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Thomas Hale’s moving article on the demise of the piano (“Out of time”, Life & Arts, August 17) brought to mind an occasion in Devonport Dockyard. Walking along a jetty towards the bow of an aircraft carrier, I was startled to hear a roar then see a piano hurtle over the front of the ship’s flight deck and into the sea propelled by the catapult that normally launched aircraft.

As a pianist myself I was saddened by this spectacle. However, as a fleet air arm pilot also, I was glad to know that the catapults that launched us into the air were being tested and apparently worked.

David Gunn
Shipston-on-Stour, Warwicks, UK

Letter in response to this letter:

Flying piano was surely straight out of Pete ’n’ Dud / From Tim Davies, Cardiff, UK

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