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Field Trip – Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico

As a member of Amarillo’s Association of Desk and Derrick Club for over 25 years, I make an effort to attend the Regional meetings, not just to see the many friends I’ve made through the years, but also because of the field trips to job sites. I have learned so much about the varied workforce associated with the American Energy industry. From touring Board rooms and high rise offices to learning about family owned service companies, I have meet some of the most hard-working, skilled people around. In our 30 years as an energy producer and operator, my husband and I have had the privilege of doing business with some of these folks. Honest, dedicated, salt-of-the-earth people who work to bring you all of the products that our industry makes possible. They were the inspiration behind my award-winning book, OIL PEOPLE.


Region V is comprised of clubs from Texas, New Mexico and California. This year our Region V meeting was hosted by the Roswell Club, and our field trip focused on the power of petroleum-based aircraft fuel. We visited company’s associated with our nation’s aviation industry.

The day began on the Eastern New Mexico University campus where we were briefed about the day, and then divided into three groups. As we loaded into vans and SUVs, we heard the precise call and response of a military cadence. Cadets dressed in black uniforms from The New Mexico Military Institute marched past us on the street. Established in 1891, this military boarding school is home to about 900+ students in grades 9-12 and junior college.


First stop, AerSale

AerSale is an FAA repair station, a global aviation service company and aftermarket distributor. They service passenger and cargo airlines and provide overhaul services. Planes are stripped down, everything is removed, cataloged, and parts are sold all over the world. Mid-life aftermarket aircraft are cleaned and available for sale, lease, or exchange.



The next stop was the Eastern New Mexico University’s aviation mechanic classroom.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary, ENMU Roswell offers several aviation programs. All total, students can choose from 43 certificates and degrees. The aviation classroom included a wide variety of aircraft, and most students who complete the course to earn a mechanic certification have jobs waiting. One of the most interesting discussions involved learning about different materials used in aircraft construction to make them lighter and the efforts made to achieve less drag. We are gathered around a plane that is made of fabric.

In the next picture, we are learning about the Huey helicopter, like those used in Vietnam. Most of these planes were donated to ENMU for student use. While there, we also had the chance to pilot a plane in the flight simulator.


The third and final stop was Dean Baldwin Painting, opened in 1999, the company operates 24/7, offering a wide variety of services and processes around 120 planes a year, both commercial and private.


The plane above is in the process of being stripped down to the metal. They have 135 employees and six bays, where work continues nonstop in various stages of the process. It’s about 14-day turn-around, which includes completely stripping six or more layers of paint, taping and priming in preparation for the gifted master painters. Graphic designs can be added according to customer specifications. One of their many satisfied customers was an aircraft for New York City First Responders. Here’s a link to a great demonstration video about their process at Dean Baldwin Painting in Roswell.

Factoids about Roswell

John Chisum, a professional gambler turned Roswell pioneer and rancher, obtained land along the Pecos River establishing the Bosque Grande ranch. Together with Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, they drove herds of cattle north to sell to the Army and miners in Colorado.

Joel McCrea, the famous movie cowboy, lived and ranched outside of Roswell on his family ranch that his grandchildren still operate.

John Denver was born in Roswell while his dad was stationed at the Roswell Army Air Field.

Roswell enjoys a very diverse economy, including farming, ranching, dairy, oil and gas, aviation, manufacturing and of course, the UFO incident of 1947.

The world’s largest mozzarella cheese plant, Leprino, is in Roswell.

Much thanks to Roswell Club members and the city of Roswell for such a warm welcome and informative day!

Desk and Derrick Clubs were formed in 1952 to educate and support the women who were employed in the oil and gas industry. It has since expanded to include men, along with anyone who is interested in or works in energy related fields. The Clubs provide service and education to their respective communities.

My book OIL PEOPLE is now in eBook format!

Find it here, on Amazon.

Special rates for the hardcover edition for use in classrooms and civic organizations. Click on CONTACT button above for more information.