Calum Young, MBE: Norfolk pilot’s aerobatic displays for the Queen

A pilot who twice performed aerobatic displays for the Queen has died peacefully aged 84 at his West Norfolk home.

In a career spanning five decades, Calum Young flew 27 types of aircraft from fighters to helicopters on rescue missions to civil jets.

He was appointed MBE in the 1967 New Year's Honours for supporting the United Nations peacekeeping effort in Cyprus.

Born on February 3, 1927 in Doune, Stirlingshire, and always known as Calum, Malcolm Morrison Young was fascinated by flying from the age of four. He applied to join the RAF before his 15th birthday but had to wait a further year. He became one of Lord Trenchard's 'brats' as an RAF apprentice, training as an aircraft fitter. As a 16-year-old bugler with RAF Holton band, he played the Last Post at the Cenotaph.

Posted to Scotland and then as an 18-year-old to Egypt, he was always keen on sport and represented the RAF at pole vaulting. In 1950, he joined 11 Squadron as a Sgt Pilot at RAF Wunstorf, Germany, where he went on to perform solo and formation aerobatics.


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Commissioned in 1953, he was posted to 66 Squadron, Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire. Then in 1956, he took part in his first of two Battle of Britain displays, flying solo aerobatics before the Queen. He also served at RAF Horsham St Faiths, Norwich, and also RAF West Raynham. A posting in November 1967 to 22 Search and Rescue Squadron also had its lighter moments, when Cliff Richard visited to film one of his summer holiday programmes, much to the enjoyment of his daughters.

Flt Lieut Young left the RAF after 30 years. He then gained his civil licence and joined the world's largest helicopter company, Bristows, in Nigeria, ferrying crews around Africa. In late 1973, he was grounded because of health concerns.

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But about five years later, he became the first pilot to regain his Civil Aviation Authority licence after a heart condition. However, he was not allowed to fly solo. His final years were spent flying senior executives or on charter work until he was 65.

With his second wife, Anne, they retired to her home village of Walpole Cross Keys in December 1992, where he became involved in community activities including the village hall.

He leaves a widow, Anne, and he is survived by three daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at Walpole St Peter's Church on Friday, November 11 at 2.15pm.

Michael Pollitt

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