The passing of Trevor Egginton will be viewed with great sadness by nearly all who had the good fortune to work with him.
His professional achievements speak for themselves, and command instant respect, most of us who worked with Trevor will remember him proudly as a friend and colleague.
Trevor joined the Royal Air Force in 1951 under the Direct entry aircrew scheme, and following pilot and combat training in the USA, flew Sabres and Hunter aircraft with Nos 67, 222 and 63 Squadrons.
In 1961 following a tour in Aden on operations he completed a helicopter conversion course on Sycamores, joining No 22 Squadron at Chivenor on Search and Rescue duties becoming Flight commander in 1963.
A bold rescue of fishermen from the French trawler Jeane Gougy, aground at Lands End, led to the award of ‘Chevalier Order du Merite Maritime’ by the French government and he was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC) in 1964. Such was the circumstances that his winchman received the George Medal (GM).
He attended the Empire Test Pilots School on No3 Rotary Wing course at Farnborough in 1965 upon graduation he joined ‘D’ Squadron at Boscombe Down working on; Wessex 3, Scout, Wasp, Sea King and Puma. He joined the staff of ETPS as Rotary Wing Tutor in 1969 and his many ex-students remain ever grateful for his knack of passing on his knowledge and experience. He retired from the RAF with the rank of Squadron Leader in 1973 receiving The Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air.
Trevor joined Westland as Deputy Chief Test Pilot and subsequently became Chief Test Pilot. During his 15 years at Yeovil he was responsible for the full range of Westland helicopters, including the EH101 prototype on its first flight. On his retirement he was awarded the OBE for his services to the Aviation industry.
On 11 August 1986 he flew the modified Lynx helicopter over a 15-kilometre course to achieve 400.87kph (249.17mph): thereby claiming the world air speed record for a conventional helicopter. For which he and his Flight Test Engineer (Derek Clews) were also awarded the ‘Britannia Trophy’. Trevor was also awarded the RAeS Alan Marsh Medal in 1987. The speed record has remained unbroken for over 28 years.
He was an exceptional pilot, and his flying skills were matched by his knowledge of engineering and aerodynamics. His speciality was helicopter handling qualities, and his ability to work with engineers and designers was unique in the Industry. His intuitive approach to the assessment of handling qualities was sought frequently by those attempting to build simulators or undertake control system evaluations.
Trevor was also a good companion on the long overseas trials that occur during most Flight test programmes, his disposition and wide range of interests made him a valued member of any team. Those of us who were privileged to have worked with him have lost a friend.

David Gibbings MBE CEng FRAeS

24 February 2015