Cover photo for David Waddell's Obituary
David Waddell Profile Photo
1957 David 2021

David Waddell

April 10, 1957 — January 12, 2021

David was born April 10, 1957 in Aiken, South Carolina. He was the youngest of three boys born to George Carl Waddell and Mary Iris (Polly) Wilburn. He was a member of Aiken High School's graduating class of 1975.

By the age of 13, David had secured a part time job in a local motorcycle dealership. This was the beginning of a life-long enthusiasm for motorcycles and riding. While in high school he was an avid and competitive motocross racer, sometimes representing the dealership where he worked and sometimes as an independent.

After graduating high school, David took flying lessons and earned his private pilot's license. This was also where he met Alta, the love of his life and wife of over 40 years. It was also at this time that he chose a career in aviation maintenance. After receiving his Airframe and Power plant license, David became a partner in general aviation Fixed Base Operations where he was Chief Mechanic and assisted in the daily operation of the Airport. Over the next five years, David and Alta partnered in running Fixed Base Operations at Trenton, SC and Jekyll Island, GA.

Hoping for an opportunity to work on larger commercial jet aircraft, David moved to Indianapolis, IN in 1983 and accepted a job with American Trans Air, a charter carrier that operated out of the Indianapolis Airport. While there David earned his Aircraft inspector license and advanced to the position of Quality Assurance Manager. He had achieved his goal of working on large commercial aircraft, however he longed for the warmer climate and desert scenery of the Southwest.

In 1985 he accepted a position with Key Airlines in Las Vegas, NV as Director of Maintenance. By 1990, David had become Senior Director of Maintenance for Worldcorp Inc., which included both Key Airlines and its sister operation, World Airways. In 1990 he moved to Mobile, AL for two years to obtain FAA certification for and to start up a large commercial aircraft repair station there for Singapore Aerospace. He completed this project in 1992 and left Alabama to move to his beloved Wickenburg.

For the next eleven years he worked from Wickenburg as an international aircraft maintenance and certification consultant. His client list included airlines, leasing companies, banks, governments and celebrities from around the globe.

In 2000, David decided to leave the international travel to others and he left aviation to return to his first love, motorcycling. With Wickenburg as his base, David founded Chrome Caballeros, the first motorcycle camping Tour Company in the United States. While operating Chrome Caballeros, David joined two other partners in opening Copper State Cycles, and outdoor motorsports equipment dealership in Wickenburg and Chrome Caballeros became a subsidiary of Copper State Cycles.

David's first and greatest love was riding motorcycles. For those who were fortunate enough to ride with him you know what I mean. For those who did not get to ride with him, I hope that you will one day have the opportunity to ride with someone like him. Happy Trails, brother.
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