May 29, 1918 - May 17, 2017
Philip Hugh Fillingham was born Cobham Surrey, England. In 1944, he volunteered for the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, earning his wings in 1945. He learned to fly the Sikorsky R-4 in 1948, and soon after became officer-incharge of one of the first Royal Navy helicopter units. The following year, he was assigned to an experimental unit testing early helicopters and serving as an R-6 helicopter instructor.
In 1950, having accrued 300 helicopter flight hours, Fillingham went to work as a commercial helicopter pilot in Canada, Venezuela, and Columbia. He joined PHI in 1953, flying the Bell 47, the Sikorsky S-55 and S-62, the Sud Aviation Allouete II, and the Hiller 12E. Beginning in 1964, he flew the Bell 47J Ranger and 206 JetRanger, and later the MBB Bo 105 for Tennesco. After having to retire from the company in 1978 at age 60, he flew for smaller companies for three more years. By the time he retired in 1981, he had acquired 13,674 helicopter flight hours and 581 fixed-wing hours. (He then began a second career in photography.) In 2004, Twirly Birds — the international helicopter pilot organization — recognized Fillingham with its Les Morris Award for his dedicated service to the helicopter industry.
Philip Hugh Fillingham passed in 98 May 17, 2017, in Monroe, New York.