In Memory

Waldo E. Cavender Jr.

Pilot killed in crash near Hueco Tanks identified

POSTED: 12:41 PM MDT Mar 23, 2015 UPDATED: 10:56 AM MDT Mar 24, 2015 

Courtesy War Eagles Museum

From 2009 War Eagles Museum newsletter: The Museum’s latest acquisition is a 1942 Stinson L-5 Sentinel, one of the most important observation aircraft of World War II and the Korean War. El Pasoan “Doc” Nelson (left) was its former owner and restorer. Waldo Cavender (r.) delivered it to the Museum from El Paso International Airport.

EL PASO, Texas -

A source in the aviation community and law enforcement tells ABC-7 the name of the pilot killed in a plane crash March 18 near Hueco Tanks is Waldo Emerson Cavender of El Paso.

Cavender was piloting the single-engine Cessna 182 that is registered to Brentco Aerial Patrols in Durango, Colorado.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. The NTSB and FAA are investigating the crash.


During our senior year Waldo was a member of the Distributive Education Club.


Heaven's Light

The sun shines down upon us
and gives us warmth and light.
Then when the day has ended
it disappears from sight.

Though we're left in darkness,
we know the sun's not died,
for it is shining brightly
on the world's other side.

So it is when one we love
comes to their end of days.
They just go to the other side
to shine their loving rays.

That's why heaven is a place
that glows beyond compare.
The lights of those who've left us
are all brightly shining there.

  • Source:
    Family Friend Poems

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

04/09/15 10:47 PM #1    

Jim Dunlap

Nice poem, thanks.

Statistics tell us conclusively that airplane travel is much safer than driving.  Yet in our small Irvin world, didn't we lose Leanne Stone to a plane crash?  My birth father died in a plane crash in 1948, as did my best friend Jimmie Vaughn's dad in (I think it was) 1976.  We learn early in life that what goes up, must come down.  Once up, one really can't take for granted getting down...that is: down safely, as in alive and well.  During my skydiving years we always knew that with each jump we were coming down...but of course the plan was to do it gracefully, under a fully inflated and functioning parachute.

Right now, I have no idea what went wrong for Waldo. That said, I'm very sure that he was having a good time, doing what he loved to do right up until something went wrong and thereafter came - "the end."  At least in this life....

We have several pilots among us.  Perhaps one has a comforting thought to share.

04/10/15 10:00 AM #2    

Bradley N. Witt

Waldo and I spent many a summer afternoon flying model airplanes...he was an airplane junkie from the time I knew him. His father was a Pearl Harbor survivor and I know he had great pleasure flying vintage aircraft. You will be missed, my friend.

04/10/15 09:19 PM #3    

Bradley N. Witt

I'm sure Waldo, as a pilot, loved this poem. We first came across it while we were at Irvin. It was used on some TV programs about the Air Force and, at times, even at the end of a televison broadcast day.

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air. . . .

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or ever eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

— John Gillespie Magee, Jr

04/11/15 08:52 PM #4    

Victor Dutro

This "High Flight" poem was used on our local TV broadcast station every night just prior to the National Anthem and the end of their transmissions for the night.  They actually turned off the transmitters, turned off the lights and went home.  For us night owls we might stare into the tube for a few minutes looking at the snow which was the signal noise and perhaps contemplate the significance of those final words.  I say this because today the screen just goes to a black screen with a message "no signal".  When I was a child we only had one channel in our small town.  As I think back on this I loved staying up late and I still do.  I love the night, the quiet and the stillness.  It is peaceful and I am free to do anything I want or absolutely nothing.  When I try this during the day I get judged as being Lazy.  If others only knew how much my mind was "working" they might not be so judgemental.  It is the doorway in the mind that leads into the Spirit Realm and a whole new universe opens up to explore. 

Today when I read the poem of "High Flight" it takes on a deeper meaning for me in that it speaks of this journey into the Spirit Realm (Space) and the development in consciousness (untouched by eagles wings). As a child it only spoke of the physical flight of soaring in an aircraft and "Space" was that physical realm I could contact with my Five senses. Interesting how maturity changes one's perspective and what is of "Value" and what is not.

In Tribute to Waldo and the others that have slipped the bounds of earth you now fly free without limit.  Have a good flight.  Don't worry about the seat belts and the tray tables. Would it be wrong for me to assume you have overcome your fear of Death? 

Blessings to all, 



go to top 
  Post Comment