Captain Paul Burton (September 25th 1947 – January 24th 2010)
Paul Burton, who died recently after a long battle with cancer, was a true original: a professional of the highest calibre who took a maverick delight in puncturing the pompous and the self-important; a doting father and grandfather with an extended family of hundreds, from the contemporaries with whom he began his career at Rig Air/Air Anglia to the generations of students who flourished under his gentle tutelage as Air Anglia became Air UK, then KLM UK, and finally, Buzz.
Cessna, Aztec, Navajo, DC3, F27, F28, BAC 1-11, BAE 146, Paul flew them all, but it is not just as a supremely talented pilot that he will be remembered. His sense of humour was as prodigious as his appetite for food; his capacity for kindness as well-developed as his tendency to go outrageously off-message.
Black-Tie dinner? Paul did it in style… only without the shirt and trousers.
Tedious Met read-out? He set fire to it.
As a leading member of the (pre-BALPA) Air Anglia Pilots’ Committee in the 1970s his negotiating skills were second to none – loud, opinionated, physically imposing, he was also almost always right, and Management knew it.
Paul was immensely proud of his wife, Eileen, of Robin and Carolyn, his son and daughter-in-law, and of his daughter Holly and her partner, David. The quiet dignity, with which his loving, close-knit family supported him, and each other, during his illness, was exemplary, and our deepest sympathy goes to them all.
Paul’s grandson Christopher, born to Robin and Carolyn in June 2009 but already, if the baby pictures are anything to go by, showing signs of inheriting the Burton passion for motorbikes, is following in the footsteps of a very, very special grandfather.
Thank you to Robert Young for sending this photo of Paul Landing a BAE146 at Stansted in 2002