Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Kenneth D. Crutcher

In Memoriam

February 14, 1936 - January 21, 2019

Ken was hired by FTL on August 22, 1966.  His obituary follows below:

Kenneth Donald Crutcher was born in Madera, California in 1936.  His parents were Jess Crutcher, and Naomi and Lester Wickware.  He moved to Dos Palos with Naomi and Lester when he was young, and he made his life there as he grew up.  He had one brother, William “Skip” Crutcher, and three sisters, Virginia Pierce, Debbie Whitwill, and Kristy Chinook. Kenneth met his wife, Bobbie Jo Pierce at Dos Palos High School where they both graduated. Kenneth and Bobbie Jo married each other on June 26, 1954.  They began their family in 1955; they had four children: Ken Jr, Michael, Gregory and Kimberly. In 1955 Kenneth joined the United States Air Force. When he returned to Dos Palos he learned to fly and soon earned his pilots license.  He flew Crop Dusters for Ag-air for several years, and in 1966 became a commercial pilot for Flying Tigers Airlines.  He worked his way from navigator, to co-pilot, and then to Captain of the major airline company.  He flew for Flying Tigers in the mid 80’s.  His hobbies included building and programming computers, raising cattle, gunsmithing, metal engraving, and spending time at the coffee shop with his close friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Skip, and his son Greg.  Kenneth is survived by his wife Bobbie, his children Kenny , his wife Karen; his son Mike, his wife Theresa;  his daughter, Kimberly, her husband Randy, and daughter in law, Tamera Cantrell.  Kenneth has 10 grandchildren; Aimee Wright , Jennifer Correa,  Deanna, Lezlie, and Gregory Crutcher; Samantha Woods, Cari Gansberger,   Jacob, Colten, and Sarah Ballinger.  He has 4 great grandchildren,  Aiden , Liam, Emma and Kara.  A memorial was held at The Davis Party Barn on the 27th.  He lived a life most can only imagine; he will be missed by all.

The following was received by his daughter.

My name is Kimberly Ballinger, I am the daughter of Ken Crutcher. My mom, Bobbie Crutcher wanted to reach out to let you know that my dad, Captain Kenneth Crutcher, made his final flight west on January 21, 2019. He lived an amazing life most can only imagine, and he will be missed by many.



Anyone wishing to contribute to this page with archived pictures or testimonials about Ken is encouraged to contact us at

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