Gavin Lyall: author and aviation editor

Gavin Lyall, the writer whose aviation thrillers were bestsellers in the Sixties, has died aged 70.

His reporting career began when he joined the Picture Post after graduating from Cambridge, in 1956.

He briefly worked for the BBC as a film director and then returned to print journalism to join The Sunday Times. He became its aviation editor in 1959 and held the job for three years, during which time he published his first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, which was a hit both here and in the US.

His second book, The Most Dangerous Game, was also successful, and he went on to write Midnight Plus One, Venus With Pistols, Blame the Dead and The Secret Servant. He also produced a work of non-fiction, The War in the Air.

Lyall is survived by his widow, Katharine Whitehorn, a journalist whom he met at Cambridge, with whom he had two sons.

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