THE TRUSTEE of the Vulcan XH558 has passed away, just months after announcing his retirement.

Ken Smart was a trustee for Vulcan to the Sky for nearly 20 years.

The Vulcan was a frequent flyer at the Bournemouth Air Festival until 2015 when it became too costly to fly.

Bournemouth Echo:

In a post dedicated to Ken, it read: “Ken’s daughter Gail informed us that Ken “passed away in his sleep Wednesday afternoon. He had his family at his side.”

“It’s down to Ken’s exceptional CV that he was held in high regard, not only amongst the team at VTST but also in the wider aviation industry.

“And it’s in no small part because of his skills and knowledge of airworthiness and air safety that the CAA awarded Vulcan XH558 her permit to fly on 3 July 2008.

“Two days later she performed her first display for an enthralled British public at the RAF Waddington Airshow and went on to fly for many more years before making her final landing on 28 October 2015."

Tributes poured in once the news was announced.

One commenter wrote: “RIP Ken, your contribution gave us many happy hours of pleasure, something we never thought was possible.”

Another said: “RIP Ken - thank you for everything you did for our beloved XH558.”