It seems only yesterday…

It was in a CASA 2.111, the Spanish-built, Merlin-engined version of the Heinkel He 111, that Neil Williams lost his life 40 years ago. Following on from last month’s tribute, Neil’s brother Lynn recalls the great pilot’s long-distance ferrying exploits in these aircraft — and December 1977’s tragic final flight

Neil Williams flying CASA 2.111B N99230 out of Blackbushe, prior to its October 1977 delivery flight to Texas. This aircraft is today preserved in the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison.

On the fateful morning of 11 December 1977, the rugged mountain slopes of the mist-shrouded Sierra de Guadarrama north of Madrid resonated to the deep growl of powerful aero engines. Local reports stated that an aeroplane was seen briefly before disappearing into the mist, the rumble of its big V12s fading into the distance. The time was 09.45hrs.

So passed four souls.

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