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Sean Creak


Sean Creek died on Saturday 9 June 2018 from cancer.

 

As most will  know, Sean was an early Strikemaster pilot in 1 Sqn SOAF from 1970 and was responsible for all SOAF conversions to Strikemaster and Beaver aircraft.  He also flew active missions for the squadron and was on standby with David Milne-Smith on 19th July 1972 when they were called to the squadron very early in the morning.  Despite the cloud being pretty much on the deck at Salalah they soon got airborne below weather limits.  They were at very low level when they established spacing over the sea and comms with the BATT commander in Mirbat.  Sean was first to coast in for his attack run.  He fired machine guns and a few Sura rockets beyond the fort before his aircraft was seriously hit.  Sean pulled up to above cloud and headed back to Salalah where he managed to get back on the ground.


Tim Jones writes:

"He was a "Strikey" pilot whose calm voice was always reassuring when in close contact.  Today,  Joint Terminal Attack Controllers have to "buy off" very close air support as "danger close" missions" at the risk of the requesting callsign.  Sean (and others) would regularly deliver bullets, rockets and bombs right up to our own positions without question if requested  and even came out with us on the ground on their days off to better understand our needs!.

I was fortunate to fly several sorties with him trying to identify mortar baseplate and RCL firing positions around Simba and vividly remember coming up Spider Wadi from the sea fast and low to surprise a mortar team emerging from a reverse slope cave. Sura rockets aren't intended to be fired in the climb!  but nevertheless marked the target for Bravo aircraft  to follow up as the overstretched Viper engine of the Strikemaster struggled to cope in the hot thin air. Climbing for height, we adjusted the Simba artillery onto the target before Sean calculated his remaining fuel and  weapon load to offer another attack to Simba or the Hornbeam line on the way back to Salalah.


We remained close friends. At the end of my tour in Oman, he flew my family in a Beaver from Seeb to Ibri . They were pretty astonished by the Beaver but astounded to find Spoon in the cockpit! They have never forgotten it. He took leave to install central heating in my house in Yorkshire and some years later we caught up in the Seychelles where he was in transit with Air Europa.

But for me, Sean will always be the calm, utterly professional, Strikey pilot you could rely on to deliver in the most demanding circumstances."

 

By 1975 Sean had moved on to 5 Sqn, Defenders, and thrived on the independence of flying into what were still remote and dicey strips.  He was normally accompanied by his four legged co-pilot, Spoon, and it was rumoured that Spoon actually did most of the flying.

 

After leaving Oman in 1979 Sean moved into civil aviation and settled eventually in Devon where he was awarded for his work with Totnes Caring as a volunteer car driver.