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Flingwing206 - Memorial Thread

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Like a lot of other people here I never met the man in person, but his posts were always good and thought-provoking reading. My condolences go out to the family - I can't imagine what you are going through but I know that "Fling" had a bunch of friends and kindred souls here and on PPRune - he was respected by everyone in both forums I think..

 

Based on what I saw in a Powerpoint set of photos that Fling had posted, he truly loved what he did. As a far-away observer, I take some comfort in that.

 

Blue skies, Fling.

 

 

Dave Blevins

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:(

 

I first met John at HAI when we were both taking our CFI and CFII together. We found immediately that we had a lot in common, we had both given up good stable careers (he a ski instructor and me in Sales and Marketing) to pursue our love of flying. Since that date we were good friends. I quickly found John to be a very knowledgeable person, who took that knowledge of helicopters and applied it to well thought out points of view on all aspects of flying and teaching.

In CFI class we competed - he stood out for his excellent technical knowledge and drew on his experience as a ski instructor to convey what he knew to pupils. I drew on my flair from Sales to produce a less factual but equally enjoyable lesson. At the time we joked about competing for the 'top slot'. We both took our CFI rides with the same examiner on subsequent days, and then worked together on the CFII, passing those at the same time too. By the time CFI had finish we were firm friends working together.

We would have both loved to teach at HAI, but fate dealt us another card and I ended up teaching in New Jersey, he in Minnesota. We kept in contact often, sharing experiences with teaching and helping each other with solving the best way to convey something. We both shared the same conviction that flying was great, but we would never compromise our safety or standards to get in the air. I know John had refused to fly aircraft before if he didn't think he - or his pupils were safe. We both still loved to teach, and we both kept teaching for over 2 years (unusual in itself I guess). He was my encouragement to write my book and I looked forward to our telephone conversations. We also kept in contact via another internet group.

Fate struck again when we both applied to work at ERA at the same time. By some twist, John recieved an interview while my application got caught up with the old Chief Pilot and never made it to the pile until I had already accepted a job with PHI.

We both started in the GOM last summer, and from our phone calls we both loved it. Sure, it was turbine time, but neither of us were really time builders - we wanted the slow and steady route- perhaps to something else, perhaps not. I know John perhaps wanted to end up with a news crew in Colorado. The last time I spoke to John he was very happy. I know he loved his wife very much and was more than satisfied with his work, the training he got there and the aircraft he flew. He was looking forward to keeping a schedule and a job that would allow more time with his wife and family.

John was not just a kind man, a good friend, a great instructor and a perfect Role model. John Lancaster was kind, caring, attentive, knowledgeable and a man of complete integrity. Able to admit if he was wrong, change his opinion if persuaded and produce his own well thought out prose at the drop of a hat, John has helped many a student via this website and in his own work accomplish their dreams whilst completing his.

I was devestated to learn of John death as I drove to work yesterday. Missing John will be an understatement, as has happened to me before, you never learn to appreciate how much someone has affected your life, and let them know it until it is too late. There is a little comfort in knowing that John now rests in a better place. I wish he was still with us, as I know do you all. My coldolances to Lisa and his family. John will continue to be remembered at least in my heart.

God Bless you John

Damien Lloyd Payne

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Damien, very nice post--well said!

 

Looks like John not only made friends here, but on every aviation board he frequented. There is a similiar thread on Pilots of America, http://www.pilotsofamerica.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12188. Someone even posted a picture...

 

I don't know what to say other than I feel for his family. I wish you all the best in moving forward.

 

Like most here, I never met John other than through his posts. How exactly is it one can be so touched by someone they have never met? Just another testament to John's character, I'm sure!!!

 

 

Brian

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I've been trying to decide what to say for the last 3 days. I'm still not even sure what I want to say. Reading all the posts here and on other forums, it seems like John had a huge impact on all of aviation. It takes a special person to have that kind of effect on so many people. John was incredibly knowledgeable, and did a service beyond comprehension for all of us here, and on many other forums. He will truly be missed. Not just for what he did, but for how selflessly he did it.

