Ronald "Ron" Weinstein, Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award Recipient
Native of NYC, Ron always wanted to be a pilot. Growing up, his father’s stereo usually could be found taken apart and on a windowsill as his makeshift cockpit.
Ron entered the Marine Corps after college in 1967, and after OCS went to Pensacola, FL for Naval flight training. His introduction to flying was in the Beechcraft T-34 at the U.S. Navy’s Saufley Field, (where he first soloed, followed by T-2’s for Basic Jet, and his first carrier Quals on the USS Essex.
His advanced Jet training was in old Grumman F-9 Cougars, affectionately called the ‘Lead Sled’. This included his first solo cross country from Kingsville, TX to El Paos. Also included in his time on the USS Lexington and more carrier quals. He received his Wings of Gold, pinned on by his mother, at NAS Corpus Christi on July 1, 1969.
Ron transitioned to F-4 Phantoms at MCAS Cherry Point and continued to fly them at MCAS Beaufort with VMFA 451. He spent April 1970-March 1971 oversees, Japan and Okinawa, where he flew F-4’s and Huey helicopters. Ron spent his last Marine Corp years at MCAS Cherry Point flying TA-4’s and CF-117’s and “Loved the Gooney Bird”.
Upon his return to civilian life, Ron worked as an engineer in New York, and as an artist in Denver, CO, followed by a number of years as a museum educator. Ron continued to fly, but this time light GA, instead of military hardware. This eventually led to buying his first plane, an old Piper Arrow, when he became a full time school teacher in NYC around 1990 out of Morristown, NJ.
Later transferring to White Plains High School, Ron taught project-based Physics, eventually selling the Arrow, and joining the flying club near home and school that operated Beech Bonanzas.
“The Bonanza’s wings and retractable gear were a constant reminder of my T-34 time” Ron Said.
As a CFI, he began instructing with the flying club 16+ years ago and have flown and instructed until the present time, although the last few years he has been flying primarily with his friends and other pilots who have left the club and acquired their own airplanes.
In 2013, Ron also became an Adjunct Professor of Aeronautics at Vaughn College in Queens (near LGA airport) where he taught basic Aeronautics till 2019. Ironically, in the same location where his father would bring him as a child to watch the model planes being flown into the old Academy of Aeronautics parking lot.
Ron received his Master Pilot Award and pin at our 7th Annual Safety Day, June 13th, 2023.
Congratulations Ron! Thank you for your continued support to the WAA. We are honored to have you as one of our members.