Veteran aviation writer, researcher and photographer Mike Hooks died on 18 January, aged 89.
‘My first recollection of aviation was as a two-year-old being carried out to see the German airship Graf Zeppelin flying over the South Coast near Bognor on 18 August 1930,’ he wrote in an article reflecting his long coverage of the aviation scene. His passion steadily blossomed as a youngster growing up close to Croydon Airport, and after National Service as (appropriately) an aircraft plotter in the Air Traffic Control Centre at Gloucester and later member of the Royal Observer Corps, he became Editor of Air-britain Digest and Airports International before joining the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) as information and statistics executive and later (the ever helpful, this writer fondly recalls) Press Officer for the Farnborough Air Show.
In addition to countless hundreds of articles and columns for the aviation press, Mike wrote many books, including Croydon Airport – The Peaceful Years, Lufthansa, Shorts, Hendon to Farnborough SBAC Displays 1932-1972 and, with the inimitable (or should that be incorrigible?) commentator the late ‘Jolly’ John Blake, 40 Years at Farnborough – SBAC’S International Aviation Showcase. Mike was a prodigious and meticulous researcher, cataloguer of the aviation scene over seven decades, photographer, and writer. His final column, for Aeroplane, was published after his death. MJ
One of Mike’s many books
Seven decades in aviation: Mike Hooks