By Ralph McCormick
Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter to citizens of Tucumcari from Ralph McCormick. McCormick is a friend of Guy “Doc” Baldwin, who died last week in a plane crash at the Tucumcari Air Show:
I live in another state and only by chance happened to become acquainted with your town and people.
I stopped by the airport some five years ago to take some Tuesday afternoon photos of your air show performer’s arrivals. I produce a nationwide distributed aviation publication and the photos I planned to take that day were for the magazine. Bob McClelland and his group welcomed me with such enthusiasm that I remained till Thursday of that week. I have promoted your air show and returned each year since, because of that “down home southwestern friendliness.”
This year a dear friend of mine was to scheduled perform in the air show. His name is Guy “Doc” Baldwin. I am the one, perhaps there were others, that recommended he approach the show managers to attend and perform.
I am sure you know my friends name, Guy ‘Doc’ Baldwin, since he was the pilot who crashed during the air show this year. The accident cause will be determined by the National Transportation Safety Board in time. I refer to it as an accident. I do not know the cause, but I do know that whether it was a mechanical, medical, or pilot error it was an accident.
‘Doc’ was an excellent pilot. I have flown with him and know for a fact that he was a safe pilot. Accidents happen in the air and on the ground. Just as car accidents kill, so do plane accidents.
This brings me to the reason for this letter. I have read and heard there was talk the Rotary Club of Tucumcari might not have another air show due to the crash. This would be most unfortunate. If you choose to not have another air show, please – please, do so for another reason. ‘Doc’ gave his life doing what he loved. He loved kids, flying and people.
He would have never wanted his life to end in front of a crowd, nor would he want your air show to come to an end due to the accident that took his life. He spent his life promoting aviation, keeping pilots flying, and helping children who loved aviation.
As a friend of Doc’s, I think that what I say would come from him if he were here. Keep your air show going; honor the man that flew from Tulsa to entertain the crowd. Make it his legacy that you keep the air show going in his name. This man who might have just come to Tucumcari, performed, and gone home unnoticed, instead, left his name and legacy in your town.
I reiterate that as his friend I believe, ‘Doc’ would never want the people of Tucumcari to discontinue the air show due to the crash. If, in fact, that is being considered, please reconsider. Keep the air show alive. Honor Guy ‘Doc’ Baldwin with the continuation of the show. This would be his wish.