Death of a dear friend – Tom

Couldn’t move on and jump past the death of our friend and OH’s flying instructor Tom Grieve. I am sure many of you people out there read about his death in the local UK newspapers. It was such a shock. Although OH and Tom had only know each other about a year, they had developed a very strong bond.  As Tom did with most people. We miss him so much. Breakfasts on a weekend will never be the same again. No more black pudding is needed now Tom is no longer with us.

Tom and May were often at our house for dinner or the boys came around for  full English breakfasts. Never a day went by when Tom wouldn’t be on the phone to OH.  Sometimes I used to joke on and wind OH up about Tom and he being joined at the hip……

Tom was a really kind man. Always at hand to help anyone and everyone. Well with one exception but that’s another story and that man knows who he is. Which is exactly what he was doing the day he died and it was this kind act that cost him his life. We shall miss him for many many years to come.

Tom had been asked by some one that came to Pattaya to scatter his friends ashes across the Pattaya Bay. Tom being Tom and always willing to help, agreed. The one thing Tom teaches is never, never, ever switch off your engine while in mid air.  This had to happen to scatter the ashes.

Tom had talked to OH on the Friday evening, he said he had been up twice in the air and practiced switching off the engine and doing a restart. All was well, but on the day the engine wouldn’t restart and Tom had to land quckily.  He had picked out the pier as an emergency landing point, but what he hadn’t seen from the air was a pile of builders rubble at the end of the pier. As he came into land, we think the wheel caught the rubble and this tipped the aircraft into the water.  The bar that you navigate with came into Tom’s chest, causing enormous internal injuries. Tom died later that day in hospital. He never recovered.  Tom is a huge loss to us and to all his family and friends.  The man in the back suffered only a broken arm.

Poor May, she is lost without him. They worked alongside each other at the airfield. May always taking care of all the paperwork, cleaning of air craft and Tom all the training. Now 8 months on, the airfield is almost deserted. Tom was  ‘ The Airfield’. He was the man with all the plans, the get up and go, the direction everyone needed and wanted. Life and soul of BBQ nights under the stars with delicious Irish coffee’s. Trips across the water, where the boys would spend nights chatting about previous flying trips, advice and good old chit chat.  Or did they all just talk about the latest edition of reality shows like American Idol??????

Tom was the man that helped OH buy his 2nd hand giro copter. They worked on it every weekend and some times after work too. Tom was the driving force for OH’s new baby. They stripped the whole thing down to the last nut and bolt. Taking photos of every piece as they disassembled the aircraft. A major refurbishment until complete.

The interest is lost and we may never see Mianoi fly, our own little Nellie.




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