 

--Doug Craig

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I hear you PhotoFlyer, I posted one message the other day and it just doesn't seem like enough can be said about John and I wish there was more I can do. I'm still in shock over this and find myself looking back at pictures that I have of John with his newbie student pilot (me) and reflecting back on the conversations we had. After reading some of these posts I didn't realize John made such an impact with the online community and it makes me even more proud that I was fortunate to have him as my instructor. I now know I learned how to fly from one of the best and the only thing I can do is to honor John by continuing to fly and learn.

 

Blue Skies John and Godspeed.

 

Dan Holasek

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A memorial website for John has been created .. please take a minute or so to post a message in the GUEST BOOK. The site is http://www.johnlancastermemorial.com

 

I will post memorial service information on the site as soon as it becomes available.

 

Johns Family asks that donations are made to AngelFlight.Org in lieu of flowers. Further information is at JOHNLANCASTERMEMORIAL.COM

 

Please spread word about this site - His friends and family will be visiting it to see your messages and contact you.

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Hello all-

I am new to VR, as I'm a fixed winger... But John Lancaster has been a good friend for over 20 years. He and I worked together as ski instructors for Vail Resorts. As I had gotten my SEL/MEL COMM before he left Vail, we talked of flying and his interest in it, all the time!

 

Many of you may not know what he did, prior to attending flight training, but he was a top pro in the ski industry. He was a supervisor of training for a group of about 300 ski instrs, a trainer and Examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Rocky Mtn Division, and a key member of the Education Committee of that same org.

 

He was as highly regarded in that career as he obviously (having read your generous comments about him here) was in this industry. Many of his friends are on another ski related site, <www.epicski.com>. The terrible news of his unfortunate passing is still just getting out among his peers.

 

The following is a post I made on that site.

 

Such a shock!

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I received this news last night. It shook me a bit, as John and I have been in pretty close contact since my arrival in Houston. We shared many stories about flying our respective aircraft, and the other things pilots tend to BS about.

 

In one of his recent letters to me, he expressed his interest in getting back into to ski teaching, part time. Since he was on a 14/14 schedule, and living in Denver during his off time, he was excited to exercise his passion for skiing once again!

 

We discussed the changes that we had seen over our years together in Vail, the way the industry had changed, and he told how wonderful it felt to go skiing, if only on a small hill in the Mid-West, after his broken ankle a few years ago. It had been his only on-snow experience during the several years he was doing his flight training.

 

He wrote in glowing terms about his wife, Lisa, and the Vet business she is developing in Denver. I hadn't seen her in a very long time. My heart goes out to her, and I share her sadness.

 

I will miss him, knowing we will never make another turn together, knowing we will never share another flying story, and the ski and aviation industries are both poorer for his loss.

 

As we signed off every letter,

 

Fly Safe!

 

 

Thank you for letting me share a memory of John with you all. I will check on the memorial thread I see has been started.

 

 

Safe flying to you all!

 

Ric Reiter

ATP, MEL, CFII/MEI

135 Cptn, King Air

 

Examiner, PSIA-RM

(former) Staff Trainer, Vail/ Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School

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Whoa!

I like to pop in and read what is going on in the RW world from the VR forum standpoint. Its been a while since since I checked in. What a time to come back.

I never knew FlingWing but I remember his Avatar . I also remember his contributions to the VR forums were many and respected.

As a fellow RW pilot and VR forum reader, I feel a sense of duty to convey my condelences to John and his family.

 

Matthew

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I spoke with my sister Lisa tonight, and I was telling her about all these posts, and all the things people were saying, and she was SO appreciative. She isn't at a point where she can read these posts herself yet, but that day will come. She did ask me to post a message here (and anyone please feel free to repost this in other threads/forums about John), requesting that if you have the time, please copy/paste your posts from this board and re-post on the GuestBook at www.johnlancastermemorial.com This will ensure that we capture and archive these comments and postings for ever, in one central place.

