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Derrick Rolland interviewed by Rob Linn for the E.A. Crome aviation oral history project [sound recording]
Bib ID 3412102
Format AudioAudio, OnlineOnline [sound recording]
Rolland, D, Interviewee
Online Versions
Access Conditions Access open for research, personal copies and public use. 
Description 2005 
2 digital audio tapes (ca. 81 min.) 

E.A. Crome aviation oral history project.


Derrick Rolland talks about how his interest in aviation began; joining the Air Training Corps at time of WWII; beginning RAAF training (1944); navigation training in Canada; not seeing active service due to the end of the war; giving up aviation after the war; his career in forestry (1946); postings; the role of aviation in forestry eg. eucalypt seeding, baiting of feral animals, fire bombing; his study of forestry and beginning of aerial work; the use of Sirkorsky helicopters; pilots he came to know and observe; Ben Buckley; his link with agricultural aviation and its more formal establishment from 1983; his pursuit of history through Aerial Agricultural Association [AAA] and its formation in 1958; aerial agriculture being an extension of Second World War training and technology; the first commercial operations (1947); pilot training courses in the 1960s; early pilots including Joh Bjelke Petersen, Basil Brown, David Gray, Hazelton, Colin Pay, Perkins, Robilliard, Schutt and Watson; types of planes used; high accident rate of Tiger Moths; Fletcher and Percival aircraft and move to turbine aircraft; skills of airmen and operations in which they were involved; dangers faced; improvement in safety; pioneering aerial agriculture in USA and New Zealand.

Rolland discusses commercial viability of early operations; improvement in commercial aspects; historical research into aerial agriculture; geographical spread of businesses and reach beyond Australia; formation of industry over 50 years; custom-built aircraft; interviewing agricultural pilots; government regulations; the pursuit of safety and economy; establishment of training facilities; Operation Spray Safe; ground crews and support staff; critical nature of agricultural aviation; government oversight of industry; the l role of Sir Donald Anderson; the role of AAA in liaising with government; early work with State governments; Tom Watson; involvement of farmers, graziers and other investors in the industry; environmental and economic difficulties; the nature of industry and willingness to move with the times; the most significant changes in industry; improvement in aircraft technology and move to safety; better communication and weather monitoring; public reaction to better practice in spraying; his earliest memories and the leap forward in aviation after Second World War; safety issues faced and how they impacted on work; John Hopton's photographic collection; his photographic collection; participating in the restoration of aircraft; final memories about those who were pivotal in Australian aviation before, during and immediately after the WWII.


Recorded on Feb. 02, 2005 at Bright, Vic.

Also available online

Index/Finding Aid Note Timed summary (3 p.) and corrected transcript (typescript, 39 leaves) 
Subjects Rolland, D. -- Interviews.  |  Aerial Agriculture Association of Australia -- History.  |  Aeronautics in agriculture -- Australia -- History.  |  Aeronautics in forestry -- Australia -- History.  |  Aerial spraying and dusting in agriculture -- Australia.  |  Aerial spraying and dusting in forestry -- Australia.
Other authors/contributors Linn, Rob, Interviewer

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Details Collect From
ORAL TRC 5172/10
Copy: Recording
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 5172/10 (transcript)
Copy: Transcript
Special Collections Reading Room
ORAL TRC 5172/10 (summary)
Copy: Summary
Special Collections Reading Room

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