National Library of Australia

 Summer Opening Hours:

Our opening hours will be changing between Tuesday 24 December 2019 and Wednesday 1 January 2020.

All reading rooms will be closed from Christmas Day, reopening on 2 January. But you’ll still be able to visit our Exhibition Galleries, our children’s holiday space, WordPlay, and Bookshop from 9am-5pm (except on Christmas Day).Bookplate café will also be open during this period, but with varied hours.

Be sure to check our Summer Opening Hours before you visit: https://www.nla.gov.au/visit-us/opening-hours

You must be logged in to Tag Records
Colin Torkington interviewed by Rob Linn for the E.A. Crome aviation oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 3118352
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Author
Torkington, Colin, 1936-, Interviewee
 
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2004 
2 digital audio tapes (74 min.) 
Series

E.A. Crome aviation oral history project.

Summary

Colin Torkington, aeronautical engineer (retired), born in Yorkshire, UK, talks about his early life and work history; attending the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield; being recruited to work at Aeronautical Research Laboratories, Department of Supply in Melbourne and moving to Australia in 1961; his work on Mustang wings and testing; the move to Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) as Airworthiness Engineer; his research into the Viscount accidents and the Fokker Friendship investigation; safety factors of aircraft in the 1960s in comparison to the early 2000s; in 1982 moving to Canberra and taking up another position in DCA; in 1994 moving to Canada as Australian representative on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),holding this position for 5 years; the review of ICAO and its work; his retirement in 2000; he discusses the impact of the Second World War on aviation; he elaborates on his decision to come to Australia on a 3 year contract; he describes the laboratory at Fisherman's Bend, Vic.; the work at DCA and the emphasis on defect reporting, this reporting has pushed Australia to the forefront of aviation; the international exchange of information.

Torkington discusses the Airworthiness section at DCA and those involved; how Aviation safety was the core of their work; the cooperation with RAAF and Navy staff and the value of discussions in sorting out aircraft problems; the role of DCA in establishing fatigue specifications; the shift of DCA to Canberra and the building of new laboratories; how after 10 years there was a bout of cost cutting and its effects; he talks further about the variety of work at the ICAO and his role as Commissioner; the accumulation of world knowledge about aircraft and aviation and the role of ICAO making aviation safer; his time in Washington and speaking with FAA; working with North American National Research Council investigating aviation safety; his memories of people he worked with; the fact that DCA was a prestige Department before being moved to the Dept. of Transport; how in the 1990s when he was in Canada the research laboratory was closed; he talks about its loss and its worth to staff and the nation; the pivotal moments in his working life and accident investigation

Notes

Recorded on May. 19, 2004 at Latham, A.C.T.

Also available online http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-218647658

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary and corrected transcript (typescript, 38 leaves). 
Subjects Torkington, Colin, 1936- -- Interviews  |  Australia. Department of Civil Aviation.  |  Aeronautical engineers -- Australia -- Interviews.  |  Aircraft accidents -- Investigation -- Australia.  |  Aeronautics -- Safety measures.
Occupation Engineers.
Other authors/contributors Linn, Rob, Interviewer

In the Library

Request this item to view in the Library's reading rooms using your library card. To learn more about how to request items watch this short online video Help Video.

Details Collect From
ORAL TRC 5172/6
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 5172/6 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 5172/6 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Special Collections Reading Room

Order a copy

- Copyright or permission restrictions may apply. We will contact you if necessary.

Help Video To learn more about Copies Direct watch this short online video Help Video.
close Can I borrow items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close What can I get online?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

close Can I get copies of items from the Library?

You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video embedded.

You can view this on the NLA website.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flags
Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other First Nations people are advised that this catalogue contains names, recordings and images of deceased people and other content that may be culturally sensitive. Please also be aware that you may see certain words or descriptions in this catalogue which reflect the author’s attitude or that of the period in which the item was created and may now be considered offensive.