Richard Elles
Born 13/1/46  Died 10/10/98

Richard in better times

Two and a half years after being diagnosed terminally ill with cancer, our friend Richard Elles finally lost his brave battle on Saturday 10th October 1998.

One of the most dedicated and professional instructors I have personally ever had the privilege of knowing, Richard was one of the few flying instructors who did the job because he loved it, and not as a means to an end elsewhere in aviation.

Many hundreds of pilots flying all over the world have reason to thank Richard for his help in launching their careers. He may sometimes have been criticised for being extremely precise and methodical in his approach to flying training, but no one could ever doubt his desire to produce students of the highest class. That approach has undoubtedly ensured the survival of many of those he taught in this sometimes dangerous world of flying.

From when we met in 1961, to his untimely death in 1998 aged 52 years, I have never known him to break an aeroplane. He flew over 12,000 hours - AS AN INSTRUCTOR! Quite a record, unlikely to be equalled or beaten by many.

This site is dedicated to his memory, and will enable those who wish to remember him to do so in quiet privacy. The pictures have been donated by many of his friends and show the beginning of his aviation career, and the last couple of years of his life.

Please feel free to provide me with any more of your favourite photo's of him for inclusion on this site for others to share.

 Pictures of Richard at the start of his aviation career

 Pictures of Richard in more recent times


His funeral was held at the RAF Chapel, Biggin Hill Airport, on Monday 19th October 1998 at 14:45. The service was conducted by the Reverend Morris, and was attended by more than 300 of Richard's friends and family.

It was followed by a family burial at the Biggin Hill Cemetery in the village.

After the burial,at a reception in the Airport Terminal building, the Reverend Morris held a dedication on the tarmac for a Piper Cub which Richard had assisted in rebuilding.

 Email:  John Willis -
Phone: 01959 571533 or Fax: 01959 540424

Site prepared, maintained, and sponsored by John Willis

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