Richard McSpadden Death – Richard McSpadden, the former commander of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds has passed away. According to reports, Richard McSpadden was pronounced dead from injuries sustained in an aircraft accident that happened outside Lake Placid, New York, on Sunday afternoon. The Cardinal 177 in which Richard was in the right seat experienced an emergency after takeoff. The airplane attempted to return to the airport but failed to make the runway. Both occupants were pronounced dead.
Who was Richard Mcspadden?
Richard McSpadden became executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute in February 2017 and senior vice president in July 2020. He oversees a team of certified flight instructors and content creators who produce and distribute free aviation safety content to improve industry safety. ASI distributes content via YouTube, iTunes podcasts, Facebook, and a dynamic website. ASI content is accessed 12 million times annually.
From Panama City, Florida, McSpadden began flying as a teenager and has over 5,000 hours in civilian and military aircraft. Commercial pilot McSpadden has CFII, MEI, SES, MES, and 525S (Citation Jet Single Pilot) ratings. He taught his son and daughter to solo in their Piper SuperCub. He owns a 1993 Piper Super Cub and a 1950 Navion that was in his family for nearly 40 years.
McSpadden earned an Economics degree from Georgia and an MPA from Troy University. He studied at the USAAF Air War College. Before joining AOPA, McSpadden led large, geographically dispersed IT operations that provided business-critical IT services. For 20 years, McSpadden was commander and flight leader of the US Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team, leading over 100 flight demonstrations in the lead aircraft. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee industry chair is McSpadden.
The family will release an obituary and funeral arrangements for Richard Mcspadden.
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