Friday, May 16, 2008

W/Cdr Harry Proctor 'Sandy' Powell AFC 1911-1986

W/Cdr Powell was born in Sussex in 1911 and was educated at Ardingly and at the Camborne School of Mines. After spending some years as aschoolmaster, he joined the RAF in 1936,and trained at No5 FTS at Sealand. On gaining his wings in 1937,he was posted to a light bomber Squadron at Hucknall flying Harts. He flew Blenheims in France at the beginning of the war before being posted to the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down where he served from 1941 to 1943 as a test pilot, flying over 30 types.
He was then appointed as Deputy Commandant of the newly formed Empire Test Pilots School. In 1940, he left Boscombe Down to become Chief test pilot of Air Service Training Ltd,testing Yorks,Spitfires and Mosquitos. After periods of service as Chief Test Pilot at Percival Aircraft and the aviation division of Dunlops, Aviation division, for whom he completed 18months test flying he joined the Aircraft Division of British Lockheeds at Leamington,where he was Sales Manager.

He left flying to pursue the commercial side of Aviation,joining the Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Co at Leamington Spa in 1951.