Thomas Cook Airlines pilot John Humphries, 65, from Martock, south Somerset, has retired this week after notching up 38 years of flying both helicopters and commercial airliners.
His last flight was from Antalya, Turkey, and on final approach he was congratulated on his retirement by Bristol air traffic control. When he landed he received a letter from Bristol Airport chief executive, Robert Sinclair, and a cake baked by his cabin crew. John, who has spent his last 15 years flying for Thomas Cook Airlines since it merged with Caledonian, the last eight of which have been based in Bristol, said: “I've really enjoyed working for Thomas Cook Airlines as it’s developed into more of a standalone airline.
I’d like to thank my colleagues for looking after me so well – although after many years spent flying helicopters at 90 knots, it’s been quite an adjustment to flying airliners at 300 knots.” John’s long-time friend and colleague, Patrick Webster, Thomas Cook Airlines’ regional base pilot, said:
"He’s had a really distinguished career with Thomas Cook Airlines and the Royal Navy and was one of the few people who worked both as a Search and Rescue diver and then went on to fly the same helicopters as a Royal Navy pilot."
John Humphries is married with two children aged 22 and 24 years-old.
Caption: Captain John Humphries (centre) with his Thomas Cook Airlines cabin crew following his final flight prior to retirement