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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Richard Westgate

Respects to British Airways pilot.

RIP Richard Westgate

Richard Westgate 
passed 2012

My friend Mark shared the following story with me. Mark was set to be today's Friday Flyer, but we shall meet him next week. Today is to honor the life of a pilot.
"We all have all have a dream a vision, that moment, is from the moment we fly solo for first time and, the rush the smile the laugh we have after. I remember mine, and, thoughts of Earl Restorick and his thoughts at time, forever in thoughts."  
Mark Restorik

In memory of... a pilot.
"Richard was born in 1969, one of twins and grew up on a strawberry farm in a small village in Dorset. The farm and country upbringing gave Richard the ability to explore and appreciate nature. Perhaps it was no coincidence that his first interest was ornithology?

From the village school he went to Shaftesbury Grammar school with his twin brother and the competition and rivalry between them propelled them to both excel. Some rather ambitious schoolteachers lead a party out parachute jumping in the last week of term at the end of O-levels, and this was to be Richard’s first taste of flight.

After A-Levels, he went to Sheffield University to read astronomy and astrophysics, but dropped out in the first week as he realised he was the only normal person in the lecture Hall and fell back to zoology, botany and geology, by his own admission a ‘colouring in’ degree but full of regular people. More importantly for Richard, Sheffield was near the Peak District, and he joined the University Hang-gliding club. That soon gave him the chance to try paragliding and he found his calling – free flight
Work wise, he had a list of temporary jobs that didn’t suit him. He tried selling encyclopaedia Britannica, but his only order was cancelled. He trained to be a financial adviser, but was too compassionate for his clients, and didn’t make enough for himself.

In the mean time, he was getting rather good at paragliding, and bought one of the first generation of tandem wings and had started taking a few local, then National and European distance records. His first world record attempt was in 1995 in the South African wilderness, and he achieved 2 World Records for tandem paragliding, for a 200km distance flight and a climb reaching almost 20,000ft.

Despite his farming background, flight was just in his blood, and he knew he had to fly as his career. His Family supported his ambition to obtain his Commercial licence and after 18 months of training, he started with Manx Airlines in 1998. Manx then became Citi Express and was later bought by British Airways to become BA Connect. Richard flew from Manchester, Birmingham and Southampton and gained his command on the Embraer in 2005 before joining Mainline British Airways in 2007, flying the Airbus A320 from London Heathrow. With BA he had stability and was able to purchase his first house in Marlborough, an hours drive from work, but surrounded by stunning paragliding sites.

Time as an airline captain gave him many benefits, enough spending money and time off to follow his real passion, free flight. His 1995 World Record for paragliding distance was soon broken, so he organised expeditions to get it back, and succeeded not once, but twice, in 2000 in Brazil (220km) and 2006 in South Africa (356km). Richard also gained 2 more distance World Records, for flights to a defined goal in 2000, to make 5 FAI records in total. His records for height gain and free distance still stand today.

Richard believed that success could not be bought, but came from hard work, his paraglider success was largely a function of his tireless enthusiasm to lead from the front and push the boundaries of what was possible. He believed that every task had a critical mass and those who flew with him made his own goals easier to achieve." (The details of Richard's story and photos were pulled from his RIP facebook page)
"May you, Richard be fl 000 and a heaven we aviators dream, and respect for those that still show their path in contrails and in looking up, for my thoughts also very with you and those that still, my head raised in salute to all, bon chance."
"After a medical examination Richard westgate's symptoms showed "he were of an individual who has latter stages of multiple sclerosis based on, nerve numbness, limb and mental function."
Toxic fumes in the Airplane

"In, the topical news magazine "tonight: itv, the parents along with scientific/ specialists, the parents openly spoke of, their son Richard aged 43.  The Queens coroner for oxfordshire, sheriff Stanhope - payne presiding, opened, and adjourned, the case pending investigations, and release/ allow burial cremation...

To date, sheriff Stanhope - payne, has based on testimony from former and current aircrew, and passengers, has sent warrants to the c.a.a. and British Airways. The warrants for, evidence, are based on alarming / dangerous episodes that, have, or, likely to cause, death or emergency, on this case both c.a.a. and B.A. refused to reply" 

Fume evens are extremely rare?

The coroner sheriff Stanhope- Payne, has not completed, his investigation, and that, investigations are on going through scientific research....

Looking for Stories

As you can see the litigation is still underway as to why Richard passed. But today we shall remember how he lived... with love and passion.  And the family is looking for stories to share with his Godchildren and nephews. If you knew Richard and have something to contribute... you can contact the family HERE.
 Rest In Peace Richard!

Enjoy the Journey, 
You never know if it will be cut short!
XO Karlene

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