Ronalds Williams was conscripted into the Royal Navy for National Service in the 1950s and offered pilot training. After getting his ‘Wings’ his first operational naval aircraft was the Seafire XVII - the Spitfire with a Navy arrester hook. During an overconfident first solo, he survived the nearest near miss of all time. Posted to 1831 Squadron RNVR, he flew the Hawker Sea Fury, the world’s fastest piston engine and later the jet-engined Attacker.
Having sat for a commercial pilot’s licence he joined Cambrian Airways flying Doves, Herons and DC-3s around the UK and Europe before moving on to Independent Air Travel BlueAir, a charter airline and cofounder of the massive inclusive tour holiday business, flying the Vickers Viking and DC-4s around Europe and the Far East. The collapse of this Company led to joining Freddy Laker’s Air Charter as a Navigator on their DC-4 Adelaide contract, and, in between, flying the Bristol Freighter from Southend Airport on their cross channel car ferry.
Delivering a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer to the Dakar, he survived the night ditching of a fixed undercarriage aircraft in the eye of an intense depression off the Canary Islands. Attempting to divert, he was lucky to find the ‘eye’ of this mini-hurricane and even luckier to find a Spanish trawler inside. In mountainous seas he ditched the aircraft in front of the boat.
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