William "Bill" Ashpole : Captain BCalH
Sadly I have heard that Bill passed suddenly away on Saturday 10th July 2021 after suffering a heart attack. Bill headed up the Airlink Operation and then introduced the BCal Commuter services.

My sincere condolences to his family, friends and former colleagues.

My thanks to Ricky Cuss for passing on the news.

To the right, a photo of Bill with Airlink's S61 G-LINK

Service details

Bill's service was held on 4th August in Norwich.


Bill's service is due to be available online from 7th August 2021 for 28 days, using the following details

Go to website
  https://www.obitus.com   and enter User name: Lowe9182    then    Password: 058046

Bill Remembered

From Ricky Cuss

Bill headed up the Airlink operation on secondment from British Airways Helicopters, then joined BCAL and introduced Commuter Services in 1983. This is where I came to know him. He was a superb boss, one of the best empowering managers I have ever worked for, kind and enabling, and a true gentleman in every respect. I was very sad to hear the news.

From Richard Blackwell
Well done Ricky, a lovely tribute. My sister, Rozlyn, always spoke well of him. RIP Capt Ashpole

From Karen Rayner
: R.I.P Bill. Thoughts are with his family and sending best wishes

From Jim Williams: RIP Captain Bill.

From Sally Simmonds: How sad. RIP captain.

From Riaz Butt: RIP Captain, my thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

From Christina Selmes
RIP Captain Ashpole. A lovely man who I did some office work for when he introduced Commuter Services. My thoughts are with his family.

From Caron Phillips: RIP, my sincere condolences to his family and friends

From Michael Holt-chasteauneuf
Sudden and very sad. Remember Bill Ashpole joining BEA Helicopters in the 60s and flying the S61N out of Beccles/Lowestoft and Aberdeen on oil rig flights. Always a professional and ever a gentleman with a unique sense of humour. I left the helicopter division of BEA and although I worked for BCAL engineering from 1984 until itís demise I never managed to meet up with Bill in his Airlink days. Condolences to his family. RIP Bill, a great guy

From Roger Warren: RIP Bill

From Betty Wells
I worked for Bill in the office of the Airlink operation. Wonderful boss, friend and true gentleman. I spoke to his wife Emily and it appears they were having their evening meal Saturday 10th July when he suddenly had a massive heart attack. He leaves two sons, one daughter, grand children and great grandchildren. He will be solely missed

From Graham Waters
R.I.P. Captain Bill Ashpole. He flew my Dad and I Gatwick to Beccles in 1967 aboard G-ANFH S55; a Westland Whirlwind

From Roger Brown: This is very sad news. RIP.

From Fee Flee: So very sorry Fly Free Bill

From Jackie Abercromby-Stagg: Such sad news. Lovely man. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

From Geoffrey Cornwell
Spent a full day with Bill on G-LINK doing several shuttles to LHR. Remember well holding overhead LHR and watching Concorde take off beneath us. A true gentleman and friend. RIP Bill and fly (hover) high.

From George Banks: So sorry to hear this. RIP

From Malcolm McCluskey: One of lifeís true gentlemen...RIP Bill.

From Charles Powell
I was saddened to read of Bill's passing. I had many dealings with him as we fought to retain approval to operate Airlink. Every dealing with him was proof of his complete professionalism and his commitment to aviation. There can, however, be no better  epitaph for him than to read his own account of his career on his website www.ashpole.org.uk

From Hugh O'Donovan
I am very sorry to learn that Bill has left us. I appeared subsequently as BCalís advocate at all its CAA licensing hearings but my first case for BCal in November 1985 was the final Airlink CAA hearing (which at 14 days also turned out to be the longest!). So Bill was one of the first of all you great BCal folk that I met. We were granted our licence by the CAA only to have the Secretary of State take it away on the basis that the service would no longer be needed on completion of the M25. Unbelievable!

From Phil Bowell
I am really sorry to hear of the sad news of the passing of Bill. I worked closely with Bill when I was Supt Ramp Operations. He was a really nice guy and very knowledgeable. David Coltman used to use him on special projects because of his wide experience. Very soft spoken and always willing to stop and chat on any subject. A really nice man. RIP Capt. Bill.

From Phil Baker
Very sorry to hear of Billís passing. I looked after the Airlink from an admin perspective for a short period back in the early 80ís when Senior Planning Officer Pax Svcs. He was a genuinely decent bloke and a pleasure to work with. They were interesting times with doors falling off helicopters and complaints from those living under the flight path.

From Mike Bathgate
Very sad news. Fond memories of Bill at one of the CAA's longest licensing hearings on Airlink. A lovely man.

If you would like to leave a message in remembrance please drop me a line anytime at  BCalatribute@outlook.com

Condolences have also been extended by:

Dave Thaxter, Bill Wright, Richard Friend, Ian Plumridge, Helena Burgoyne, Tricia Riley, Edna Waters, Martine Schroeter, Andy Hudson, Debee Boerner, Jenny Thomas, Peter Durran, Christine Jegu, Dudley Rice, Kris Massie, Dave Surry, Dawn Mirren, Derek Alstrom, Karen Rayner, Julie Hourigan, John R Potter, Lindsay Smith, Jackie Lloyd, Sheila Williams Tyson, Paul Foster, Cheryll Woolford, Pat Cresswell, Jennifer Grail, Alan Reeves, Anthea McClelland, Antony Edwards,

Bill also had a Your Photos gallery, it can be seen here  http://www.british-caledonian.com/BCalH_William_Ashpole.html

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British Caledonian - A Tribute