Skip “Scooter” Aldous
Lake City, FL
Skip is the retired president of five “Metric” motorcycle dealerships in northern Florida and southern Georgia. He began flying with the Air Force in 1965 and retired in 1994, as the squadron commander of the 159th Fighter Squadron, FANG. after flying the T-33, T-37, T-38, F-102, F-106, and the F-16. He has accumulated more than 6,000 hours of flying time and began flying the T-34 in 1998. He has been flying on the team since 2000 and transitioned to team lead in 2013. Skip, along with his wife Patti, live at Cannon Creek Airpark in Lake City, FL.
Steve “Hoss” Smith
Ellicott City MD
Steve has been a successful business operations executive in a variety of industries. He spends his time when not flying airshows, between homes in Maryland and South Carolina where his T-34 is hangered. Steve has flown more than 4500 hours over 30 years in 40+ aircraft types. He started flying the T-34 in 2003 and joined the Lima Lima Flight Team in 2013 flying the Right Wing position. His non-airshow flying has earned him ATP land and sea certificates, Gold Seal CFII and Master CFII credentials and Formation Leader qualification. Steve learned to fly after graduating from the Air Force Academy and was a military pilot in the C-130 Hercules, the O-2A Forward Air Control airplane and the F-15 Eagle.
Mark “Enigma” Miller
Mark is a third generation general aviation pilot, who got an early introduction to flying in his Grandfather’s Cessna 170B. Arabian show horses replaced aircraft in Mark’s parent’s home, which took him all over the Mid-West during his youth. Mark’s passion for aviation returned in the late eighties, when he moved to the Naperville area, near LL10. He dedicated over 5 years to accumulate the piloting hours necessary to buy a share of his first T-34 in 2003. Mark qualified for the team in 2007 and now is part owner of two T-34s. Mark works as a manager for an international earthmoving equipment manufacturer. He resides in Montgomery Illinois.
Roger “Fritz” Fritzler
San Diego, CA
As the newest member of the Lima Lima Fight Team, retired Navy captain Roger “Fritz” Fritzler is also been in waiting the longest to join the team. After coming off active duty with the Navy in 1984 and taking an airline job, Fritz and a Navy buddy purchased the vintage T-34A Mentor that he flies today as the slot pilot with the funds for the downpayment coming from his first paycheck with American Airlines. Over the last 30 years, he has partnered with a host of pilots to keep the airplane maintained to the Lima Lima airshow standard and flying with the team since 1996. While on active duty, Fritz flew the F-14A Tomcat off the decks of the USS Kitty Hawk with the VF-111 Sundowners, for multiple deployments to WESTPAC in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He later joined the reserves and had the opportunity and privilege to fly several variants of the A-4 Skyhawk with the adversary squadron VFC-13 out of Fightertown San Diego, NAS Miramar. With the transferring of Navy assets to the Marines, at Miramar during the BRAC years of the early 90’s, Captain Fritzler eventually took a twilight tour as the Commanding Officer of reserve training squadron DET 370 at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas flying the latest turbo-prop version of the original Mentor the T-34C and mentoring and instructing some of the youngest and brightest future naval aviators of the U.S Navy.His 30 year career at American has given him the opportunity to fly almost all models of the Boeing family and also the McDonald Douglas DC-10 and MD-80, culminating in flying as an international captain on the B-777 to Europe, South America and Asia. He resides in San Diego, California and is the proud father of two sons, Alex and Nick, who also have aviation aspirations of their own
John “Ripper” Rippinger
John is president and CVO of Rippinger Financial Group, Inc. a Scottsdale-based insurance and employee benefit firm. He has been flying for over 50 years in both fixed wing and balloons. He was co-pilot on the gas balloon “Chicago” which won the 1981 U.S. National Championship. John manages the 20+ product sponsors for the team as well as the website. John, his wife Susan and their dog Aileron live in Scottsdale, AZ. He started flying T-34’s in 1989 and has been a member of the team since 1992. He recently retired from the aerobatic flying part of the team to concentrate on the management portion.