Dick Gilbert was educated at Eastbourne Grammar School, entering the aviation industry at Shoreham Airport in the early 1960s working on Tiger Moths. His first airline job was in 1965 in the operations department of Skyways, who flew Dakota and Avro 748 aircraft on a low-cost shuttle service to France from the grass airfield at Lympne, Kent. He later transferred to the passenger services department and became their station manager at Stansted.
After a year at Heathrow with Northeast Airlines, he moved to Alderney to work with Channel Island bus-stop operator Aurigny Air Services. In 1976 he returned to the mainland and joined cargo airline Air Bridge Carriers at East Midlands Airport, initially in Operations but later becoming Commercial Superintendent.
Dick became Commercial Manager of Anglo Cargo Airlines at Gatwick in 1985, then founded his own air charter brokerage Skyline Aviation when Anglo failed in 1991. He closed the agency after 19 years on his retirement in 2010. He first attended BACA functions in the early 1980s, joined the Association in 1992, was elected to the Council in 2004 and was BACA Chairman from 2009 to 2013. He is married with three children and five grandchildren, and lives in Sussex.