Retirement of an Exceptional Pilot
John Preece joined the Royal Air Force for National Service in 1954 as a pilot and after serving as a Fighter Pilot and an RAF Pilot during the making of the film ‘The Battle of Britain’, flying Spitfires, Hurricanes and ME 109s at RAF Duxford, John became a Test Pilot working for the British Aircraft Corporation. Following this he joined Marshall of Cambridge on 1 January 1975 as a Test Pilot and Deputy Airport Manager. Although he retired from Marshall after a relatively short period of 13 years in order to work for the Mission Aviation Fellowship, a Christian Organisation providing flying service in third world countries, he returned to Cambridge in 1995 and continued as a Flying Instructor with the Cambridge Aero Club. This continued until his retirement at the end of 2011, when he reached the age of 75. During his time with Marshall of Cambridge John has flown over 5,000 instructional hours with the Cambridge Aero Club and altogether in 56 years of professional flying has flown 12,750 hours on over 50 different types of aircraft.
Sir Michael Marshall met with John Preece in the Control Building at Marshall of Cambridge on Thursday 29 March to wish him a happy retirement.
Sir Michael Marshal said: “John’s flying career has really been quite remarkable and he has provided long and distinguished service to aviation over an extraordinarily long period. Of particular note and significance to Marshall of Cambridge is that John completed the first air-to-air refuelling trials of the Hercules aircraft in 1982, when in a record-breaking 19 days the Company converted the Hercules to receive fuel in flight, which enabled it to take part in the operations in the South Atlantic in the Falklands Conflict almost exactly 30 years ago.”
Pictured: John Preece and Sir Michael Marshall
For further information contact:
Group Support Executive
The Marshall Group of Companies
The Airport, Newmarket Road
Cambridge, CB5 8RX
Tel: 01223 373227 (Office)./ 07785 316763 (mobile)
This story was published on Tuesday 20th March 2012