It is with deep regret that I write to inform you of the death of Louis McQuade ( RAF S/ Ldr retired), HHA’s former Head of Flying. Louis died unexpectedly yesterday, 26th September 2015 from a suspected heart attack whilst out jogging.
He was one of life’s greats – a wonderful friend and colleague, loyal, honourable, tenacious with great wit and unwavering generosity.
Louis was a consummate fighter pilot with an unquenchable passion for aviation. After leaving the RAF (where he flew Hawk, F4, F18 and F3), he joined Cathay Pacific flying the Boeing 747-400 and 777, but continued his involvement with fast jets initially through OFMC and then HHA. His contribution to HHA, especially in the early years, was immense and many will remember him from the numerous displays he gave in the Hunter. Behind the public scenes, he was instrumental in managing HHA’s initial transition to flight ops on the military register, which, given his aversion to paperwork, was a challenge he nevertheless accepted. More recently, his advice with regard to operations involving HHA’s latest platform was measured and full of infectious enthusiasm.
It is somewhat ironic that he died on the same calendar day as his great friend, Mark Hanna, and I’m sure that there will be many a yarn told as they meet at the Pearly Gates!
Our thoughts are with his wife Penny and children Louis Jr, Phil and Meg. Also heartfelt condolences to Pat, his mother, and his brothers and sisters.
Further details pertaining to funeral arrangements will be published in due course.
27th Sept 2015
Following the tragic accident involving the “Canfield Hunter Ltd” owned Hunter T7 G-BXFI at Shoreham on Saturday 22nd August 2015, HHA staff have received numerous requests to comment on the crash. We understand that the AAIB investigation has commenced. Until the facts from this AAIB investigation are known it would be inappropriate to make any comment concerning this matter.
The HHA fleet of aircraft, which is used for various Aerial Support activities on behalf of the Defence Community, is operated on the UK Military register. The Military Type Airworthiness Authority has not imposed any restrictions on the normal operation of military registered Hunter Mk58 aircraft, which are exempt from the CAA temporary grounding order affecting civil registered Hunter aircraft. HHA’s Safety Management, Maintenance and Operating procedures are compliant with Military Aviation Authority regulations and mirror those found within the rest of the MoD aviation community. The MK 58 Hunter is a substantially different design from the type involved in the recent tragic accident at Shoreham which did not involve either HHA aircraft or crew.”
Our thoughts are with all those and their families directly affected by this tragic event.