I am pleased to announce that my next book called FLY! –  Life Lessons from the Cockpit of QF32 is available NOW in Australian book shops, just in time for Fathers’ Day.

Purchase autographed paper copies of FLY! (with optional personal messages) world-wide from

On Monday, FLY! will be also be available at:



During my 44 years of flying in the RAAF and Qantas, I have learned the qualities of resilience – to survive when things go wrong. My life has been one of continual learning, training and gathering the mental and physical skills to learn, adapt, stay ahead and survive in a changing, technical and risk-laden world.

Drawing by Claudia Marks (@CDMarks2085)

The QF32 incident (4 November 2010) was the greatest challenge of my life.  It tested every one of my skills.  And only because of of the remarkable team effort by over one thousand people – 469 passengers and crew survived without a single physical injury.




St Vincent’s Hospital – Patient Safety & Quality Symposium (August 2017)

In the last 8 years I have spoken about resilience to people in company boards, executives, managers and workers in just about every industry.  It is the research, learning and lessons from these experiences that I have compiled into FLY!

What is FLY!

The Elements of Resilience – by Coplu (I will publish a story about Coplu’s extraordinary painting later. Subscribe to to receive this story.

FLY! details the elements of personal and corporate resilience for any person who wants to build their confidence and courage and fortify their resilience to survive the unthinkable events.

FLY! discusses the basic neuroscience of the mind, then takes a journey through the eight elements of resilience:

  1. knowledge,
  2. training,
  3. experience,
  4. teamwork,
  5. leadership,
  6. crisis management,
  7. decision making and
  8. risk

FLY! also includes a chapter about Post Traumatic Stress.  I explain what PTS is, why it is a normal reaction to stress, and how we can recover and grow from trauma.

To get a better perspective of what’s in FLY! review the index here.

Who Should Read FLY!

FLY! is designed to help every person find their path and ignite their passion to become tough, confident, competent, disciplined and courageous – the things that catalyse intrepid behaviours and resilience.

FLY! is also designed for teachers who are trying to instil resilience in children.

Geoffrey Thomas, Australia’s most awarded aviation journalist and author wrote:

For a 17-year-old this book is your life bible.
For a 71-year-old it is not too late to get back on course.
FLY! is a must read.

If you want to be a better manager or leader, then FLY! provides lessons I have learned from military and civil cockpits and translates them into lessons, rules and checklists that you can apply to challenges and opportunities in your lives at home, in communities and at work.



Buzz Aldrin – fact checking details of the Apollo 11 lunar landing for FLY!   (Melbourne November 2016)

When writing FLY!

  • I shared insights and techniques I’ve built up over decades in the high-pressure and unforgiving world of aviation.
  • I interviewed leaders from all key industries including aviation, finance, IT, legal, medicine, mining and security.
  • I included personal insights from pilot Sully Sullenberger, astronaut Neil Armstrong, NASA’s Gene Kranz, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and many other leaders who have succeeded under intense pressure.
  • I reviewed the remarkable history and the lifecycle of resilience at NASA from the Apollo years to the Columbia disaster.

Neil Armstrong, me, my father Peter on Sydney harbour 2011


My honour to meet and interview the NASA legend Gene Kranz (Lead Flight Director during NASA’s Apollo 13, Deputy Director of NASA Mission Operations in 1974, Director of NASA Mission Operations in 1983)

FLY! has been received well:

“It the finest book I have ever read – structure, and flow provide a PhD for leadership” ~ Gene Kranz

“Richard de Crespigny takes us on a fascinating journey through the hearts and minds of resilient leaders, revealing what it takes to overcome life’s greatest challenges” ~ Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger

Sully Sullenberger (stress tested and case hardened skeptic) and me.

“I wish this book had been available as required reading back in my flight training days. The essential Flight Manual for living an empowered life!”  ~ Eric Auxier, A321 International Captain for American Airlines, Airways Magazine Columnist, and Author

“In FLY! Captain de Crespigny explores the science of success and reveals techniques we all can use to enhance our performance and be ready for anything” ~ Christine Negroni author of The Crash Detectives, Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Accidents

“FLY! is as much about aviation and great airmanship as it is about leadership and management under stress and strain and how our brain works in acute crisis situations.
Richard shows how good crisis management, whether in the cockpit of an aircraft or at the helm of a big company, can be learned and how it should be practised and sharpened.
Hence FLY! is a great read for leaders of all walks of life, if should be mandatory for Business colleges, military academies and, of course, Flight schools” ~ Dr. Thomas “Tom” Enders, Chief Executive of Airbus

Click here to read more reviews by industry leaders

Confidence build the courage to be intrepid

Be the best you can be …

FLY! will help you build the confidence and courage to become an intrepid leader of successful teams that survive and thrive.

Learn to FLY!






  1. Paul Haverfield · · Reply

    FLY! – Not available on US store yet?? only on …. my Kindle acct is on US store… can this be fixed Richard ?

    1. Hi Paul, I hope FLY! to be available in the USA as soon as possible. I will keep you informed. Rich

  2. Alex Vassiliadis · · Reply

    An absolute joy to read, leaving the reader excited after finishing one page what to expect on the next. FLY is packed with knowledge, a MUST read!

  3. Michael o Connell · · Reply

    Hi Richard.
    Great news about your new book,
    Looking forward to reading it, Michael o Connell is my name.
    I am the one that asked you how did they put out the fire on the engine
    on FLT QF32. Also thanks for the reply.
    Kind Regards

  4. steve jenkin · · Reply

    Attended “Meet the Author” Conversation tonight at ANU: great talk, great interviewer, good questions.

    Definitely recommend the book: your clear, concise style with full explanations. “Why?” – great answers.

    Term “Black Swan” defined by you (Unknown Unknowns), but I didn’t hear the name’s origin tonight. When Europeans came to Australia, they’d only ever seen White Swans. Our “Black Swans” were quite a surprise to them…

    regards steve


    1. Thanks Steve for your kind thoughts,

      • I covered the definitions of Black Swans (3 requirements) in both books QF32 and FLY! read Nicolas Taleb’s book “Black Swan” for additional info.
      • Click here to listen to the podcast of that interview at ANU on the 17th September 2018.

      Best R

  5. William Lucas · · Reply

    I flew with you on flight QF9 on VH-OQG from MEL the day it had an oil leak in in the outer starboard engine. Although it was the first airline flight for my wife and myself, we had no qualms about going, because we trust the engineers and flight staff at Qantas, despite actually working at Ansett when it was shafted by ANZ. The delay had a extra benefit for us, because the delay meant we had to join queue to get into Heathrow, and circled twice over London central, above all the major tourist spots. Looking forwards to a flight on the 787 one of these days.

    1. I remember that flight William. My wife Coral accompanied me. thanks for your patience and understanding. Rich

  6. Paul Haverfield · · Reply

    I cannot see it yet in Kindle Store… is it expected on Kindle soon ??

    1. Please check again Paul. It should be up.

  7. cap11ahcou8 · · Reply

    Rich, Congratulations from Bunny and me! So excited for you, and looking forward to reading the final version!

    Sent from my iPhone Sincerely,

    Eric “Cap’n Aux” Auxier Pilot/Author/Columnist E W


  8. Have you tried your local bookstore? QF32 has been on the shelves in Singapore.

    1. Yes I have a copy of QF32 which I ordered from Amazon. Currently ‘Fly’ is only available in digital format. I’ll keep a lookout for the hard copy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: