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Dick Smith Autobiography

Old 5th Dec 2021, 04:23
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Ordered from my local bookseller. Dick would have a deserved knighthood for services to aviation in older times.
Always remember flying to Nareen for a Sunday afternoon with you Dick.
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Old 5th Dec 2021, 19:08
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Ha ha. That was in January 1982 and was my first day of a successful aviation regulatory change.

I went to Nareen to have lunch with the then Prime Minster of Australia Malcolm Fraser. He had agreed to be patron of my world solo flight.

I wanted to change the registration VH-DIK from a Volksplane I had purchased to my new Jetranger that was being built in Fort Worth.

"No way" I was told by the Aviation bureaucracy in Canberra. Not even Reg Ansett was allowed to change a registration from one aircraft to another. Safety would suffer if this happened !

When I told Mr Fraser of this story over lunch he jumped on the phone to Transport Minister Ralph Hunt and demanded a change.

Sure enough I was informed on the following Monday that the rego change was approved.

And from then on anyone could do a change if they wanted to !

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Old 12th Dec 2021, 02:38
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Just finished listening to the audiobook version narrated by Dick. Very good read.
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Old 14th Dec 2021, 22:13
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Bones13, if you got the audio book you would have missed out on the map and photographs. You can see them here.

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Old 19th Dec 2021, 02:39
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Ordered four copies - for kids and my brother with whom Dick went to NSTHS, not to mention Froggy as one of his teachers.
Scouts - hiking from Berowra to Duffy's Forest.
Electronics - ham radio
Aviation - from the fun of the 1974 Perth to Sydney Air Race to Airservices and CASA.
Our paths have crossed so often - its been a good ride, thanks Dick.
Look forward to the books.
Crikey, if I wrote one and mentioned the skeletons, they would probably lock me up.
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 05:22
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Like him or loathe him, Dick is passionate about aviation and he has contributed more towards aviation financially and by giving of his personal time, than many armchair critics have done. Much of what Dick parrots about aviation, particularly in regards to poor regulations and bureaucratic red tape, is 110% correct. The reason some people who donít like him is because he is a multimillionaire, not because of his contribution towards aviation. Itís a tall poppy thing. Unfortunately for Dick his tenure with the CAA was doomed to fail due to the underlying iron ring that had a political stranglehold on aviation. Bloated bureaucraps who didnít want change and who made sure that Dick didnít succeed with his vision of aviation reform.

I would much rather listen to a seminar conducted by Dick than by someone like Gina Swineheart or Gerry Harvey.
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 12:03
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I would much rather listen to a seminar conducted by Dick than by someone like Gina Swineheart or Gerry Harvey.
+1. Likewise.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 06:23
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Dickís journey and good works.

Iíve been given a copy and look forward to reading it. I hope the book sells well to inspire and inform a new generation of Australians, and General Aviation aviators in particular, if the latter are allowed to exist in any appreciable numbers.

Thereís one aspect of Dickís life that I donít expect to read much, if anything, about. That being his anonymous gifts and assistance to individuals and groups. I have very little first hand knowledge about this subject, naturally, but sufficient has come through the grapevine to leave no doubt in my mind.

The very best to Dick and Pip, fond memories, particularly of their hosting so many of us at their Gundaroo property fly-in BBQ lunches.
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Old 24th Dec 2021, 07:09
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Hope it comes out on Audio Book as I have a lot of time with those and not a lot of time with the written word!! I was always a fan of DS and appreciate what he tried to achieve with his airspace reforms.. I remember the days of "Full Reporting VFR" and wish we had never lost that!!
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Old 24th Dec 2021, 07:59
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Don't forget some other things!

Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
I have had a bit to do with Dick since 1979 (before the epic chopper flights) and I thoroughly admire him for his achievements.

The best change I saw in the helicopter world was opening up the chopper lanes through the SY zone via the harbour and V1 down the coast. Next best was eliminating full reporting for VFR.
As one who was heavily involved in the design, implementation and eventual promulgation of the chopper routes and the Victor One coastal route, I am certain they would not have happened were it not for Dick's persistence. He kept on grinding away with common sense examples until the regulators shared the vision and ultimately relented.

Don't forget that at about the same time, helicopters had to hover-taxy for miles to depart from a designated helipad on the other side of many airports (like Sydney). High power settings at low level through and around parked aircraft were not a good mix. Once again, common sense prevailed and this practice went the way of the dinosaur.
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Old 24th Dec 2021, 09:18
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Originally Posted by Dick Smith View Post
Bones13, if you got the audio book you would have missed out on the map and photographs. You can see them here.
Thanks Dick, much appreciated. I bought the hard copy for my old man for Christmas and then found the audiobook.
Just wondering on the 1987 and 1994 flights where you went through in Northern Alberta? I flew up the there for a couple of years and the 94/95 looks to turn west about where High Level is.
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 01:26
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Yes. Went through the town named High Level on two occasions. Great place.

Most Canadians I met could not understand why I would be flying in the north for pleasure. They all went south to the warmer weather for recreation!

Glad you enjoyed the audio book version. That was a lot of hard work putting it on tape.

Last edited by Dick Smith; 25th Dec 2021 at 04:09.
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 11:25
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Opened my Xmas gifts and there was Dick's autobiography, as well as Sir Hubert Wilkins' photo book. I am a lucky lad.
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Old 25th Dec 2021, 11:37
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Opened my Xmas gifts and there was Dick's autobiography Ö.. I am a lucky lad.
Same here!
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Old 4th Jan 2022, 21:37
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I'll be buying this book. I've long admired Dick Smith. His battles with CASA. His tenacity, courage and efforts to improve aviation safety. His advertures flying solo around the world. I loved that early tv series. Such courage! He has put his success to good use. Keep swinging the bat Mr Smith.
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Old 5th Jan 2022, 21:48
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FlyingwithJase

Hope it comes out on Audio Book as I have a lot of time with those and not a lot of time with the written word!!
An audio book version is available from a number of sources at widely varying cost, THIS appears to be the lowest cost on Google?

Dick posted (#24 above) that the book photos you don't get with the audiobook are available HERE.
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Old 5th Jan 2022, 22:35
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Was fortunate to be given a copy of your bio for Christmas, Dick.
Thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you very much for a great read.
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Old 6th Jan 2022, 11:05
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Originally Posted by Guselli View Post
As one who was heavily involved in the design, implementation and eventual promulgation of the chopper routes and the Victor One coastal route, I am certain they would not have happened were it not for Dick's persistence. He kept on grinding away with common sense examples until the regulators shared the vision and ultimately relented.

Don't forget that at about the same time, helicopters had to hover-taxy for miles to depart from a designated helipad on the other side of many airports (like Sydney). High power settings at low level through and around parked aircraft were not a good mix. Once again, common sense prevailed and this practice went the way of the dinosaur.
Now there is a name I had forgotten: John Guselli. Thank you for your inputs, John, the chopper world got a lot easier with these changes.

Mind you, sometimes when Dick arrived direct to the hangar at Bankstown, it caused a little consternation.
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Old 7th Jan 2022, 04:50
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Another name that should not be forgotten in relation to the introduction of the lanes is Kevin Gale.

Thanks John and Kevin.
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Old 14th Jul 2022, 21:01
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Great news and well deserved recognition - Dick's autobiography "My Adventurous Life" has just won Australia's Biography Of The Year award at the Australian Book Industry Awards!

https://abiawards.com.au/year-won/2022/

Congratulations Dick, a very deserving recognition.

Dick tells me the book is now out of print after 50,000 copies but is being reprinted in paperback, due out in August.

Next the movie and the Oscars Dick??
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