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Local legend of aviation

Candler Field Museum’s Ron Alexander will be the one of the next aviation legends to be enshrined in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame in Warner Robins. The inductees will be honored at the April 27 annual Enshrinement Banquet. The banquet begins at 6 p.m. with the ceremony at 7 p.m. Seating is limited and by reservation only. For tickets call 478-328-0704. Alexander flew for Indiana University, the U.S. Air Force and Delta Airlines before starting his first business, Alexander Aeroplane Company, to provide materials and aircraft restoration services. ”I joined the Civil Air Patrol when I was 14. From that time until now I’ve loved aviation,” said Alexander. “I was fortunate when young to have several people keep me under their wing and out of trouble. They gave me good advice and helped me make decisions that proved to be right in the long run.”  Alexander is also one of the pivotal founding members of Candler Field Museum and the PeachState Aerodrome in Williamson. ”It’s very important that we keep the history of aviation alive,” Alexander said. “Younger people often take for granted their heritage and freedoms. Many people have sacrificed through the years so we have the freedoms we enjoy. I want to be sure people, young and old, remember they’re enjoying this day because someone gave their time and often their life so we can do what we want to do on any given day.”  Alexander said the museum is committed to becoming a major destination in the Southeast. Candler Field Museum’s mission is to preserve the early history of aviation from 1920 to 1930 at the original Atlanta airport which was named Candler Field. ”Our intent is to create a living museum that reconstructs the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the time through historically accurate displays, artifacts, memorabilia and restoration projects,” says the museum’s mission statement. “The goal is to cultivate an appreciation of this time in aviation history.” Alexander advises young aspiring pilots to find a mentor to help them make career decisions. ”Young people should first of all focus on their education. They should get involved in an organization such as the CAP,” he said. “If they have an interest in flying they should join the Candler Field Flying Club. It’s a very active group that places emphasis on helping young people learn to fly. The museum is working on an apprentice program for young people who have an interest in aviation maintenance. Joining the Air Force is another way to further a career in aviation. Finding someone with aviation experience to mentor them prior to making a career decision is important. We have a number of such people in our museum membership who are willing to help.”

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