Record-setting British pilot Eric 'Winkle' Brown dies at 97

LONDON -- Eric "Winkle" Brown, a British pilot who flew more kinds of aircraft than anyone in history and was the first person to land a jet on an aircraft carrier, has died.

See Full Article

He was 97.

Brown's family said he died Sunday at a hospital in southern England after a short illness.

Often dubbed Britain's greatest pilot, Brown holds the world record for the most types of aircraft flown -- 487 -- and for the most carrier deck landings, at 2,407.

Nicknamed Winkle -- short for periwinkle -- because of his relatively short 5 foot 7 inch (1.7 metre) height, Edinburgh-born Brown was a soft-spoken man who described himself as "a strange mixture of an academic and a cowboy." His daring extended beyond the cockpit; in his youth he took a job as a circus Wall of Death rider, doing circuits on a motorcycle with a lion in the sidecar.

He flew fighter planes with the Fleet Air Arm during World War II, surviving the 1941 torpedoing of the ship he was based on as fighter protection for North Atlantic convoys.

He was present at the April 1945 liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, and at war's end was tasked with flying advanced planes captured from the Germans. The job included flying a rocket-powered Messerschmitt Me 163B-1a Komet -- an experience that Brown recalled last year was "like being in charge of a runaway train."

In December 1945 he landed a de Havilland Sea Vampire on the deck of HMS Ocean, the first jet landing on an aircraft carrier.

Brown had studied German at university and taught in the country in the 1930s, and after the war interrogated senior Nazis including Hermann Goring and Heinrich Himmler.

He was the Royal Navy's most decorated pilot. First Sea Lord George Zambellas, the head of the navy, said Brown was "the most accomplished test pilot of his generation, and perhaps of all time."

Tweeting from the International Space Station, British astronaut Tim Peake called the pilot "a true inspiration."

Brown is survived by his partner, Jean Kelly Brown, and son Glen.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Asian carp found near Lake Michigan got past barriers

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Officials say an Asian carp found in a Chicago waterway this summer apparently got past an electric barrier system intended to prevent the invasive fish from reaching the Great Lakes. The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee says an autopsy shows the 4-year-old male silver carp originated in the Illinois/Middle Mississippi watershed. Source
  • Demand for eclipse glasses outpaces supply

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Ali Van Orman is still looking for specialized glasses to protect her family's eyes during Monday's solar eclipse because she never counted on demand totally eclipsing supply. She tried to buy a coveted pair of solar eclipse glasses for herself and two children from Amazon back in July, but the hot commodities wouldn't have arrived in time. Source
  • Reduced speeds for right whales prompts surcharge for Oceanex Montreal-St. John's route

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Due to new rules brought in by the federal government in an attempt to protect an unusual number of endangered right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Oceanex has introduced a temporary surcharge for vessel operations between St. Source
  • NASA launches last of its longtime tracking satellites

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA launched the last of its longtime tracking and communication satellites on Friday, a vital link to astronauts in orbit as well as the Hubble Space Telescope. The end of the era came with a morning liftoff of TDRS-M, the 13th satellite in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite network. Source
  • NASA marking 40 years since Voyager spacecraft launches

    Tech & Science CTV News
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Forty years after blasting off, Earth's most distant ambassadors -- the twin Voyager spacecraft -- are carrying sounds and music of our planet ever deeper into the cosmos. Think of them as messages in bottles meant for anyone -- or anything -- out there. Source
  • Digital vigilantism after Charlottesville: Get ready for more naming and shaming

    Tech & Science CBC News
    In many ways, last weekend's rally in Charlottesville, Va., was a chilling throwback to an era most people had hoped we'd moved on from, one in which racists were emboldened to march in the streets, denouncing the lives and rights of others through violence and angry chants, yelling, "White lives matter" and "Jews will not replace us. Source
  • Solar eclipse myth-busting: Facts and fiction behind nature's stunning event

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Have you heard that it's safe to look at an eclipse through sunglasses? Or that radiation during one could be dangerous for unborn children? Don't believe it. Solar eclipses aren't your run-of-the-mill event: while they occur about once every 18 months, the same location may not experience one for many years. Source
  • Hundreds of birds injured by kites on Indian independence day

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW DELHI - The annual tradition of flying kites over the Indian capital on Independence Day takes a painful toll on birds that fall victim to their razor-sharp strings. Workers at the Charity Birds Hospital see it happen every year - mostly to pigeons but also to crows, eagles and parrots. Source
  • Neuroscientist who studied Einstein's brain dies at 90

    Tech & Science CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- A founder of modern neuroscience who studied Einstein's brain has died. The University of California, Berkeley says Marian Cleeves Diamond was 90 when she died July 25 at her home in Oakland. Source
  • Marian Cleeves Diamond, who studied Albert Einstein's brain, dead at 90

    Tech & Science CTV News
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- Marian Cleeves Diamond, a neuroscientist who studied Albert Einstein's brain and was one of the first to show that the brain can improve with enrichment, has died. The University of California, Berkeley, where Diamond was a professor emerita of integrative biology, confirmed Diamond died July 25 at her home in Oakland, California. Source