September 19, 1977 began much the same as any other day. Based on the Welsh island of Anglesey, at Valley, was 4 Flying Training School. The busy training station was in the process of changing over from the Folland Gnat and the Hawker Hunter to the new advanced trainer, the Hawker Siddeley Hawk.

I was lucky to have the job of Officer Commanding the Standards Squadron. My responsibilities called for me to fly all three types concurrently, a fantastic privilege, albeit an extremely demanding one.

My first trip of the day had been a practice instrument rating test in a shiny new Hawk T.1 for one of the qualified flying instructors (QFIs) who was in the process of converting to the aircraft. The second trip was in a Gnat as a routine standards check on another QFI, Mike. It was to be flown as a close formation exercise with a second Gnat flown solo by Bill.

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