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Mount Rushmore was just one of many national monuments that the Lima Lima Flight Team had the privilege to fly over.
I guarantee you that you will not see a seven ship formation landing very often. (Probably never again due to increased safety standards). This shot was taken from Skip Aldous’s number seven aircraft while landing at Oshkosh just before the actual airshow started. We had just completed a photo shoot with renowned air-t-air photographer Paul Bowen. The way this landing works is that the the number seven (last) aircraft touches down on the “numbers” and lets the lead know that he is down and under control. Then the the slot aircraft lands with numbers five and six on his wing. He announces to lead that they are down and under control at which time the lead lands with numbers two and three on his wing. This of course requires a long runway, a very thorough briefing and rock solid formation pilots. I strongly recommend that you do not try this at home!
Michael Marco has been flying with the team for over two years. He was recently married to Allison (Leeward) who knows just a little bit about the aviation community. The wedding picture from left to right :
Roger Fritzler, Michael Marco, Skip Aldous, Allison Marco and Jimmy Burke. Welcome to the team Allison!
This picture was taken in December of 2019 at the International Council of Air Shows convention in Las Vegas in front of the Lima Lima booth. From left to right: John Rippinger (former team member), Jimmy Burke (our newest team member), Skip Aldous (team leader) and Roger Fritzler (a five year team member
|Frank “Nordo” Fastner Has Gone West Frank “Nordo” Fastner flew West on October 2, 2019. He is survived by his wife Thelma of Wildwood TN. The best description of Frank was by Lou Drendel in his book “The Lima Lima Flight Team.”|
Frank is a retired electrical engineerand ex USAF weatherman, who analyzed thunderstorms by penetrating them in a P-61 Black Widow. He is an avid out-doorsman who takes an annual solo hike into the Rockies for a week of contemplation. He has been flying for over fifty years,accumulating over 4000 hours in a variety of aircraft. Frank has flown the T-34 for over 20 years and is a charter member of the team and Mentor Flyers.Frank has so many flying stories from his over 4000 hours of adventures, that he has numbered them. Despite his impressive intellectual credentials, Frank never seemed to be able to master the audio panel, hence his call sign; “NORDO” (No Radio)
Blue skies and tailwinds my friend.
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