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I am sure many of you have now heard of the tragic loss of Graham White in an aircraft accident just off the coast of Moruya on Sunday the 6th of July.

 

Graham was involved in the training of an enormous number of budding aviators, so I am sure that his friends in this industry are spread far and wide across the globe.

 

I have started this thread (and another here on PPRuNe) with the hope that people use it to share some of their memories of Graham, or to express their condolences to his family, especially if they are unable to make his funeral (of which I have no details yet). I realise there is another thread on the accident, but I just wanted to start one specific to Graham.

 

I will compile and print out what is written here and pass it on to his family at his funeral.

 

Regards

 

Jex

 

 

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Good onya Jex. What a nice thing to do. Grahams loss will be felt for years to come, there are very few of his kind left.

 

A humble, quietly spoken, gentleman Instructor. Of all the flying I did with him, he would not take a payment. I insisted several times but out of respect to a fellow instructor, would not take a cent.

 

I can sum up Grahams personality with one quick story,

 

A friend of mine was booked to do her CPL flight test with Graham, some years ago. She was incredibly nervous, like literally shaking in her boots.

 

I pulled Graham aside and explained that she was probably not going to perform well while she was so nervous. He just smiled and told her to add 20 minutes of fuel to the flight plan.

 

They took off and returned some hours later. She passed with flying colours and I asked her what the extra fuel was for, she replied " before we started the test he took me whale watching, and the dolphins were running up the coast, it was awesome to see...."

 

Later I thanked him for his efforts to calm her ( which worked a treat I might add) and his reply will stay with me forever, he said:

 

" Mate, never ever forget why you are here. Never forget what brings people to your school, its the love of being in the air. Never lose sight of that, it doesnt matter if its a TIF or a CPL test, never forget how cool flying is."

 

Thanks for everything Graham. God speed mate...

 

 

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Over the many years and many, many people he has taught/flown with, I'm sure there are thousands of stories involving Graham.

 

I will always remember my PPL test. Sheldon (current Moruya Aero Club CP) was in Moruya for a couple weeks doing his instructor training and instead of sitting around the Aero Club, Graham asked if he wanted to ride along in the back seat. We flew from Moruya, touch & go at Wollongong, then my first ever landing at Bankstown , over to Goulburn and back to Moruya.

 

I was worried about navigating my way into and out of Bankstown, having only ever seen Sydney from the ground a dozen or so times. Listening to Graham's calm voice explain where everything was made things a lot less stressful in the cockpit ... he was always so calm and collected ... and I found Bankstown!!!

 

For a few years I spent almost every weekend at the Aero Club and Graham was always happy to come in early or stay late to explain things I had trouble with or just have a chat. He had a knack of easily explaining things that I couldn't understand from other instructors. Graham helped to make my aviation experience an enjoyable one and he taught me a lot. As I said in the other thread, he will be sorely missed by the aviation community.

 

 

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When taking off from 05 at Moruya with Graham he once said to me "can we turn crosswind before we get to New Zealand?"

 

Graham once asked me if I could ferry the Gazelle to Merimbula for maintenance, when I asked what the maintenance was for he said "it has wing rot and no one else wants to fly it" for about 2 seconds I believed him

 

On one occasion I arrived at Moruya airport to find there were several fire trucks on the field, when I asked him why they were there he told me that he had informed them that I would be flying and they were just taking precautions, it was of course an exercise. I really enjoyed his dry sense of humor.

 

and this from my wife who spent plenty of time hanging round Moruya whilst I was having lessons and later my regular passenger -

 

What sticks in my mind is that he always assumed I might be interested in the details of what you were doing/learning, despite my being a non-pilot. He included me in the conversation - when it's often easy to become 'invisible' if you aren't seen as part of the secret society. It probably spoke of his many many years of experience teaching people of all kinds to fly.

 

I feel so lucky to have been trained by him and he will be missed by so many.

 

 

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I had the pleasure of knowing Graham for many years. He was truly a man of the air and a pilot's pilot never forgetting the attraction of flight personally and for all who flew.

 

In his younger days he very much looked up to those who came before him and then in turn he took on the same role for those who followed.

 

I was one of those followers.

 

Graham's insistance on the highest standards was his trademark and with this he provided a benchmark for all.

 

At another level his personal counsel was pure gold especially when my own career progressed amazingly to the stage where other pilots saw me as a source of knowledge and wisdom ... a weighty role indeed but one made easier by Graham.