 

Thank you all for caring enough to share you thoughts.

 

--dan simons, john's brother in law.

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Does anyone know what John's username is on PPrune?

 

I would like to read his post there.

 

 

He was "Flingwing 207" over there.

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OMG Fling!

 

I never met him, but I have always felt like I knew John. He was of exceptional character.

 

Our thoughts go out to his family, and friends.

 

Sorry for the delayed post; Iflytandemrotor and I sometimes live in a hole, and don't realize what has gone on in the world outside our military one.

 

Larson Gafney

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Deeply saddened to hear the news of John or Flingwing206 as i knew him, As a newbie looking for help and advice John would be one of the first to post help and wisdom which would raise your spirits when sometimes you've had a bad lesson. The helicopter world has lost a true gentleman.

You will be greatly missed "fling". I will always remember your kind words.

My thoughts go out to all who were lucky enough to meet and be part of your life.

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Deeply saddened to hear the news of John or Flingwing206 as i knew him, As a newbie looking for help and advice John would be one of the first to post help and wisdom which would raise your spirits when sometimes you've had a bad lesson. The helicopter world has lost a true gentleman.

You will be greatly missed "fling". I will always remember your kind words.

My thoughts go out to all who were lucky enough to meet and be part of your life.

 

I haven’t been to the site for awhile due to the fire wall we have here (Iraq), I finally convinced IT that it is an educational site.

I didn't know Fling personally but as many others, through his advice and presences here. I logged in and did a search for his posts and was hit with this. It was a physical blow.

I just lost my grandmother and a friend this month; I can now add an unknowing mentor. My heart and prayers are with the family, along with the deepest of understanding.

:(

Dave

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I knew John through training with him in Minnesota. He had such a passion for everything he did. I only had a chance to fly with him one time (Pre-solo check). Even then he taught me so much, not to mention he was the first instructor to show me a full-down auto. He will be truly missed and never forgotten.

Edited by helo08

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What can I say that hasn't already been said. From the first post I read from Flingwing (John), I knew I was reading a post from someone with real class. He was always thinking of others before himself and willing to teach what he knew. The world is a better place to have had John living in it and he will be seriously missed. I pray peace on his wife, family and friends and that they know how much we care about them as John cared about us. John will be with us all in the skies as we take flight in our life's journeys.

 

We'll miss ya, John!

 

 

;)

 

 

Thanks for reaching out and touching the world the way you did!

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MEMORIAL SERVICE DATE ANNOUNCED

 

A celebration of John's life - Afternoon of June 2nd,2007

Location: Suicide Six in Pomfret, Vermont

When John was a teenager he taught and skied at Suicide Six —

a local “bump” that all the locals know and love.

Further details will be available shortly.

 

Further details, exact location etc will be announced shortly

 

http://www.johnlancastermemorial.com

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For all of you that crossed paths with John and have a story to share, a tidbit of your interactions, anything that brings a smile to your face when you think of him, if you would be so kind to post a message on the guest book on www.johnlancastermemorial.com we would be forever grateful. For us, this "site" will be where we can always visit John. Even if you just repost a section of your message that you've already posted on this board, that would be great.

 

As John's Family, and my sister Lisa (John's wife) continue to try and absorb the reality of the situation, you would be amazed at the strength and comfort they get from reading your posts.

 

I can speak for my sister when I say that she loves the helicopter community and John's passion for it. She doesn't want or need to read words about "sorry" "loss" or "condolence"...Just tidbits and stories--about your first flight with him, or reading his posts, or an impact he had on you.

 

Feel free to repost my message on other boards where John may have had friends and colleagues.

 

We are also hopeful to meet many of you at the memorial service in June.

 

Thanks again, and bravo to your helicopter community for having such wonderful high caliber people.

 

Dan Simons, brother in law to John Lancaster.

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Godspeed...John!

 

I never new him...and now wish that I could have. I had read some of his posts not knowing about his demise until today and will now look for others and take in more of his advice and wisdom.

 

I pray that God continue to comfort everyone involved...

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