This is an extraordinary story, beginning with a bare-foot colonial childhood, and indeed not speaking English until he was four, yet ending up at Cambridge, ultimately dealing at the highest levels of the Russian aviation industry. Richard Goode’s life has been a fascinating series of activities, both social and business, dealing with an incredible range of people from the notorious Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, to whom he was selling banknotes (legally) to a car dealer who was embroiled in the Brinks-Mat gold robbery (illegally); dealing with Russian spies at the behest of MI5; international corporate headhunting and aerobatics at the highest levels. And all this with a huge zest for living life to the full.
Highlights of his life have included:
- as a teenager, hitchhiking from London to Cape Town
- becoming one of the world’s top aerobatic pilots and making his own very successful aerobatic aircraft
- buying the first privately owned Russian aeroplane in the West and then acting as a sales agent for Sukhoi
- selling over 450 aircraft and the world’s only privately-owned Harrier jet fighter
- establishing a barely-credible business sending people from the West to fly front-line Russian jet fighters
- Totally restoring three significant English listed country houses and a run-down tea estate in Sri Lanka
- Owning a wide variety of cars from old bangers to Jaguar XKs, vintage Rolls-Royces to modern Ferraris
Throughout, his life been anything but straightforward, with a fair share of crashes and calamities. Financially, he narrowly avoided meltdown in the ruinous Lloyds insurance crash of the 1990s; he successfully faced up to the Russian Mafia and was even served with an Interpol arrest warrant! Most dramatic was the structural failure of his aerobatic plane during a public display resulting in a barely-survivable, catastrophic accident, leading to three months in a hospital bed.
We live in a very sanitised and protected world and it is refreshing to read this story about a man who has been prepared to take risks and also to accept the consequences of them, whether positive or negative. A thrilling, real-life tale.
This book is complemented by a rich selection of appealing and fascinating images.
- Jacketed Hardback, 376 page extent, 240 mm x 170 mm in portrait format
- Over 150 colour & b/w photos