David Smith has spent most of his life high in the sky - either jumping out of planes or flying them.
The Mount Warrigal resident, 71, has now been recognised for his years of service to the skydiving community with an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Mr Smith completed his first jump in 1968 and has never looked back.
He became an instructor a couple of years later and worked at Picton skydiving range.
"Boats appeal to some, others like trains and flying is my thing," he said.
Mr Smith's started manufacturing parachutes for athletes and then emergency services.
He later became the Australian Parachute Federation president.
"I am still volunteering for the federation even though I am retired now," he said. "I haven't jumped in 10 years.
"My son went for his first jump on his 16th birthday and now he runs his own parachute business so he is carrying on the tradition.
"I convinced some of my other family members to skydive but many weren't keen. Most of my friends are from the skydiving days."
His love of the air continued when he learnt to fly small planes. He reguarly goes on trips away in the plane with friends.
"My life has always involved aviation," Mr Smith said.
He said he was surprised and humbled to have been nominated for an OAM.
Mr Smith's list of achievements:
Australian Parachute Federation
- Independent Director, since 2015
- President, 2005-2014
- Executive Director (paid position), 1992-2004
- Director of Rigging, 17 years
- Former Chief Instructor
- Member, since 1969
- Vice-President, Australian Sports Aviation Confederation, late 2000s
- Former Member of various Committees, Parachute Industry Association, United States of America
- Chief Instructor, National Safety Council of Australia, 1980s. (developed para-rescue equipment and training skydivers)
- Founder and owner, Air Safety Solutions (manufactured safety and rescue products used by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, emergency medical services and Defence, as well as restraints and life preservers for parachutists), 2003-2014
- Partner of business and Developer of The Trimpack fore and aft system, The Pigmee with SOS, The Slimpack and Trimpack emergency parachutes, The military T100 aircrew emergency parachute and The Invader Tactical Gliding Parachute.
Other Skydiving/Parachuting roles
- Manager and Chief Instructor, Wilton Parachute Centre, early 1970s
- Instructor, Parachutes Australia/Sydney Skydivers, early 1970s
- Gained, Instructor Rating, 1969
- Completed over 2000 jumps
- Pilot of fixed-winged aircraft
Awards and Recognition includes:
- Awarded, Paul Tissandier Diploma, 'for services to sport parachuting', Federation Aeronautique Internationale, 2009
- Awarded, Honorary Group Diploma for Parachutes Australia, Federation Aeronautique Internationale
- Recipient, Australian Sports Medal, 'for service to parachuting', 2000
- Recipient, Achievement Awards for Administration and Technical Achievement, Australian Parachute Federation