This is the time of year when the pilots and families of the Lima Lima Flight Team traditionally extend our warmest holiday greetings to all of our friends, fans, sponsors and airshow promoters. Without your continued support we would not be going into our 33rd year in the airshow business. Thanks again and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The holy grail of all missing aircraft is Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra which went missing on a round the world flight in July of 1937.
There are multiple theories about her disappearance but I believe she landed on Nikumaroro island located in the Phoenix group of islands in the central Pacific. I (John Rippinger) was on an expedition to the island two years ago with National Geographic and the TIGHAR group looking for aircraft parts underwater and bone fragments on a site were we believe she died.
Fred Hiebert from National Geographic convinced Robert Ballard (the guy that found the Titanic) to come take a look down at a depth of 15000 feet for the aircraft. That was in August and Nation Geographic will have a two hour special on October 20 to tell us what Ballard found and explain TIGHAR’s logic for where Amelia died. Make sure that you tune in to find out the answers to an 82 year old mystery.
Take some time today to reflect what has transpired in this country since 9-11-2001. That single event brought our country together in patriotic unison. Unfortunately we have very short memories. Let’s bring America together again!
This year was a special year for both the T-34 and the Lima Lima Flight Team at Oshkosh. It was the 70th anniversary of our airplane and the 32nd anniversary of the team. The T-34 Association practiced for three days prior to arriving at Oshkosh with 30 T-34’s in formation. Four of us from Lima Lima were in the rear diamond and after flying over the field, we broke off and did a mini show for about 30 minutes.
During that time the announcer gave the entire history of the team.
Our good friend Bart Starr passed away on May 29, 2019. Bart was first a gentleman and then a great football player who brought three championships to the Green Bay Packers. This picture was taken in 2013 in his private suite after our flyover. Back row: Mark Miller Skip Aldous and Bart Starr. Front row: John Rippinger and Gary Donovan
This picture was taken while we were coming home from the Acapulco Airshow in 2005. The name of the volcano is Popocatepetl and the picture was taken by John Rippinger. The team had brought one extra T-34 just in case we had a mechanical.
Although officially retired from the Lima Lima Flight Team, both Ripper (John Rippinger) and N53BR are flying full time in beautiful Arizona.
This picture was taken over Lake Pleasant just Northwest of Scottsdale.