Who Case: 29
I started my flying lessons in 1954 at Modesto Airport, and met Bud at that time. He was a bit older and graduated from Modesto High School in either 1948 or 1949. I seem to recall that some time after going to work for Pappy Dunlap at Hawke, Pappy gave Bud an interest in the business to incentivize him to stay there. Ag pilots seemed to be mobile and Pappy needed stability. Bud owned a Cessna "Bamboo Bomber" which I believe was a model T50, in addition to the Mustang. My wife and I moved from Modesto after our marriage, and I saw Bud only on a trip back while making the requisite trip to the airport.
The year after reading about his accident, I had, just by chance, a conversation with someone who had been a part of the team that investigated the crash. He told me it was an inflight fire that was most likely the result of a modification to the exhaust system. He said some baffles were removed, and that was done to enhance performance. Removing the baffles was known to cause fires. He also said Bud was probably dead before the impact from the crash.
At the time of his death, I recall that Bud had a ranch with an airstrip (shown on the area chart) north of Modesto near Riverbank. I think he had a young son who inherited Bud's estate.