Edinburgh’s World Record Aviator dies aged 97


By Koldo Sandoval & Iain Jones

One of Britain’s greatest airmen and Leith native Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown has died aged 97 after a short illness.

Captain Brown was the most decorated pilot in the Royal Navy Air Arm and held three world records including the most different types of aircraft – 487.

Educated at the Royal High School and the University of Edinburgh where he learnt to fly in the University Air Squadron.


Captain Eric Melrose Brown CBE DSC AFC, born January 21 1919, died February 21 2016.

He joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve as a Fleet Air Arm pilot, where he was posted to 802 Squadron. Brown got several distinctions such as the Distinguished Service Cross for his service on Audacity on 10 March 1942.

He also became a fluent German speaker in his student life. As a privileged witness, Brown travelled  with his father to 1936 Olympic Games organised in Berlin where he checked the cruelty of Hitler’s political Regime.

After Second War, Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown has been tried too many different airplanes, but he was also teaching a big number of current pilots for Royal Navy.

Brown became a writer in his last few years, writing his autobiography explaining his experience as a pilot.