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Washington, DC, April 30, 2018 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) today marked the passing of Richard L. “Dick” Collins, a leading aviation journalist and lifelong safety advocate, who died at his home in Maryland on April 29. He was 85.
In 2000, NBAA recognized Collins with the association’s Platinum Wing Award for lifetime achievement in the field of aviation journalism. His writing career spanned 60 years and he produced more than 1,000 magazine articles and more than a dozen books about single-pilot flying technique, weather avoidance and instrument flying.
“The general aviation community has lost one of its greatest safety champions,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “By writing about the experience he gained through approximately 20,000 hours of flying, much of it in his famous Cessna P210, Dick Collins shared his knowledge with thousands of fellow light plane pilots, thus making our industry safer. Dick’s life and body of work reflect the journalistic excellence and integrity, combined with a deep love and passion for aviation, that made his writing special. Much of his advice is timeless and will continue to benefit aviators for years to come.”
Collins was born on Nov. 28, 1933, in Little Rock, AR. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1955-1957, he became chief pilot of Little Rock-based Ben M. Hogan Co., which was one of the largest highway construction companies in Arkansas at that time.
In 1958, Collins started his journalism career working for his father, Leighton Collins, founder of Air Facts magazine. Ten years later, he joined Flying magazine and served as the magazine’s editor-in-chief from 1977-1988. He then spent two years as editor-in-chief of AOPA Pilot, the magazine of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Collins was an independent aviation consultant from 1989-2008, when he was named editor emeritus of Flying magazine. In recent years, Collins wrote a blog for Air Facts Journal, an online publication for pilots.
Besides the NBAA Platinum Wing Award, Collins received numerous other accolades. In 1965 he received the Flight Safety Foundation’s Sherman Fairchild Award. In 1978, he won the Earl D. Osborn award from the Aviation and Space Writers Association, and he was named to Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988. Collins also was an honorary member of the Flying Physicians Association, Lawyer Pilots Bar Association and Civil Aeromed Association.
Collins was pre-deceased by his wife Ann Slocomb Collins.