Martin Hole - Captain
Sadly we learn that Martin passed away on 14th January 2019 whilst in St Barnabas House Hospice in Worthing. My sincere condolences to Martin's family, friends and former colleagues at this difficult time.

Martin was a popular Captain with BCal, a 707 Training Captain, then the A310 fleet and then on to the DC10 fleet.

He was appointed Chief Training Captain on the A320 fleet in readiness for their delivery to BCal.
Martin Remembered

From Martin's family
Capt. Martin George Hole, loved.. cherished.. treasured.. husband, father, grandfather and friend, died peacefully on 14th January 2019 at St. Barnabas Hospice, Worthing. Our fun-loving hero with a cheeky smile and a twinkle in his eye to the very end. Flying free forever

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

Jim Williams: RIP CAPTAIN, keep them fly where you are.

From Vanessa Ridgway van Perlstein. Oh dear,  A very dear friend from when our children were younger.

From Doug Ledingham: So very sorry to hear this, my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

From Marjorie Anglesea Jackson: So very sorry, I did lots of flights with Captain Hole. Sincere condolences to his family.

From Alan Reeves:  Such sad news I remember him very fondly, RIP Martin

From Tony Cutting: Sad news about an old colleague, condolences to his family, Martin was loved and respected. RIP Martin

From Sally Simmonds: Very sorry to hear.

From Fee Flee:  Very sad so sorry Fly Free Martin x

From Tricia Riley: How sad. Flew many times with Martin and he was such a lovely man RIP x

From Kim Widdup: How terribly sad, what a lovely man - will be sadly missed . Condolences to his family XX

From Helena Burgoyne: Good memories remain of a kind and professional man, great to fly with

From Mark Parsons: God bless Martin. A great guy and a great friend. Used to tell amazing jokes on our ski holidays.

From Jim Monaghan: Bye Martin, we’ll all catch up with you in a while. RIP

From Patricia Nightingale
I have been fortunate to have been in touch with Martin and his lovely wife Helen in the last few years playing tennis at the same club and socialising with them. Martin was so positive with his illness and really didn’t give up till near the end. We will miss him loads and his wicked sense of humour. lad he’s out of pain.

From Angie Marr: I’m so very sorry to hear this sad news. He will be remembered fondly. RIP xx

From Rohan Alce: Sad news. I remember him well. RIP Martin.

From Dave Martin
For each of us in the BCAL family we shed a tear for those we loose that were a part of our lives. ...whomever small or great their influence. Martin Hole was one of those 'family' of pilots whom I was privileged to serve and to know for so many years. God rest his soul. I will sadly miss him.

From Chris Yardley: RIP Martin. You were a top chap - always totally professional and mega, mega fun!

From Daphne Hemmings:  Very sorry. A lovely man

From Chris and Brenda Mills: Sincere condolences to Martins family. He was a fun person to fly with!

From David R Holder
RIP Martin. Sincere condolences to his family and friends. Martin was like me at the time a young man finding his way in aviation he was a charming gentleman and always treated everyone as part of the family ‘ A true Aviation Professional.

From Danny Sheehan: So very sad with the news that Martin has died, flew with him quiet a few times, my condolences to his family. RIP

From Alan Killick
Very sad news indeed. Such a lovely man and always a good friend to crewing in our, many, hours of need. RIP Martin.

From Avril Milne: Really saddened to hear about of the BCAL good fun guys. Condolences to his family at such a great loss.

From John Fittus (Captain)
Really sad news regarding Martin. He was a fantastic pilot and Training Captain, and Manager. I only saw him a couple of years ago, and he was still young then and working at Burgess Hill. We were good friends, but lost contact went I moved away to Turkey. I now live in Odessa, Ukraine, it will be difficult to be at his service as I have commitments sadly. My condolences to his family. RIP Martin.

