Eric caught the flying ‘Bug’ aged 10 in a Fox Moth over Cleethorpes.
At 18, in the ATC, he had his first flying experience in the rear turret of a Lancaster. From there, at the RAF recruiting office, he was accepted for pilot training and in 1943 gained his ‘Wings’ in Canada.
Eventually he found himself flying Lincolns at RAF Hemswell in March 1952.
In early 1954 four pilots were chosen from his Squadron to replicate flying sequences for the Dambusters Film. Although experienced in formation flying, he found the prospect of very low altitude flying daunting. Most of his Lancaster flights were in NX673 painted to represent Micky Martin’s P-Popsie.
In 2005 the publication of “Filming the Dambusters” by Jonathan Falconer sparked new interest and led Eric to fundraise for RAFBF. Giving talks at schools/groups, signing books/paintings at Air Shows and other venues raised money to support the Bomber Command Memorial in London and the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.
During this time, he gave talks alongside Sqn Ldr George “Johnny” Johnson, and they became friends.
On one occasion he was invited to talk at a Service in Lincoln Cathedral (YouTube)
To celebrate his 90th Birthday Eric flew several ‘Runs’ down the Derwent Dam alongside a private pilot friend.