PCDU Episode 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways

Dick Smith is an entrepreneur well known to most Australians, ranging from the country wide chain of Dick Smith Electronics stores he created to Dick Smith Foods and Australian Geographic.

Another very important aspect of Dick’s life has revolved around aviation. In addition to owning & flying his own aeroplanes & helicopters, he has also flown around the world multiple times, made the first helicopter landing at the North Pole, and flown balloons across Australia as well as from New Zealand back to Australia (against the prevailing winds). He was on the board of (and then director of) both the Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). Dick is also a very vocal champion of air space reform in Australia and aviation safety in general.

We were very fortunate to have been given some of Dick’s valuable time to discuss his early days learning to fly, his adventuring around the world and his thoughts on a number of different aircraft he’s owned & flown. We also touch briefly on his time with the CAA/CASA and his thoughts on aviation safety & airspace reform, all of which will be covered in more detail in future interviews we hope to bring you as soon as Dick’s schedule permits.

10 comments to PCDU Episode 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways

  • Alex

    Hi Guys,
    I listen to your Pods with interest, I actually teach english in China. I was in GA in australia during the 80’s to mid 90’s.
    I can’t believe the way Dick Smith thinks and talks about the “good thing” he did for GA in Australia especially how he justifies it as a Big Brother thing. I trained as CPL (H) (A) and the change that full reporting did was to the detriment of the professional standard. I learnt proper radio procedure, I flew into KS, so many times. By the way we had SAR watch if it was a private flight. DS is not well liked in the industry he dealt that blow to, he sounds as if he is still bitter about it. I met the person, he was arrogrant and rude then, so what else has changed.
    I left GA because it became so unprofessional for the CPL pilot, costs went up, we had to pay so much for all our VTCs, Notams,Plates, Maps,landings, any radio call was monitored (the operator recieved a bill),etc etc
    Keep up the good work
    PS can you talk about the cancelling of the Red Bull air race

  • Jack Seymour

    Loved this episode guys, and can’t wait for the next one with Dick Smith. He has inspired me even more to, once I start my part-time job (Next month :D)save to start my RA-Aus Pilots Certificate!

    Keep up the good work,

  • Hi Alex,

    Thanks for your comments. It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts when we get our next couple of interviews out with Dick :)

    You’re right about the expense and much of the “license to print money” that seems to go on (having just paid my Class 2 medical and a new set of AIP, ERSA and charts – ouch!). Airspace safety and the costs of flying are two themes we’re looking to explore in the near future.

    As to RedBull – yup – we sure can. Watch this space :)



  • Hey Jack,

    Great to hear there’s some inspiration for you in our work. Between this episode and some of the ones with Matt Hall, I’m sure you can find plenty of material about being focused and just making it happen :)

    Congrats on getting a job and good luck saving the $$$ for flying. It may seem hard right now but it’s WAY easier to save for flying when you’re young & single. Once the responsibilities start to pile on, there’s always something else that urgently needs that money you’d rather be spending on getting your butt in the air :)



  • Jeremy Peck

    Hmmm…..Dick Smith seems to be somewhat vocal about airspace issues, would that have anything to do with the current federal election? :)

  • Nothing like a pending election to bring out the issues, that’s for sure. Mind you, Dick has certainly not been afraid to hold back or speak out when he sees problems, especially big ones like the Launceston issue :)

  • Hope you’re putting those dollars away for ep50, Pecky…. It’s getting closer and I heard your name on another podcast again the other day. I think I was listening to it “in the morning!”

  • […] August 19, 2010Episode 39: Australian Federal Election QuickCast #1: Warren Truss – August 18, 2010Episode 38: Dick Smith: Around the World in Many Ways – August 10, 2010Episode 37: It's "Flight Attendant," Grant – July 30, 2010Episode 36: […]

  • […] commentary from those in aviation, both old & new. If you’ve not already listened to our previous chat with Dick about his early flying adventures, you really should check it out […]

  • […] commentary from those in aviation, both old & new. If you’ve not already listened to our previous chat with Dick about his early flying adventures, you really should check it out […]

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