Topic: Miracle Of Flight: The Wright Brothers At Kitty Hawk
Bio: Darrell Collins is a native of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and resides in Manteo, on Roanoke Island. Graduated from Manteo High School in 1973. He is a graduate of Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina and holds a B. S. degree in Geology, Minor in History.
He has worked with the National Park Service in the division of interpretation and education for 32 years, spending the majority of his time at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, where he serves as the Historian. He served with NASA in a series of educational programs promoting aviation and the Wright brothers to young children. In 1990 was nominated as the National Park Service top Interpretative Ranger for the Freeman Tilden Award. In 1999 was nominated by the Department of the Interior to represent the National Park Service for the “Park Ranger Tour Program”, an outreach program for children in major U. S. cities.
For the past twenty-three years, he has been on the aviation/ aerospace lecture circuit. Previous speaking engagements include the Aero Club of Washington’s Wright Memorial Dinner, National Air Transportation 50th Anniversary, Aerospace Industries of America, Aircraft Owners, and Pilot Association. He is a regular speaker at the Speakers’ Showcase Series at the Oshkosh Fly-In Convention. Australian International Airshow DownUnder and many other aviation/aerospace-oriented groups and events. Darrell Collins ranks in the top 5 historians in the world on early aviation and the Wright brothers. He is the author of numerous articles and consulting editor for play writes and authors on early aviation and the Wright brothers. He is a member of the Heaven Creek Baptist Church in Manteo, Past Vice Chairperson of the Town of Manteo Planning and Zoning Board, Past Board of Directors of the Outer Banks History Center Associates, Honorary Member of the Virginia Historical Aviation Society, and a Paul Harris Fellow presented by Rotary International. Now is an elected Commissioner for the Town of Manteo. In 2003, the Governor awarded him the “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” the highest civilian recognition given by the State of North Carolina for his outstanding and dedicated service to Wright Brothers National Memorial. Also in 2003, the National Aeronautic Association presented him with an International award, the Paul Tissandier Diploma for his career of service to aeronautics and airports.