From George Banks
I was shocked to hear Captain Martin Hole had died. I met Martin in 1971 at a friends house just a few months before I was starting my first job with Gulf Aviation in Bahrain. As a humble trainee and only 20 I was certainly apprehensive and Martin took quite awhile offering me encouragement and cheering me up, which did me a lot of good. Over the years our paths met occasionally in BCAL or on MEA going to Beirut  (where Caledonian Flight deck did simulator training) and Martin always had time to ask how is it going? And are you head of Catering yet?! It was these small kindnesses and encouragements that I will always remember. RIP Martin

If you would like to leave a message in remembrance please drop me a line anytime at

An Obituary by Chris Scott

Martin joined Caledonian Airways at Gatwick in 1966, and gained a command on the B707 at around the time of Caledonian's takeover of British United Airways at the end of 1970. He later became a trainer on the type. When the merged British Caledonian Airways (BCAL) obtained two A310s in 1984, he became deputy chief trainer on the fleet. The short to medium-haul routes for which the aircraft had been earmarked did not materialise, and they were sold in 1986. There followed a spell as a trainer on the DC-10, until Martin was appointed chief training captain-designate on the A320, for which type BCAL was a joint launch-customer with Air France.

On January 1st, 1988, Martin joined Airbus's second A320 pilot conversion course at Blagnac (Toulouse), consisting of BCAL A320 management and line pilots, and two CAA pilots. Course #1, for Air France pilots, had started a week earlier. The A320 type - the first digital-FBW airliner - had yet to be certificated, and was undergoing a radical reconfiguration of its electrical system because of a RAT problem. An added complication was that BCAL was in the early stages of being taken over by British Airways, so the future of the order for ten aircraft was uncertain. Nevertheless, the ground course and simulator were completed and, after a short delay while Airbus obtained type-certification, flight training was conducted at Blagnac.

Martin with Chris and a BCal A320

If memory serves, Martin and John Duncan, the flight manager, were on the flight crew that delivered the first A320 to Gatwick on April 1st, 1988. Coincidentally, that day marked the transfer of BCAL's AOC (air operating certificate) to British Airways. The aircraft quickly returned to Blagnac for rectifications and fitting the latest mods. With Air France being given priority, the start of line training was delayed several weeks. The Airbus trainer/test-pilots with whom Martin worked included Gordon Corps and Nick Warner.

SOPs on the A320 had been prepared in line with BCAL practice, and were going to have to be brought in line with BA's. BA, however, was in the process of modifying its own to resolve anomalies inherited from the BEA/BOAC merger many years earlier. These were challenging times for Martin and the fledgling A320 management (as they were for engineering and other ground crews). Inevitably, there were many teething problems during a summer operating a mixture of schedules and night charters out of Gatwick's new North Terminal. Meanwhile, the Air France accident during an impromptu fly-past at Habsheim had brought the type into the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

In late summer, the fleet was joined by its first "real" British Airways pilot, Colin Wright, appointed deputy flight manager to facilitate the fleet's move to Heathrow in the October. It took about a year to develop the new SOPs. Martin's enthusiasm and pragmatism was invaluable in that transition period, during which a mix of ex-BCAL and BA pilots started to be trained in-house as the fleet expanded, using a new simulator at Crawley. In due course, thanks in no small part to Martin, the A320 set the standard for SOPs in BA short-haul.

In later years, Martin was grounded after he nearly lost the sight of one eye in a freak accident while watching a public firework display. That led to a slightly premature retirement from BA, but he regained his licence and was able to do some flying in the Gulf.

Martin was universally liked and admired by his colleagues, and was an extremely good operator. He had the rare quality of making training and re-validation sessions relaxed and enjoyable in both aeroplanes and simulators.

Condolences were also extended by:
Dave Thaxter, Reed Purvis, Linda Daley, Graham Lambert, Trevor Tommy Gunn, Mike Hawkey, Douglas Holland, Jenny Thomas, Ana Eva Heuberger, Peter Durran, Alan Flower, Christine Jegu, Valerie Edwards, Kris Massie, Frank Brejcha, David Phythian

Close this page

Service details

Martin's service was held on Monday 11th February at Worthing Crematorium (Map)

If you wish to contribute then please donate to St. Barnabas to support the amazing care they provide to families like ours (

British Caledonian - A Tribute