 

Australian aviation is much poorer with Graham's loss.

 

His amazing skill, knowledge and wide experience will be sadly missed.

 

Thanks mate.

 

 

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Good onya Jex. What a nice thing to do. Grahams loss will be felt for years to come, there are very few of his kind left.A humble, quietly spoken, gentleman Instructor. Of all the flying I did with him, he would not take a payment. I insisted several times but out of respect to a fellow instructor, would not take a cent.

I can sum up Grahams personality with one quick story,

 

A friend of mine was booked to do her CPL flight test with Graham, some years ago. She was incredibly nervous, like literally shaking in her boots.

 

I pulled Graham aside and explained that she was probably not going to perform well while she was so nervous. He just smiled and told her to add 20 minutes of fuel to the flight plan.

 

They took off and returned some hours later. She passed with flying colours and I asked her what the extra fuel was for, she replied " before we started the test he took me whale watching, and the dolphins were running up the coast, it was awesome to see...."

 

Later I thanked him for his efforts to calm her ( which worked a treat I might add) and his reply will stay with me forever, he said:

 

" Mate, never ever forget why you are here. Never forget what brings people to your school, its the love of being in the air. Never lose sight of that, it doesnt matter if its a TIF or a CPL test, never forget how cool flying is."

 

Thanks for everything Graham. God speed mate...

Andy, they are precious words from the heart mate, nicely posted and the sentiments of many, i'm sure.

 

Obviously he will be sadly missed by so very many.

 

So sad to hear.

 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could simply wind the clock back, to even be able to ask for a bit of advise.

 

Take care,

 

Planey

 

 

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Graham's family have advised that his funeral will be held on Friday 18th July in the Bulli/Wollongong area. There will be a formation fly-over and Graham's son-in-law will be flying Graham’s RV4.

 

I'll post more details as they become available.

 

Jex.

 

 

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Graham spent more than one evening discussing instructing techniques with me and another instructor at our school, after spending all day with his own students. He helped immensely, freely, joyfully and with passion! I always enjoyed him calling out to Temora, dropping in for a coffee, he would always bring something to eat so we could spend more time talking about flying.

 

I was privileged to gain a formation endorsement with him, and loved his stories about flying not just all over the country, but all over the world.

 

I can't believe he is really gone, but he has left a great big hole in the world with his passing.

 

My thoughts are with his daughter and son in law, and his family, not just by blood but in the wider aviation community.

 

We have lost a great pilot, instructor and friend.

 

Fly on Graham!

 

 

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Here are the details for Graham's funeral:

 

Date: 18 July 2014

 

Time: 11am

 

Place: Sandon Point SLSC, Point St, Sandon Point.

 

All are welcome to attend.

 

Jex

 

 

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Funeral Details

 

Graham's family have announced updated times for Graham's funeral:

 

10:00am: Memorial service

 

10:30am: Fly past

 

Funeral service to be held once fly past pilots return.

 

Jex

 

 

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Colin Cool Was heard to say

 

12 July at 17:01

 

Folks

 

Here is the latest on the arrangements for next Friday from Bec, Graham’s daughter.

 

A memorial service for the late Graham David White will be held at 10am on Friday 18th July 2014 at Sandon Point SLSC, Point St, Sandon Point, Bulli.

 

All are welcome to attend.

 

A fly past will occur at 10:30am. Service will commence pending pilot return. The fly past will be arranged by Paul Smith and Sheldon Jones. Any pilots are welcome to be part of this. Please email [email protected] with details of your desired involvement/number of planes etc. Some may wish to arrange their own formation.

 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

 

The Catalina Flying Memorial Ltd

 

BSB 012 172

 

Account: 837026202

 

All donations will be used to continue Catalina restoration project, a project that was dear to Dad's heart.

 

Bec & Paul, Adam & Rachel would like to thank all for the ongoing love and support through this difficult time.

 

 

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I only learned of Graham's passing today. He was a friend, and I flew my first solo under his instruction. He was a wonderful instructor and pilot, and an even better human being. I considered him a good friend. I stayed at his place in the Blue Mountains (back in the day) several times and got to know him and his family and he got to know mine. I got to know his kids when they were still kids.

 

Over the years we fell out of touch, but I always planned to catch up with him again. One day. It saddens me beyond belief that I will not be able to do that now. Godspeed, Graham! Rest in peace, my friend. It was an honour to know you.

 

 

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