News Item

Paul Hickley

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Paul Hickley FRIN on 7 January.

Paul was a RAF navigator, mainly on Vulcan, Canberra and Andover aircraft, with over 6,500 flying hours. He was a graduate of the RAF GD Aerosystems course - the navigation equivalent of being a test pilot - and held various RAF staff and management appointments, including leading the MOD’s aeronautical chart production department. He had also been deeply involved with the practical collection of intelligence data at the time of the Berlin air corridors.

On leaving the RAF in 1992, he joined Hunting Aviation, retiring as Flight Operations Manager in 1998. He then joined Oxford Aviation Academy as an instructor, retiring as Head of Modular Ground Training in 2009. He was an accomplished public speaker at all levels, specialising in historical technically-orientated aviation subjects.

Paul had been an Institute Member for 17 years, and a Fellow since 2010. He was a private pilot and very active member of the General Aviation Navigation Group (GANG) and Technical Committees and led the Civil & Military Aviation Group (CMAG). In this latter role, he originated a proposal for all civil aircraft to drop the use of magnetic bearings in favour of using a true reference; his paper was adopted by the International Association of Institutes of Navigation (IAIN) and has been formally submitted to ICAO.

Last year Paul had a hard-cover book published - 'Holding to the Heavens: The History of Sixty Squadron RAF 1916-2016.' A beautifully presented work, the book is a fitting tribute to a fine author.

Aged 72, Paul was in hospital for a routine operation when he died. He had so much more to give and will be greatly missed by many in the Institute and even more so by his wife, Anthea, and family, to whom we pass heartfelt condolences.

Paul's funeral will take place at 1200 on Friday 27 January at St Peter and Paul Church, The Square, Blockley, GL56 9ES. Institute members and friends are invited to the service and to a following light buffet lunch at the Manor House Hotel, High St, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0LJ - within walking distance of Moreton station. If planning to attend, please email Paul and Anthea's daughter, Catherine (

The associated JustGiving link is below . .

  • 09 January 2017
  • RIN

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