I started out life as a young boy growing up in Michigan. That takes care of the fi rst 18 years. After graduating from High School in 1978, I took my first airplane ride to a small school in Colorado Springs called USAFA. In spite of my awe of the mountains and high altitude, I managed to graduate in 1982 and begged to get the earliest slot to pilot training that I could…the Air Force complied and I spent 11 lovely months at Columbus AFB in steamy Mississippi. The young military Lt. life didn’t kill enough brain cells and I was rewarded by an assignment to the venerable A-10 Warthog. The days of fighter Lead-in and A-10 RTU were fast and furious and then came “Combat Readiness” at Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. My time flying the A-10 started with the 353rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, then my blatant volunteering got me to the 25th Assam Draggins in Suwon, Korea.

After my Korean peninsula year, I spent my last 3 years of Hog flying at Eielson AFB in Fairbanks, Alaska.
My flying career did a 90 degree turn in 1989 when the airlines bribed me to start boring holes in the sky and putting up with
passengers and other “crewmembers”. I never knew the definition of “crew” until then. The Airline career has consisted of flying the B-727, A-320, DC-10, and presently the A-330. 

In exchange for being required to fly straight and level for hours at end, I have taken up the mantle of Warbird enthusiast. I have not missed a single Reno Air Race weekend since 1992, I even attended the cancelled 2001 weekend. I started down the path of experimental homebuilder until I came nose to spinner with a CJ-6 in 2002. I have yet to yearn for the hours of bucking rivets on a non-warbird. My CJ and I have attended Sun-n-fun and done the longest cross-country possible while going in a relative straight line and staying with the borders of the United States. My CJ and I flew from Detroit to Florida, to Mississippi, to Oklahoma, to Colorado, to New Mexico, to California, to Oregon, to Paine Field. Since settling into a life in the Pacific Northwest, I have come to thoroughly enjoy the company and camaraderie of the Cascade Warbirds. 

The airshows, fly-ins and meetings have exemplified what it means to be involved with the flying, preservation and education that should be the focus of any warbird squadron. Just to be fair to those who keep up the friendly jesting between American warbirds, and warbirds of a foreign design, I am also the Director of the Northwest Region of the Redstar Pilots Association. I look forward to combining the training, enthusiasm and zest for warbird rivalries with both of ourgroups!

Ron Morrell, “Draggin 23”
Renton, WA
Home Airport: Paine Field Hangar 42-19
Aircraft: Nanchang CJ-6A

return to Biographies page