JOHN R.W. SMITH obtained an honours degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Bristol University in 1962. Having completed his apprenticeship, he joined Avro in 1963 as an Aerodynamicist in the Flight Development Department and, alongside this task, became a Flight Test Observer in 1964. His professional expertise expanded from aerodynamics to automatic flight control systems and navigation systems. During that time, he flew frequently with Tony Blackman who was Avro’s Chief Test Pilot. In 1974 he joined the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as a Flight Test Engineer. He was appointed a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society. In 1982, he left the CAA’s Flight Department to become a Design Liaison Surveyor in the Projects Department, leading teams of CAA specialist engineers investigating the design and test results for aircraft types seeking UK certification, and on further promotion was responsible for all Light Aeroplane certification, as well as managing the CAA’s design and production approval process for UK aircraft manufacturers. In 1993, he became CAA’s Head of Aircraft Certification. John retired in 1999.