Four Years Later ….

Four Years Later . . .

(Painting Jaak de Koninck

(Painting Jaak de Koninck

The thirteenth reprint of QF32 was released just after the 4th anniversary of the QF32 flight.   This latest reprint includes the following text at page 352  …

My life has changed since the QF32 event.

My greatest reward has been meeting the QF32 passengers worldwide. We share a bond that will never be broken.

QF32 has made a difference. The final ATSB report vindicated  all crewmembers’ actions and airlines have changed procedures to align with our actions.  I remain profoundly proud and grateful to the other pilots and cabin crew (under the direction of Michael Von Reth) who enabled 469 passengers and crew to return home to their loved ones.

Mars Jackson - 3 yrs old (Photo Vienna Jackson)

Mars Jackson – 3 yrs old (Photo Vienna Jackson)

I never thought of myself as an author or motivator so I am heartened to receive reviews from nine to 92-year-old readers.

My greatest joy was to receive a letter from the mother of three-year-old Mars Jackson who has been inspired by QF32 and keeps it by his side: ‘Look Mummy! Captain de Crespigny is my friend! I’m going to be a good pilot like him! I won’t crash my plane. I’ll fix it, like him!’

My greatest reward has been meeting the QF32 passengers worldwide.

I enjoy presenting workshops worldwide about safety, security, resilience, leadership, teamwork, decision-making and crisis management. I am deeply entrenched, writing my next book.


Committed to help PTS sufferers.

My challenge now is to give back and to help others. Surprisingly, most of the readers’ questions relate to Post Traumatic Stress (page 312). I realise now that over 50 per cent of our elders suffer PTS, so I explain that PTS can be treated and there can be growth from trauma.

My family’s lives have changed too. Coral, Alexander, Sophia and I enjoy working with Disabled Wintersport Australia to give the disabled the confidence in the snow, to help them find their courage and to reach their full potential.

I am a STEM Ambassador in the UK supporting the Bloodhound Super Sonic Car project.  I am trying to establish and support STEM initiatives in Australian schools, universities, corporations and governments.

Disabled Wintersport Australia - Perisher - 2013

Disabled Wintersport Australia – Perisher – 2013

Look out for me the next time you are lucky enough to fly in an A380. I still walk the aisles and love talking to passengers.

Stop me, say ‘Hi, Rich,’ and you’ll make my day.

There’s blue sky ahead and the fuel tanks are full. It’s time to release the brakes again.

It’s time to FLY!

QF32 Passenger Johanna Friis

QF32 Passenger Johanna Friis

QF32 passengers Carolyn & Derwyn Jones

QF32 passengers Carolyn & Derwyn Jones

QF32 passenger Suzie Patchett

QF32 passenger Suzie Patchett

QF32 passenger Claire Ryan

QF32 passenger Claire Ryan


  1. […] Here is last year’s blog on the 4th Anniversary of the QF32 event. […]

  2. Pat Martin · · Reply

    Hi Richard,

    I hope this finds you well and life is good for you.

    I was on QF32 on that extraordinary day. I was seated in seat 58K and my lovely partner Margaret Connell was seated beside me in 58J. We are grateful for every day since that event and thanks to the skill and ability of all your crew on board we are now looking forward to a return visit for the first time since, this New Year, this time though without the drama.

    One of the abiding memories of that day was the de-brief you gave back in the departure lounge. I actually asked you a question which you replied to. You also gave out your personal phone number, which was a fantastic and brave gesture.

    Margaret’s brother had undergone a major life changing operation which was our primary reason for our trip out as he and his family had emigrated 25 years ago and this was our first visit to Australia.

    Accepting that we were national news we found it difficult that everyone we met were very interested in the one thing we really didn’t want to talk about.

    Margaret sadly lost her parents New Year 2014 within two days of each other and since her brother was unable to attend their funeral in Scotland we are visiting him on their anniversaries.

    I’ve read your book QF32 and I’m not ashamed to say that at certain points I cried openly (which is certainly not me). Margaret has yet to complete the book without being overcome with the emotions relieved. Thank you though for signing it and leaving a message.

    Although I read the book mainly to find out what did actually happen that day but I found that I enjoyed reading about your career and how it had developed. Your name is one I’ll certainly remember.

    I’m unsure if you’re still an A380 pilot for Qantas, but how fitting would it be to know that you are the Captain again on our return. We fly from Dubai on 30th December on flight QF8412.

    Kind regards,

    Pat Martin

    1. Dear Pat and Margaret,

      Thanks you for your message and your story about your travels five years ago. I am continually surprised by the extent that the three debriefs and the personal guarantee calmed you both and the rest of the passengers after the event. I am pleased that you are flying.

      I’m happy to answer any more questions that you and Margaret might have.

      I do not have my roster for flying the A380 in December, however I’ll see if I can grab that flight. Listen out for me!

      Best wishes to you both


  3. Thanks for sharing your continuing adventures Richard.

    A 13th reprint of your first book makes me all the more eager to read your next book.

    A colleague was asking me about QF32 over coffee only last Friday. He knows that I use your case study in my crisis communications and organisational resilience presentations from time to time. Your speaking about the “hidden” problems of PTSD will help so many.

    Keep on keeping on.

    Cheers, Chris (who missed 😦 the ski last season at Perisher), and Mike

  4. The Caribou cats keep putting down on the flour time after time. There is just substitute for a bag of flour and a raincoat. Rich you will need to explain the raincoat to Coral.
    For you to get it down at 2.5mpsec at Changi and on the flour bag says it all. We will all fly with you
    Mervin reed

  5. Paul Barnett · · Reply

    Hi Richard,

    You are a hero and equal all famous aviators.

    I am a travel agency manager and always recommend Qantas as I have faith in the quality of the flight crew. QF is worth the few extra dollars paid.

    In Perth as you know there are no more regular Qantas international services. I will be travelling to London and will transfer to Qantas in Dubai. Possibly you will be my pilot DXB-LHR or LHR-DXB?

    I have a copy of your book. Outstanding people like you make me proud to be an Australian.

    It is never too late to wish you a very successful 2015.

    Best Regards, Paul Barnett

  6. walter p komarnicki · · Reply

    Although I’ve seen the Air Crash Investigation and the 4 Corners story about QF32, I have yet to read the book, but have not been able to find it up here in the Philippines, but one of these days when we expats get back to Australia, I’ll drop into Angus and Robertson and buy one.

    My son has dreams of being a pilot one day and this is a story that he is quite fond of.

    1. Walter please purchased a signed paper book via the panel on the right.

  7. graham fairbanks · · Reply

    Yes I remember it so well on that fateful day.

    I was sitting over the opposite wing when the engine exploded, I remember saying to the lady next to me “that wasn’t supposed to happen was it?”

    What a day!

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