Icarus formed in 1968 by “Ginger” Bailey, Bill Benton and Johnny May.

Until then, when colleagues retired, a whip round among the pilots marked the event, which resulted in varying levels of donation, sometimes with embarrassing results.

They were soon joined by David Fleming, who became Treasurer, and Dennis Southgate who organised the meeting venues and retirement gifts, continuing in those roles until 2004.

Icarus was initially funded by encouraging serving pilots to pay the small sum of ten shillings, so that retirees would receive a suitably engraved gift of their choice from their colleagues, and an Icarus tie paid for by sponsors.  Various changes to British Airways and its pilot workforce now mean that, while those still contributing will receive the same retirement gifts as their predecessors, retiring and retired pilots who are not members are invited to join by making a one off payment of just £20.  They will receive an Icarus tie and be added to the database.

Icarus retains a database of its members and holds meetings in April and October.

Retiring pilots and their partners, and members of Icarus – both serving and retired, attend these.  They provide the ability to meet up with colleagues from the past, and encourage continued contact.

The six monthly newsletters are available for download by members from the website.