Eric 'Winkle' Brown dead: British pilot who flew more types of planes than anyone else in history dies
One of Britain's most decorated WWII pilots who flew more different types of planes than anyone else in history has died aged 97.
Capt Eric "Winkle" Brown held the world record for piloting the greatest number of different types of aircraft, 487, the BBC reports.
He flew fighters during WWII and was a witness to the liberation of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
Capt Brown died at the East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, after a short illness.
A statement released by his family said: "It is with deep regret that the passing of Captain Eric Melrose Brown CBE DSC AFC is announced.
"Eric was the most decorated pilot of the Fleet Air Arm in which service he was universally known as 'Winkle' on account of his diminutive stature.
"He also held three absolute Guinness World Records, including for the number of aircraft carrier deck landings and types of aeroplane flown."
Capt Brown was born in Leith on 21 January 1919, and educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh. He learned to fly at university.
His father was a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during WWI, and took him up on a flight in a bi-plane.
"There was no second seat, but I sat on his lap and he let me handle the stick," he told the BBC in 2014.
"It was exhilarating. You saw the earth from a completely different standpoint."
By the time he retired from the Royal Navy in 1970 he had flown 487 different types of aircraft, a world record that is unlikely ever to be matched.
Capt Brown, who was awarded the MBE, OBE and CBE, had piloted 2,407 aircraft carrier landings and survived 11 plane crashes, the BBC reports.
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