Skip Navigation


Sad Loss of RAFCTE's Great Friend - David Bywater

Published: 16 Oct 2015

We are sad to lose one of our staunchest supporters following the death of Air Commodore David Bywater (Ret'd) a couple of weeks ago. 

David's relationship with the Air Tattoo stretched back almost three decades to when he was Chief Test Pilot at RAE Farnborough. In 1989, we were looking for an airfield to stage the Battle of Britain 50th Anniversary airshow and David was Commandant of what was then A&AEE Boscombe Down. This was a busy establishment for experimental test flying so not the easiest airfield to take over but David helped and supported us to achieve the impossible. Not only that, but after a successful event in 1990, he welcomed us back for another show in 1992. 

Following his retirement from the RAF, David accepted an honorary role of Vice President of the Air Tattoo, his wide and varied aviation experience helping the airshow grow strongly and safely.

In 2005, when the Air Tattoo's future was cast in doubt, David agreed to become a Non-Executive Director of the newly formed Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises. During his nine years in the post, David proved an outstanding director, providing guidance and valuable advice to the team. 

Everyone involved in the Air Tattoo will miss him greatly and our thoughts are with Shelagh and his family.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

Sign up for emails about the Air Tattoo, Concerts and Merchandise