jack had recently been awarded the Queens Commendation for Bravery in the Air (QCBA) for piloting his Harrier and returning to his ship when the canopy exploded in-flight. His bravery had recently been featured in a BBC documentary where he was interviewed and spoke eloquently of his love of flying and his desire to remain a pilot rather than climb the promotion ladder.

Jack joined the FAA, initially as a rotary-wing pilot and later became a QHI. He transferred to the Sea Harrier where he became one of the Navy's senior Harrier pilots and instructors.

Jack is survived by his wife and son.




Thank you for your kind words.  Out of interest, any particular reason that you felt moved to post?  You are right this is an Army Aviation page and not very many Army Aviators would have flown or known of Jack London.

However, the flying world is extremely close and when someone does have an accident, injury or unfortunately die we all spend a little amount of time looking inwards and saying'"there go I for the grace of God etc".  We will always banter each other, boardering on the puerile and rude Crabs will always be Crabs, Fisheads etc etc etc....but when any aircraft piles in it hits us all.

I did fly with Jack.  He was as good as everyone said however he was not a gobby show off that one perceives 'fast jet jockeys' to be.  I have spoken to some Fishead mates at Yeovilton and apparently the place is in shock......people just can't believe it.

The good news is that the 'stude' in the back made it ok (and any Martin Baker ejection has the potential of screwing your life up).

Thanks Woopert for your thoughts, I don't know what your background is etc, but believe it or not us aviators do have the same bond and ethos as you and if ever your MBT took an enemy HESH round or your patrol needed CASEVACing from a minefield, you can bet your bottom dollar that all pilots, of all 3 Services would try their hardest to get you home safely.
I'm a qual'd RW pilot though no longer (directly) involved with AAvn and badged RLC but still flying EC135/120B when the opportunity presents itself.

I didn't know Jack, but the circumstances of his sad demise warranted comment within the community which would appreciate the inherent dangers and thrills of what Jack did.

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