MIKE Langley, who has died aged 73, trained hundreds of young pilots at Oxford Aviation Academy and flew with the RAF across the world in a 36-year military career.

Mr Langley rose to the rank of Wing Commander before retiring in 1997 to work at the flying academy at Kidlington to train the next generation of commercial pilots.

From a young age his dream was to fly and he served the RAF in Cyprus, Benson, Northern Ireland and Hong Kong.

His daughter Sophie said he was a man of ‘immense integrity and humour’ and hugely respected in the aviation industry.

When he was diagnosed with terminal cancer in December last year, the Mike Langley Foundation was set up to raise money to train young pilots continuing his legacy.

Mr Langley was born on February 15, 1944, in Darlington to parents Edna, who was a secretary at British aviation manufacturer De Havilland, and Joseph, a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF and later a primary school teacher.

An only child, he grew up in Darlington before the family moved south to Hatfield, Hertfordshire and he started at Welwyn Garden City Grammar School in 1951.

The move took the Langleys next door to the De Havilland aircraft site and after finishing school he joined the 2203 Hatfield and De Havilland squadron Air Cadets.

His love of flying was started by his father, who worked with Sunderland flying boats in the Second World War, and he began to forge his own career by training as a navigator with the RAF.

A 36-year career in the military would see him rise to the rank of Wing Commander and serve all over the world, including Cyprus, Hong Kong, Northern Ireland and RAF Benson.

He met his future wife Anne Day, nee Mason, in a pub in Cirencester and married her in Oxford on August 7, 1965 at the register officer in St Giles’ - while based at Benson.

They had two children together, Jeremy and Sophie, and became stepfather to Anne’s son Andrew, who was always seen as his child.

His career led him all over the world at various bases, including RAF Akrotiri in Cypurs, RAF Leeming in Yorkshire an RAF Upavon in Wiltshire.

He moved to Hong Kong as the MA to the Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces and then to RAF Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Towards the end of his military career, before retiring in 1997, he was a qualified instructor and senior director at Bracknell Military Staff College and Shrivenham Royal Military College of Science.

He left the RAF to pursue his real passion for commercial aviation training at Oxford Aviation Academy, based in Kidlington.

As commercial director he worked closely with airlines and trained hundreds of young pilots in almost 20 years with OAA.

The family lived in Kidlington briefly at the end of 1990s before moving to Chippenham.

He died on April 29 following a long battle with cancer and is survived by his wife Anne, three children, Sophie, Jeremy and Andrew, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place tomorrow at the West Wiltshire Crematorium, Seemington at 11am.