Athelstan Sigfrid Mellersh 'Flaps' Rendall


Athelstan Rendall

in 1935


Imperial Airways Athelstan Rendallr in 1954 0378-0168

(r) with Bill Pegg and DP Davies in 1954. They were test-flying the Bristol Britannia


b. January 3 1914 at Chagford, Devon, and educated at Gresham's School and Leeds University, where he gained a BSc.

He became an assistant ground engineer with the Herts and Essex Aero Club for two years, during which time he gained his pilot's licence. At the time (1935) his address was 'Brooklands Poultry Farm, Broxbourne, Herts', and the following year he joined Imperial Airways as a first officer.

After a period flying the HP 42 Rendall was posted to the de Havilland DH 86 service between Khartoum and West Africa. During this period he was a very junior co-pilot, acting as engineer, radio operator and steward all in one. Despite his multiple responsibilities, he claimed that his only piloting activity was to work the wing flaps with a hand pump, hence his nickname of "Flaps''. He also undertook charter work in West Africa for the Nigerian government.

Rendall was very keen on boating, and for some years he managed a friend's 60-foot motor yacht based in the Mediterranean. He later built and sailed his own boat.

With six children, including two sets of twins, he converted the family car, a pre-war Lea Francis, for holidays.

In 1955 the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators awarded him a Master Pilot Certificate for "long service and high achievement'', and in 1959 he became a Liveryman of the Guild. He was appointed OBE in 1964.

"Flaps'' Rendall died on July 18 2006.


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