Keith Carmody acquired a lifelong interest in aviation from his father who served with the Australian Flying Corps in Egypt, Mesopotamia and France.
After four years in the services, during and after the war, Keith took local release in Burma to take up a position with a British mining company at a location in the north of the country near the Chinese border. A year later, he returned to Melbourne and commenced training through the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme, graduating in mining engineering four years later.
Working in remote areas convinced Keith that he needed an aircraft. Initially he hired aeroplanes but in 1960 he purchased one of the first Cessna 210s off the assembly line. These early model 210s were very prone to hydraulic undercarriage problems and indeed he was to experience a wheels-up landing when the nose wheel failed to extend. Subsequently he purchased a turbo-charged Cessna 210. In 1969 he upgraded to a twin with the purchase of a Piper Twin Comanche. At this time Keith was making frequent trips through Fiji to Tonga and Western Samoa usually returning via New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Bougainville and P.N.G. The major limitation of the Twin Comanche was carrying capacity, so in 1975 he made the never to be regretted decision to obtain a Beech B58 Baron. Two years later he acquired a later model Baron.
During the preceding events, Keith served for fifteen years on the Committee of the Royal Queensland Aero Club with five years as President. Keith joined the Board of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) in 1969 and was elected State President in 1977, serving two terms totalling four years. During his time with the RFDS Keith was instrumental in the decision to upgrade the fleet from the Beech Queen Air to the turbine Super King Air. Keith stepped down from the RFDS Board in 1994 and was elected to honorary membership in 2006.
In 1975, Keith accompanied the late Denys Dalton in an attempt to set a record for a round-the-world flight in his Duke VH-TKE. This attempt was aborted by a major engine failure thirty minutes after departure from Toronto. A subsequent attempt to set a record on the U.K. to Brisbane leg was also aborted by engine failure.
In 1975, Keith participated in the successful expedition to the Algerian Desert to recover the remains of the Avro Avian Southern Cross Minor. Keith also participated in the 1983 expedition to Burma which unsuccessfully attempted to locate the remains of the Lockheed Altair Lady Southern Cross.
Keith retired in 1988 but continued to share his great passion for flying with his wife June and his three daughters, Karen, Linda and Joanne, all of whom are licensed pilots.
Keith joined the Queensland Air Museum as a foundation member in 1974. It was Keith’s wish that the Museum be sited at Archerfield adjacent to the RQAC clubhouse and although he worked hard towards this goal, the bureaucracy of the day did not favour aviation museums on airports. Many of the aeroplanes in the QAM collection were transported by the faithful Austral Mining Dodge truck which Keith always made available at no charge and with a full tank of petrol. Keith served QAM as a member for 35 years and his membership renewals were always accompanied by a generous donation.
Keith Carmody was truly a total aviation person. His log book closed at 6714.9 hours.
Cessna 210 VH-RHK
Cessna 210 VH-RDT
Piper Twin Comanche VH-EDS
Beech Baron VH-ABP
Beech Baron VH-KCN