Colonel Dave Scheiding started his aviation career in the U.S. Air Force. After Undergraduate Pilot Training, Dave was asked to remain in Air Training Command as a T-37 Instructor Pilot (IP) at Laughlin Air Force Base. In addition to being the resident expert at spin recovery, he pulled service as the base Aerdrome Officer. In that capacity, on October 21st, 1967, he oversaw the post-crash activities when Thunderbird pilot Merrill McPeak crashed during a performance.
Following his IP assignment, Dave volunteered for Vietnam, flying the O-2A as a Forward Air Controller (FAC). He was based at several locations in Vietnam, and has chronicled his experiences in his memoir, The Long Return.
After Vietnam, Dave was selected to attend the University of Denver, where he received his Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. This education was instrumental in determining the cause of the terrible crash of the Operation Babylift flight, the evacuation of Vietnamese children during the collapse of South Vietnam.
On short notice, Dave traveled to South Vietnam to investigate the crash of the C-5. With virtually no security, Dave's team scoured the accident site and recovered whatever debris remained after locals had stripped the location. During an extended analysis of the C-5 aft cargo door after returning to the United States, Dave re-created the cause of the accident.
After that, Dave returned to the cockpit and flew the F-111 until his Air Force retirement.
In addition to his memoir, Dave authored a moving book about his beloved dog, Hank.