Ron Alexander was born in 1942 in Bloomington, Indiana. At the
age of 14, he took his first airplane ride in a miltary C-119
as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Shortly after that flight
he began flying with other CAP members in a PA.-18. When Ron
was 16 years old, he soloed an Aeronca Champ. Ron worked at
the Bloomington, Indiana airport during high school and
obtained his private license at age 17. He entered Indiana
University in 1960 while working for a fixed base operator to
obtain his commercial license. Ron enrolled in the Air Force
ROTC program and was accepted into the flight training
program. He graduated from Indiana University as a
Distinguished Military Graduate in the ROTC program. Ron used
the allotted flying time for ROTC students to obtain his
Ron began instructing in light aircraft in 1962 and did so for
2 years. During that same period of time, he flew as co-pilot
on a C-45 and a DC-3 for Indiana University. After graduating
from Indiana University School of Business in 1964, he entered
the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant. He received
his primary flight school training at Reese Air Force Base in
Lubbock, Texas. After graduation from flight school Ron was
assigned to the Military Air Transport Service flying C-130E
aircraft to virtually every continent in the world. In
November, 1966, Ron was assigned to South Viet Nam to fly the
C-7 Caribou supporting the Marine Corps and the Army Special
Forces. He was based in Danang located in the I Corps area of
Viet Nam. For most of his flying time, he flew in the area
around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in support of Army Special
Forces units and the Marine Corps. The missions were varied
and included medevac, resupply, and troop transport. He flew
for a total of 12 months in Viet Nam. Two of those months, he
instructed new arrivals on procedures used while flying within
South Viet Nam. During the 1 year of service in Viet Nam, the
Air Force awarded Ron the Distinguished Flying Cross and 2 Air
Medals. He then returned to the United States in November,
1967 to Sewart AFB, Tennessee to instruct in the C-7. Ron held
the rank of Captain prior to his honorable discharge from the
Air Force in 1969.
During his tour of duty in Tennessee, Ron obtained his glider
rating in sailplanes. In June, 1969, Delta Air Lines hired him
as a pilot. He moved to Chicago, Illinois to fly the Convair
880 and the DC-9. During his stay in Chicago he purchased his
first airplane -a J-3 Cub that he still owns today. In 1974,
Ron moved to Griffin, Georgia to live on a community airstrip.
He then began flying out of Delta’s Atlanta base on the DC-9.
During 1976, Ron began restoring antique airplanes. He has
restored a Taylorcraft, J-3 Cub, and 2 Stearmans. In 1978, he
completed the rebuild of a PT17 Stearman that won best PT at
the annual Galesburg, Illinois National Stearman Fly-In.
Ron’s airline career continued with his flying the DC-9,
Boeing 727, and Lockheed 1011 as a co-pilot. In 1983 Ron
became a Captain on the DC-9. In 1986, he became a flight
instructor and check pilot on the Boeing 737. He remained in
that position for 6 years and then started flying Captain on
the Boeing 767. During the period of time from 1999 through
2004 Ron served as Chief Pilot on the Delta Air Lines DC-3.
This DC-3 was restored by Delta and flown throughout the
country. Ron flew it on a number of trips in addition to
training other pilots. He retired from Delta in 2002 with 34
years of service.
Ron continues to remain active with light airplanes. He owns a
J-3, a C-3B Stearman, a DC-3, a Waco YMF-5, and a Stearman
Cloudboy 6L. He has flown over 24,000 hours.
Ron founded Alexander Aeroplane Company in 1979. This company
became a major supplier of materials to aircraft builders and
restorers. In 1992, Ron developed a series of “hands-on”
workshop programs designed to instruct people in aircraft
building and restoration skills. Ron held the first workshop
in January, 1993, naming it the SportAir Workshops. He
operated the company until January, 1996 when Aircraft Spruce
and Specialty, a California based company, purchased it.
In 1992, Ron purchased a DC-3 that he restored with the help
of employees from Alexander Aeroplane Company. This airplane
has been used for promotional purposes for many years and
remains active today.
In 1992, Ron purchased Stits Poly-Fiber, Inc. a company that
manufactures the Poly-Fiber covering process. He was President
of that company for many years with its headquarters located
in Riverside, California. Ron sold his share in this company
During 1999, Ron sold the nationally known SportAir Workshop
business to the EAA. The EAA named Ron as the Director of the
program for a 3 year transition period. Ron spent several
years working with EAA to further develop the educational
aspects of sport aviation. The program remains in operation
today as the EAA/SportAir Workshop Program. Thousands of
people have been trained in various aircraft related building
skills throughout the years. The workshop program has been
presented throughout the United States.
From 2001 through 2005 Ron was a regular contributor to Sport
Aviation magazine writing technical
articles for amateur aircraft builders and antique restorers.
Ron also published a book on spray painting that is sold
through the EAA. He also has written articles for Kitplane
In 2003, Ron started Atlanta Aerospace Composites. The company
began by doing composite repair work on general aviation
aircraft. Since its beginning, the company has expanded into
other areas. In June, 2004, Atlanta Aerospace Composites
received a FAR Part 145 repair station certificate. The
company then began to work with MESA Airlines doing repair
work on the ERJ 145 fleet. By focusing on radome repair work
for regional airlines and corporate aircraft, this company has
expanded into a multimillion dollar entity. The company
employs over 30 people.
During 2003, Ron purchased Accessory Overhaul Group a FAA Part
145 accessory overhaul facility specializing in overhaul of
brakes, generators, wheels, etc. This company employs over 50
people with locations in Griffin, Georgia and Phoenix,
Arizona. This company was sold in December, 2011.
March, 2004, Ron founded the
CandlerFieldMuseum,a501c3organization. He centered the
creation of the museum on the history of the old Atlanta, GA
Airport that was originally named Candler Field. This museum
is currently being expanded and developed at the Peach State
Aerodrome located near Williamson, Georgia. This is a major
museum project that will ultimately involve the construction
of seven hangar buildings to replicate the ones that were
located on Candler Field in the early 1930’s. The first
hangar, replicating the American Airways hangar, is now
completed and museum aircraft and memorabilia are being
display. The second hangar, a replica of the Doug Davis
Hangar, is under construction. Ron is actively involved as the
Director of this museum. He also serves on the Board of
Directors of the Candler Field Flying Club, a club focusing on
teaching young people how to fly.
Adjacent to the museum and Aerodrome is a 29 lot airpark
development. Ron developed this airpark in the fall of 2006.
Sale of the lots began in January, 2007. Ron is also co-owner
of Barnstormer’s Grill, a quality restaurant located at the
Candler Field Museum. This business employs 25 people.
Ron is a regular speaker at numerous aviation related
functions including AirVenture, Sun N Fun, numerous EAA
Chapters and civic groups. He has been responsible for several
Theater in the Woods programs and presentations at AirVenture.
He actively flies a number of antique aircraft including the
DC-3 that is regularly flown to aviation events. Ron is also a
member of the Griffin Spalding County Airport Aviation