Larry Heidler

It is my sad duty to report, one of our pilots, members and friends lost his life shortly after launch yesterday at Crestline.  Larry Heidler launched around 2pm in typical windy summer conditions, got turned hard right and impacted the tree in the middle of the setup area. (Kennys tree)

I can only imagine the depths of sorrow his wife, Bonnie, and their family, must certainly be enduring now and unfortunately for the coming times, not to mention the life cut short by this seemingly random, yet preventable tragedy.

Details regarding memorial service will be posted here as they are received.

Dan DeWeese


No words are adequate in this time.  As a fellow pilot whose LAST intention would be to intrude at a sensitive time, if there is some small service I can provide, please call upon me.  Blessings on you and yours, Bonnie

What an absolute shock; really going to miss Larry's frequent presence at AJX. He was not shy about helping out and had my wires at launch more times than i can remember.

Shared many thermals and approaches with that distinctly colored sail of his - always knew who it was and enjoyed flying with him. Hopefully we can learn something from what occurred. My condolences to his kind wife Bonnie who frequently accompanied him and to his family.

I am not a pilot, but had the pleasure of riding up to Marshal with Larry and his son-in-law and also interacting with him a few other times. He was a very kind, sweet man that will be missed by so many. If there may be a need for any pictures, I have a couple from the parachute clinic and a few others.

My sincere condolences to his wife Bonnie and the rest of the family at this difficult time.

So sad, really shocked, makes me somber.
My condolences

I found this nice image on Bonnie's Facebook wall..

Me, Kim, Jeff B & NoFly Steve drove up at 1:30. There was a shrine at the foot of Larry's tree (sorry Kenny that's no longer your tree)...

What better place to tie off?

This vanity plate was oddly prophetic on my drive in

My sympathy card....



I would like to thank everyone for all the flowers,kindness and well-wishing words of comfort. Any of you who knew Larry would have to agree ..if anybody needed help..he was right there to offer a hand. We spent many times out there with friends and having so much fun. Larry has always loved flying...even as a little boy. He worked for Boeing, he was a paratrooper--82 Airborn- in the army. He flew ultra-lights, but he finally found his true passion at Andy Jackson Airpark. He had so many wonderful friends there, and enjoyed all the time spent there. There was so much activity to go along with the flying. He was always ready to be a part of things and help out anyway he could. He was planning to go up to Marshall on Saturday morning to clear out bushes and over-growth as he was afraid that the rattlesnakes would have a place to hide..and someone would get bitten.  Thank you all for the wonderful memories of times spent there, and the friendships we have gained.

I really missed Larry on Saturday. Every other time i looked up at the sky i immediately thought to myself "that looks like Larry's wing". So used to seeing him up there. I can already see that AJX won't be quite the same without him.

On another note, my safety mechanisms feel over-the-top sensitive right now. I didn't even fly Saturday over cross-wind at launch (west on 750) and i'm hyper aware of turbulence i feel while setting up the launch. Both Larry and I share the experience of being blown over at Crestline mid-day in June in >20mph wind.

I was blown over while setting up my launch early June and published the video. I did not actually start my run because i felt the wind buffeting side to side over the top at unpredictable intervals. The few times it went light and straight in, i could feel the sink didn't want to launch into that either. If i had my vehicle i would have drove down, its an easier decision when its there, which is now why i prefer to have my vehicle with me. Waiting it out can sometimes work if its not too late in the day.


I never knew his name until now, but on my infrequent visits he was often there in the LZ, smiling, always asked me "how was your flight?"

I offer the following:

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