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Norm (Captain) Field


Flight Operations



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Date of Passing:


AIPA sadly advises that one of the truly great gentlemen of Qantas passed away yesterday. Capt. Norm Field was a unique individual who was respected by all and will be sadly missed by many ex-colleagues and friends. Norm joined Qantas in July 1957 and retired in September 1991 as a Check and Training Captain on the B747 Classic. He completed schooling at North Sydney Boys High in 1949 and then learnt to fly at the Royal Aero Club at Bankstown before travelling to Toronto in Canada to gain his Canadian license. From 1956 to 1957 he was a First Officer with Canadian Pacific Airlines on DC-3’s and Convair 240’s. Returning to Australia, he joined Qantas in July 1957 where he flew an extensive range of aircraft; the DC-3, DC-4, the Lockheed 1049, Boeing 707-138 & 338 and Boeing 747 Classic. He held a Flight Navigators License and was seconded to Fiji Airways in 1965. He was a member of the Flight Safety Advisory Group. He was also holder of the inaugural title of “Numero Uno’, number one seniority in long haul. A worthy title for such a character. However, dates and aircraft flown do not define this man. He was a calm and knowledgeable captain whose style was a great example for those who followed. Many, including this writer, knew him before they met him, as in the 1980’s, his life size cardboard picture adorned many Australian travel agents. In an era where the prized crew meal out of Bahrain was the ‘Chicken Makhanwala’ he once counselled, with a smile on his face, a young upstart of a second officer saying, “to preserve his career he should ensure the captain was first consulted prior to consuming the prized meal”. He said of his own career that “he flew with the best airline in the world, tough but fair with a camaraderie, second to none”. In the years after Qantas, he enjoyed sailing, skiing and often attended the ballet with wife Wendy at the Opera House. He also took on the task of finishing a book commenced by ex-Radio Officer Ron Petrich, called, ‘Qantas Memories or How Could you Ever Forget’. Norm also gave generously of his time to run the NSW Branch of the Australian Association of Retired Airline Pilots. His pen pictures and historical knowledge were always an interesting read in the AARAP newsletters. Norm was pre-deceased by his wife Wendy. We offer our sympathy to Norm’s sons, David and Richard, their families and all Norm’s ex-colleagues and extensive group of friends. RIP Norm. AIPA Welfare

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