Saturday, November 3, 2007

Ron Crawford















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Ron Crawford
Upper photo, providing tows for Sundance Aviation in the Pawnee.
Lower photo, playing his bagpipes in the hanger at Sundance Aviation.x
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Ron Crawford is a tow pilot at Sundance Aviation in Moriarty, New Mexico. On a slow weekday you can find him in the hangar playing his bagpipes. He is a member of the band, Order of the Thistle Pipes & Drums.
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Ron’s background is very diverse. He has worked in the Military, Aerospace, Agricultural Aviation, Part 135 Charter, Tow Pilot for Southwest Soaring and Calistoga Soaring , Broadcast Engineering and as a Computer IT Analyst. x
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How did you get into aviation? x
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I learned to fly sailplanes in 1967 when I joined the Arizona Soaring Club. I added a power rating to my Private license and then used the G.I. Bill to complete my Commercial ratings. x
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Why did you start playing the bagpipes? x
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I've loved the bagpipes since I was seven years old and when I crossed paths with an instructor. x
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I felt it was time to do it.What is Scottish Rite, Order of the Thistle? x
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The Scottish Rite is an extension of the Masonic Lodge. The Order of the Thistle is an Honor Guard and sponsor group within the Scottish Rite that sponsors our pipe & drum band. Our band is the "Order of the Thistle Pipes & Drums". I'm currently the Pipe Major of the band. We have both women and men that are pipers and drummers, as well as young people. We meet for practice in the Santa Fe Scottish Rite Temple on Tuesday evenings at 6:30PM. We teach piping and drumming to beginners and you do not have to be a Mason to join the band. x
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Do you play any other instruments? x
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Yes, I play the Guitar, Bass Guitar, and the French Horn. Also, I love to play the Native American Flute. x
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What is your educational background? x
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Electronics, Aviation and Music. x
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Did you serve in the military? x
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Yes, Naval Aviation. I was aircrew, a Morse code radio operator on the WV-2 Super Constellation, and ASW technician/radio operator on the P5M-2 Marlin seaplane.x
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What kinds of planes have you flown? x
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Sailplanes, many types of single-engine aircraft, several multi-engine aircraft. Mainly, I flew the Piper Pawnee, Cessna AG-Truck, Callair A9-B & B1, Grumman AG-Cat, and Thrush Commander spray planes. Most of my flying time though, is in the Air-Tractor AT-301/R-1340. x
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What is your most memorable flight? x
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Flying a Grumman AG Cat cross country... It was a lot like barnstorming. Also, flying for six and a half hours in my home built BJ-1 Duster sailplane at Caddo Mills, Texas. Still my best soaring flight.x
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What do you like about being a tow pilot? x
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Providing a service for other pilots to enjoy their sport of soaring. It also satisfies my need to fly.x
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Have you ever had to release a glider from tow? x
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Not yet.x
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Have you ever not been able to release? x
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No.x
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If you could purchase any plane you wanted, which one would it be and why? x
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I'm a hopeless "aviation" romantic and would purchase a Stearman PT-13A with a R-985 power plant, painted in U.S. Army colors, cause I love flying Bi-wing open cockpit aircraft. Would love to share that experience with others.x
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What advice can you give new pilots? x
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Your new "License" is just a license to learn. Humility should come to you if you fly long enough, as experience is gained by surviving your mistakes. Flying is less forgiving and no place for a "Cowboy" or "Cowgirl". Be safe... "Ego will kill you", as my first employer in the Ag business reminded me. I've never forgotten those words. Stay current and get proper training before executing extreme maneuvers, etc. Respect the privilege of flying, and then enjoy it!

To learn more about the Scottish Rite go to: http://www.scottishrite.org/
For glider flights or lessons go to: http://www.soarsundance.com/





2 comments:

Jonathan Price said...

Fun to have the link to the thistles...such a great emblem for Scotland.

Best,

Jonathan

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