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Pioneering Concorde captain dies of COVID-19

written by Sandy Milne | May 6, 2020

Concorde is still the last supersonic jet in large-scale commercial operation

A former Concorde captain who helmed the first flight to celebrate New Year’s Eve on two continents in one night has died after testing positive for COVID-19.

Father-of-two Peter Horton, from south-east England, was described by friends as a “devoted and generous family man.”

Over the course of a distinguished 23-year career at British Airways, Horton regularly captained the supersonic aircraft on trans-Pacific routes.

Career highlights included flying Queen Elizabeth on royal business to the Middle East and Ottawa, Canada, as well as piloting the first flight to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice in one night on two continents.

Horton began his career at the age of 23, working for British European Airways (as it was then known). Across a long and colourful career, he worked as a pilot, a captain, and GM of the Concorde team; spending over 9,000 hours at the helm of the legendary plane.

In his later years, Horton flew Concorde on a non-stop flight from South America to New Zealand at twice the speed of sound.

The Norfolk man was also a keen recreational sailor. At the time of passing, local media reported comments from his acquaintances at the Waveney and Oulton Broad yacht club. “For Peter, flying Concorde was the ultimate in excitement and challenge,” said close friend Jenny Riley.


“On two occasions, Peter flew over Oulton Broad and Lowestoft while the squibs were out sailing and opened the plane’s boosters just overhead. None of us who were there will ever experience such a noise and thrill again. I don’t think it went down so well with the aviation authorities, though.”


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