Firebirds Model Flying Club club member and author of the much read BMFA New ‘Nostalgia Notebook’ feature, Roger Stanton passed away on May 29th this year.
Roger was a proper ‘old school’ aeronautical modeller who told stories of how as a child, he saved up his pocket money, dreaming of the next model that he would be building. Many of his stories made it to a much wider audience via the pages of the BMFA News magazine, through which he made many friends and contacts.
Roger’s love of aviation was so string that as a teenager, all he wanted to do was join the Royal Air Force. Unfortunately, his eye sight wasn’t up to the Air Forces standards so instead, he joined the Royal Navy.
In the Navy, he went on to achieve the very senior rank of commander and worked mainly as a sub-mariner. He once told a club member how he was limited to the size of model that he could build whilst at sea, as they needed to fit through the hatch on the submarines conning tower.
As Roger’s early models didn’t have the befit of radio control, his skills as a control line pilot were great to watch, and he was still doing an occasional control line flight until very recently. Roger actually learnt to fly radio-controlled models with the Firebirds Model Flying Club in the early 1980s, whilst on leave from the Royal Navy.
Upon retirement, Roger became even more involved with the Firebirds and served as its Club Secretary for as long as anyone can remember. He was always a regular at the flying field and would sometimes put on a spirited display with his ‘own design’ Spitfire which took off from a Dolly. He would never have anything to do with retractable landing gear!
Roger’s models were always finished to a high-standards and never failed to draw interest from those around him.
Just as joining the nautical world of the Royal Navy didn’t dampen his love of aeromodelling, neither did his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Roger continued to build and fly his model aircraft, as well as riding his Royal Enfield motorcycle, right up until the very end.
Roger will be sadly missed by all of Firebirds club members – more than 20 of whom attended the service – and by many others in the model flying community. Our thoughts are with his wife Val and family at this difficult time.