It is with immense regret that we report the death of Mark Petrie, long-time display pilot and owner of North Wales Military Aviation Services, who died on 2 April.

Born in Canada, Mark — whose mother was Welsh — moved to Wales during childhood. Joining the RAF in 1978 after leaving school, he went on to fly the Phantom and Tornado F3 in the air defence role for 12 years, after which he embarked on a commercial flying career with British Airways. In parallel with that, he developed an interest in classic jets. During 2001 Mark was part-owner of a Jet Provost T3A when the opportunity presented itself to set up his own maintenance business. That was the start of North Wales Military Aviation Services, or NWMAS, based at Hawarden Airport near Chester. Today it is one of the few jet maintenance companies and operators still in existence under its original name.

To many, NWMAS is best-known for its displays of the BAC Strikemaster, Mark starting off as a solo and then leading its two-ship team. Always he set very high standards of professionalism as both pilot and operator, the aircraft immaculately flown and turned-out. And in a sometimes challenging period for the UK’s classic jet scene, Mark’s outfit has continued to fly the flag. In doing so, he spearheaded a number of very significant projects. When the second NWMAS Strikemaster took to the air in 2015, it was the first newly restored ex-military jet to gain a permit to fly from the CAA for several years. Facilities for the overhaul of Rolls-Royce Viper engines and the development of manufacturing capabilities for ejection seat pyrotechnics followed. The use of the Strikemasters by Aero Legends for Safety Standards Acknowledgment and Consent (SSAC) passenger flying out of North Weald is further testament to Mark’s reputation, and his commitment to keeping these aeroplanes active. And NWMAS has diversified outside the vintage jet world, not least through holding a variety of maintenance contracts for more modern light aeroplanes.

Recently we were delighted to welcome Mark to the BADA committee, bringing as he did a wealth of expertise as aircraft operator, display pilot and display authorisation evaluator, and a desire to see the whole industry continue to flourish. In this, just as in all aspects of his involvement, he will be sorely missed. Our sincerest condolences to his wife Adrienne, family and friends.