Squadron Leader Bio
Col David Bonorden– Squadron Leader
“I was interested in CAF back to the late 80’s but thought it was a club that you had to know someone to have a chance to get in. By the early/mid 90’s I knew a little more, but asked around at a different CAF org and did not feel welcomed. I got the “you might not fit in here” feeling from the people I spoke to. Looking around Burnet in early 2000’s I met Richard Smith at the hangar and he opened my eyes to CAF and HLS. The key message I got from Richard was “why aren’t you already out here helping us with these airplanes?” What a huge difference! I knew then that I would join CAF and work on and maybe one day fly some of these airplanes. But my employer soon sent me to Singapore for 3 years. I visited as soon as I got back in 2007 and joined. I love being around airplane people and HLS has a lot of great folks! And I like the education mission of CAF – Lest we forget! Getting to work on and fly historic airplanes is gravy.”
· 1st solo - 14 May 1986 in a C-152 at Alameda Airport, Albuquerque, NM, via Kirtland AFB Aero Club
· Pilot's license in Nov 1986 w/ Kirtland Aero Club
· Instrument rating in Aug 1989 at Eglin AFB Aero Club, followed by SEL commercial in July 1991 and MEL commercial in Aug 1991.
· Active member of Civil Air Patrol Phantom Composite Squadron 1992 - 1996, rated as Mission Pilot, served as Squadron Safety Officer for 2 of those years. Awarded CAP Texas Wing Group 8 Safety Officer of the year in 1994.
· Served as volunteer FAA Flight Safety Counselor with the San Antonio FSDO 1993-1996.
· Served 6 yrs active duty in the USAF, rank of Captain, Chief Flight Test Engineer on the AMRAAM IOT&E test team at Eglin AFB, FL and SW Test Manager on the F-4G Wild Weasel APR-38 avionics system, AGM-88 HARM anti-radiation missile and the AM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile at HQ AFOTEC at Kirtland AFB, NM.
· Served 2 yrs in USAF Reserves as an Intelligence Officer, rank of Captain, with the Defense Intelligence Agency at Boling AFB, DC, 1996-1998
· Served as VP of Engineering and Operations for Freewing Aerial Robotics Corp 1996-2000, in charge of all development, flight testing and production for a small, innovative drone company with major contracts and strategic projects with Matra (French Aerospace conglomerate), Boeing North American Aircraft Div, Texas A&M Aerospace Engr and Marconi.
· Over 1000 hrs flight time, flown 40 hrs in HLS L-17 since June 2015. Part owner of 1975 C-210L, former part owner of Piper J-5A (painted as L-4F). Owner of lonely Van's RV-project.