Charles Clifton Bond, 83, flying instructor

March 30, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Charles Clifton Bond, a retired pilot who taught flying for nearly 60 years, died of complications from emphysema Friday at Gettysburg Hospital in Pennsylvania. The former Dundalk resident was 83.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Hazelwood Avenue, he attended Polytechnic Institute. He began taking flying lessons at 21 at the old Logan Field in Dundalk and worked at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. aircraft factory to make the money for the $10 half-hour sessions.

"In elementary school, he told his fifth-grade teacher he wanted to become a pilot," said his son, Clifton Charles Bond of Baltimore. "She laughed at him, and he later went back and told her he'd received a pilot's license."

He earned his aircraft instructor's license in 1943 and taught at the old Curtiss-Wright Airport at Greenspring and Smith avenues. Although a medical condition prevented him from serving in the military during World War II, he trained Army Air Forces cadets at Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg.

"He had incredible patience," his son said. "He basically would let someone go as far they could without getting in trouble. He regularly recovered from very bad landing approaches, about a foot off the ground. He would let his students see the error of their ways."

In 1946, Mr. Bond established C. W. Flying Service with Walter Mainville at Baltimore's old municipal airport, Harbor Field, now the Dundalk Marine Terminal. A year later, he received his Federal Aviation Administration certification and continued to train students.

In 1956, Mr. Bond joined Henson Aviation at Harbor Field and moved with that organization to what was then Friendship Airport -- now Baltimore-Washington International. Six years later, he became director of flight training for the old Friendship Flying Service. Family members said he taught many Naval Academy midshipmen.

In 1980, he became chief flight instructor and examiner at Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster, where he remained until his retirement in 2000.

During his career, Mr. Bond issued hundreds of licenses and ratings to Maryland-area pilots, and by 1998 had logged well over 52,000 hours as pilot-in-command. He routinely flew Cessna, Piper, and Piper-Cherokee airplanes.

Throughout his career, he received safety and service awards. He was a member of the Maryland Chapter of the Silver Wings Fraternity, recognizing 25 years in aviation. At his retirement, in recognition of six decades of flying, he received the FAA's Wright Brothers Master Aviators Award. He also was named by the Maryland Aviation Administration as a Pioneer of Maryland Aviation. The FAA named him the 1975 Flight Instructor of the Year.

Mr. Bond flew his last solo flight at Westminster in 2000, at the age of 80.

He also enjoyed target shooting in his free time.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. May 23 at Carroll County Regional Airport in Westminster.

In addition to his son, Mr. Bond is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Helen Gabriszeski, and a daughter, Cathy Hazel Adams of Casper, Wyo.

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