The following reminiscence is by Douglas Laurie-Lean (one of Peter's fellow students and co-workers at the College of Aeronautics, Cranfield) when he visited Peter in California during 2005.
"In early 1966, when we were both on the staff at the College of Aeronautics, you mentioned that your father was coming to visit and said that he was an ex WW2 Halifax bomber pilot who had trained on Tiger Moths. You asked me if I would be interested in taking him up for a ride in a Tiger Moth. I said that at that particular time I was about to deliver one to Stapleford Tawney in Essex and that, if you would follow down in a car, I wouldtake your dad with me. So it was planned that I would take him up. However, I didn't realize just how much experience he had had in Tiger Moths or that he had actually been an instructor and was actively flying at that time. I thought of him as a veteran who had come back from serving time in a POW camp and who wasn't very current.
"Being a cocky young pilot myself, I told him to "just taxi it out while I just hover around the stick". We didn't have radios in those Tiger Moths, just voice tubes. Well, he taxied out and seemed very competent - zig-zagging from side to side like you have to in order to look over the nose on the way to the take-off point. I then told him that I would do the take-off and that I would then shake the stick to let him know he could take over when we reached 500 feet altitude. This is one of the normal things you do when taking a student pilot up for the first time. He then asked me if he could do the take-off and, because he seemed to have done such a fine job of taxying I said, "Sure".
"So he did the take-off and when we got up to around 500 feet a very chipper voice came over the voice tube and said, "Are your straps tight"? Immediately after I had answered in the affirmative, we did a barrel roll! I was so humbled by the fact that this old WW2 pilot had just performed a perfect barrel roll that I apologised and told him that he had complete control from then on and that we were flying on such-and-such a course to Stapleford Tawney in Essex. He flew us down there, did a perfect landing, and you met us there and we drove back to the College.
"Although we didn't do any more aerobatics on our way down, just doing some basic map reading etc., his barrel roll was enough to surprize me as well as obviously making his day".