Today, word was received that we lost one of our own.  Long time RAF member and tireless volunteer Dave Flatter died in a plane crash in southern Florida.

Dave and his wife Juanita split their time between homes in Florida and Montana flying a Thorpe T-18 and also traveling with their fifth wheel trailer throughout the northwest.

Many of us last saw Dave in the Montana back country this summer.  He camped at Ryans’ some, attended the annual RAF donors fly-in there and ended up at Arlington where he and Washington state Liaison Bob Kay represented the RAF.  Always one to offer help, in September Dave flew to Meadow Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness to try and find the Spot Messenger GPS locator that had recently been lost by Pilot Getaways publisher John Kounis.  True to form, Dave found it and returned it to John.

Many will remember Dave as the first to arrive and last to leave during the annual Sun ‘n Fun fly-in at Lakeland Florida.  Dave pitched in to build the RAF display, man the booth, roam vendor-to-vendor seeking support for the RAF and, clipboard in hand, stand for hours at the RAF Fire Hub selling dedication bricks.  Come evening Dave became self-appointed (or was it “anointed”) host at the RAF house making sure everyone had a beverage and telling some of the most interesting stories one could imagine.

Great friends and great volunteers are hard to come by; Dave was both and will be greatly missed by each of us that work in the RAF effort. 

Submitted on December 4, 2012.

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