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David Pluth 
staefa, switzerland
Wednesday, 22. September 2004 14:06 Host: Write a comment Send E-mail

This is a great website and an amazing walk down memory lane for me. I joined Squadron 3 about 1961 or 62 during the times of Dwight Obenchain, Tom Pierchala, Tom Cagan, Pete Hadley, Steve Deddens and forgive me for the guys I've not mentioned. It had to be the defining experience of my life. Ralph Truglio drilled basic sense and responsibility into the brains of 15 and 16-year old kids. The discipline of learning to fly under his tutelage and the responsibility of actually taking out an expensive piece of kit like an airplane all by yourself - and bringing it back in more or less one piece - were the foundations for anything else I accomplished in life. And Ralph and I did have a forced landing with the C-150 in carrot field in Newhall when the engine sucked a valve and the vibrations almost opened the doors until Ralph got the prop stopped. That's the point when you know it's real, no turning back, no mistakes allowed.

Now, I'm a photographer and filmmaker living in Switzerland, but working mostly in East Europe, Asia and Africa. Though I am not flying myself these days I still use airplanes, helicopters and hot air balloons for a lot of my work.
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