Richard Collins Gone West At 85
Well known Aviation Advocate and IFR Pro Richard L. “Dick” Collins, a leading aviation journalist and lifelong safety advocate, has died. He was 85. 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.
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.