RFT 158: Accident Investigator/F-111 Pilot Dave Scheiding

February 5, 2018

Colonel Dave Scheiding started his aviation career in the U.S. Air Force. After Undergraduate Pilot Training, Dave was asked to remain in Air Training Command as a T-37 Instructor Pilot (IP) at Laughlin Air Force Base. In addition to being the resident expert at spin recovery, he pulled service as the base Aerdrome Officer. In that capacity, on October 21st, 1967, he oversaw the post-crash activities when Thunderbird pilot Merrill McPeak crashed during a performance.

Following his IP assignment, Dave volunteered for Vietnam, flying the O-2A as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). He was based at several locations in Vietnam, and has chronicled his experiences in his memoir, The Long Return.

After Vietnam, Dave was selected to attend the University of Denver, where he received his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering. This education was instrumental in determining the cause of the terrible crash of the Operation Babylift flight, the evacuation of Vietnamese children during the collapse of South Vietnam.

On short notice, Dave traveled to South Vietnam to investigate the crash of the C-5. With virtually no security, Dave’s team scoured the accident site and recovered whatever debris remained after locals had stripped the location. During an extended analysis of the C-5 aft cargo door after returning to the United States, Dave re-created the cause of the accident.

Following that assignment, Dave returned to the cockpit and flew the F-111 for seven years. He then attended the Air War College.  After that he was assigned to Kelly AFB where he was a System Program Manager for a number of aircraft systems for the Air Force. Dave finished his Air Force career as the Budget Manager for all of the spare parts procured by Kelly AFB for the Air Force.

In addition to his memoir, Dave authored a moving book about his beloved dog, Hank.

Learn more from Dave’s website.

As our way to help you celebrate the New Year, we’re offering the first book in the Hamfist series FREE!

You can download the book in the e-book format of your choice at your favorite retailer or AmazonSmashwords