Sunday, July 24, 2011

Former SFO spokesman Ron Wilson dies at 70


Ron Wilson, the spokesman for San Francisco International Airport for 43 years, has died over the weekend at age 70, KGO-TV ABC7 reports. After Wilson's retirement from SFO, he became an aviation consultant for ABC7.

ABC7's Wayne Freedman recalled that Wilson was uncannily honest and trusted reporters:
    In the days before tightened security, Wilson would load reporters into his airport sedan and onto the tarmac, close enough to practically touch the planes. Later, as ABC7's aviation consultant, he provided a mine of information. 
    Crash landing in the Hudson River? Call Ron -- he would get us through it. Beyond that, Wilson was a walking encyclopedia of institutional history. Wilson took photographs of every minor and major incident throughout the decades. 
    When ABC7 asked Wilson about a Pan Am flight that caught fire and lost 27 feet of wing in 1965, Wilson furnished our reporter with 8mm home videos and helped us find the crew.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had the honor of working with Ron on many dozens of stories, from the hijackings in the 70's to the opening if the new International terminal. What a great guy. He took me out next to the runway to photograph the landing and takeoff of the Concorde. What a great experience.

There will never be another like him. You always knew he was giving you the straight story, and would help get whatever you needed.

I'll miss him.

Duane Sandul said...

I was a reporter with the Redwood City Tribune in the early 1970s when there were a series of hijacks emanating from or to SFO...Wilson of course was the spokesperson.....a pro's pro is a cliche but that describes him.