Remembering Dave Badal-Civil Air Patrol Officer, Leader, Pilot, and Friend
CAP Lt. Col. Dave Badal passed away on October 19, 2021 at the age of 84. Lt. Col. Badel joined the David Lee “Tex” Hill squadron (TX-435) in San Marcos in 1997 and held many positions such as Mission Check Pilot, Cadet Orientation Pilot, Maintenance Officer, and Counter Drug Officer. He was the Squadron Commander from 2000 to 2008 and he was also the Group VIII Deputy Commander for two years. Dave was also the driving force responsible for obtaining our current squadron building and even having an airplane to fly. Dave received the Disaster Relief Ribbon with Device for his participation in the Blanco River Flooding and Hurricane Harvey.
Dave was a Project Engineer at Lockheed and spent almost 30 years with Lockheed. At age 82 he became a substitute teacher and later developed a solar course for students at Wimberley High School.
Dave was an accomplished pilot and earned a Private Pilot rating and later added Instrument privileges to his license. Not satisfied with only flying airplanes, Dave obtained his Ground Instructor privileges with Advanced Instrument, and was an accomplished FAA mechanic with inspection authority (IA). He used his skills as a pilot/mechanic to totally restore a 1943 Army Piper L4. In 2018, he earned the prestige Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award from the FAA. This award has been issued to recognize local pilots who have exhibited professionalism, skill, and aviation expertise for at least 50 years as active pilots.
Lt. Col. Badel’s enthusiasm for Civil Air Patrol, learning, and aviation will be missed by all that were fortunate enough to have known him.
By Lt. Col. Mike Duc