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This profile was last updated on 10/28/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Employment History

  • General Manager
    Royal Navy Historic Flight
  • Junior Mechanical Engineer
    Royal Navy Historic Flight
  • Flight Commander
    Royal Navy Historic Flight
35 Total References
Web References
John Beattie awarded Air Pilots ..., 28 Oct 2014 [cached]
John Beattie awarded Air Pilots display Trophy
First Posted: Tue 28 Oct 2014
Royal Navy Historic Flight stalwart John Beattie has been awarded the Honourable Company of Air Pilots Hanna Trophy, for An outstanding contribution to the art of display flying of fighter aircraft, and more than 40 years of display flying.
John subsequently led the renowned Sharks helicopter display team, before joining the Royal Navy Historic Flight in 1986, displaying their Swordfish, Firefly AS.5 and both the Sea Fury FB.11 and T.20. He took over as the Flight Commander of RNHF in 1991 where he remained until he retired from the Royal Navy in 1994. After life in the RN, John took up a career with the airlines, but this never deterred him from display flying and as an experienced display aerobatic examiner, John continues to use his extensive knowledge to mentor many civilian display acts whilst remaining an active display pilot of both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. The Air Pilots Awards are regarded as particularly prestigious as they are awarded by pilots to fellow pilots and John is the perfect recipient, said Dorothy Saul-Pooley, Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.
John Beattie awarded Air Pilots display Trophy
Royal Navy Historic Flight - News, 23 Dec 2006 [cached]
Miraculously the propeller immediately in front suffered no damage! [© John Beattie]
Operating out of Yeovilton for the event, Lt Cdr Paul Stone RNR in the Sea Fury and Lt Chris Gotke in the Sea Hawk were joined by the Shuttleworth Collection's Sea Hurricane IB Z7015, flown by Keith Dennison, and none other than John Beattie, in his spare-time role, flying Kennet Aviation's newly restored Seafire F.17 SX336.
Ralph Patel (left) of AHA Events presents the cheque to RNHF General Manager John Beattie in front of the RNHF's Chipmunk
All these aircraft will be on display at this year's Yeovilton Air Day on Saturday 8 July", says RNHF's General Manager, John Beattie.
Team, 14 Mar 2009 [cached]
John Beattie General Manager
John Beattie - General Manager
John Beattie joined the Royal Navy in 1959 as a junior mechanical engineer, transferring to flying duties in 1968 and training on the Chipmunk T.10, Hiller 12E, Whirlwind HAS.7 before graduating to the Wessex HU.5 as a Commando Pilot in 1970. Types flown include the Wasp HAS.1, Gazelle HT.2, Lynx HAS.2 and Sea King HC.4 with a first display occurring in 1973 with a Scout AH.1 whilst on an exchange tour with the Army Air Corps in Germany. As Senior Pilot of 705 NAS he led "The Sharks" helicopter display team in 1982 with Gazelle HT.2.
In 1979 John returned to the Chipmunk again with air experience and glider tugging, accruing enough tailwheel hours over the next seven years to impress the fixed wing ,trapper' (Naval Standard Flight examiner) into allowing him to fly the Fairey Swordfish. Beginning with the ,Fish in 1986, this led on to flying Fairey Firefly AS.5 WB271 in 1987 and both of the Sea Furies - FB.11 TF956 and T.20 WG655 - in 1988. Despite a tour at RNAS Portland and a year at RNAS Culdrose flying the Jetstream T.2s of 750 NAS, John maintained his RNHF flying and came "home" to RNAS Yeovilton in 1991 to take over as Commanding Officer of Heron Flt Jetstreams and the RNHF. These posts he retained until leaving the Royal Navy in 1994. After ten years of flying freight and charter airline companies, John returned to join the by-now civilianised RNHF in January 2004 to relieve Brian Wood as the General Manager.
John is married with two grown children and lives in Yeovil.
John Beattie has been a ... [cached]
John Beattie has been a stalwart of the UK Air Display circuit for over 40 years with his first display occurring in 1973 whilst on an exchange tour with the Army Air Corps flying the Scout AH.1. As the Senior Pilot of 705 Naval Air Squadron, he led the renowned Sharks Helicopter Display Team in 1982 flying the Gazelle HT.2.
Having not had his fill of display flying, John joined the Royal Navy Historic Flight (RNHF) in 1986, having already accrued a large number of tail-wheel hours flying Chipmunks while aero-towing for the RN Gliding Clubs since 1979. An initial season displaying the Swordfish in 1986 subsequently led to him stepping into the Firefly AS.5 in 1987 and both the Sea Fury FB.11 and T.20 in 1988. He took over as the Flight Commander of RNHF in 1991 where he remained until he retired from the Royal Navy in 1994.
After life in the RN John took up a career with the airlines, but this never deterred him from display flying and throughout the nineties and even currently he can be seen displaying historic Rotary and Fixed Wing aircraft at air displays all over the UK.
He returned to the RNHF in 2004 as the civilian General Manager and as a mentor for the RNHF pilots following the tragic loss of the Firefly and its crew in a display accident the previous year. John eventually retired in 2009, but continues to mentor RNHF pilots whilst displaying Warbirds as Chief Pilot of Kennet Aviation and other historic collections when asked.
John has made a significant contribution to the RNHF over the years, but particularly in the last decade, both as the General Manager and now as a pilot mentor. As a mentor he generously gives up his time to fly with all the pilots on a regular basis allowing them to benefit from his extensive experience and wisdom. He has also facilitated the use of civilian aircraft such as the Piston Provost, Jet Provost, T6 Texan and his own Chipmunk on a regular basis, all of which have been invaluable. Combined with John's continued coaching and encouragement this allows the pilots to safely make the transition from the Chipmunk to the Swordfish and ultimately the Sea Fury, or Sea Hawk, thus ensuring the pilots are suitably qualified to display historic aircraft to the general public in a safe manner.
Over the past few years John (along with his co-owner) has generously allowed the RNHF the use of his Chipmunk for continuation training when the Flight's Chipmunk has been unavailable for engineering reasons. This comes at considerable personal financial cost to John as the RNHF do not pay him for the hours used and since October 2013 to May 2014, RNHF pilots have flown 60 hours (half the RNHF annual Chipmunk allocation) on his aeroplane alone. Without this unwavering support, the RNHF would find it incredibly difficult to operate safely.
As an experienced DAE he has utilised his extensive knowledge to mentor many civilian display acts whilst remaining an active display pilot. At displays he is always keen to engage with the general public, (the raison d'être for display flying after all) by showing them the aeroplanes up close and answering many questions. He can often be observed allowing little boys and girls as well as not so little boys and girls to sit in the cockpits of these rare machines making aeroplane noises, pretending they are wheeling it through the skies just for a moment. It makes one wonder how many of those little boys or girls have become, or are going to become pilots after that momentary encounter with John at an Air Show somewhere.
Dawlish Carnival Airshow 2008 Review By UK Airshow Review, 1 Jan 2008 [cached]
The first such movement was scheduled for 1030 and came by way of John Beattie, Royal Navy Historic Flight's General Manager, in a privately owned Wasp HAS1. Despite the fact the aircraft would be parking on the Warren, John had been suitably briefed about the presence of the photographers on the hill and he positioned himself and the aircraft beautifully for those present.
John Beattie then put the Wasp through her paces, even finding the time to pay us another welcome visit.
An unscheduled participant making a couple of passes in his airborne office was Flt Lt Leon Creese, the inaugural 45(R)Sqn King Air Display Pilot. Unfortunately he wasn't able to run through the full routine, but it was nice to see him making an appearance on his way back from RAF Valley's photocall.
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