Archive for October, 2011

In the summer of 1929, at age 16, Tip saw his first barnstormer land in a field in Ohio. He was captured, enraptured, with flight from that day on. Like Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, Tip learned to fly in the plane that landed in his hometown. Unlike them, he lived his life of record-setting aviation accomplishment away from public attention. He pursued his American dream in classic American fashion, with hard work and by being willing when opportunities arrived.

Tip grew up in a working class family during the Great Depression. He became an instructor within the civil aviation movement, was involved in the early days of the Flying Tigers, and taught the Tuskegee Airmen what they needed to pass their pilot certification tests. He was accused of spying on South American governments during WWII while working to establish civil aviation standards, but didn’t let it interfere with his reports back to his Embassy contacts. Tip flew the first helicopters in commercial applications and in doing so, established many of the first helicopter records.

He collected celebrities of the era as easily as he logged flight hours. His friendships with leading actors, military representatives, and South American elite brought glamour to his already high-flying lifestyle. Traveling from Washington DC to South America for the United Nations, the Civil Aviation Administration, and the US Air Force (Army Air Corp), Tip made extraordinary record-setting flights over the Amazon Jungle in conditions and aircraft that would make headlines even today.

For a non-famous person, Colonel Cloyce Joseph Tippett touched so many famous people and events that reading his story is like taking a walk through history from the point of view of a single man with a single purpose: to fly – as far and as long as he possibly could.

Update 6/26/2012…. The plane IS an Aeronca, verified by a reader who owns and flies an Aeronca L3B manufactured in 1943. Thank you Bill!  He says the landing gear is distinctive. Sincerely Appreciated!  Thanks!

In the process of writing the biography of my grandfather, Col C. J. Tippett (Air Force Reserve), I am trying to positively identify the airplane he is sitting on in this photo. I’ve narrowed it down, with the help of Dad and Tom and Tom’s contacts, to an Aeronca. I’m hoping that an Aeronca expert can confirm?  Based on Tip’s apparent age, it is 1935, probably taken in Hawaii. Based on Tip’s pilot log in 1935, he did fly a… (exact quote) “Areomarine – Taylor “Cub” NC 2142, but this plane does not have the crossed landing gear struts of a Taylor or Piper Cub. Thus the Aeronca question.  If you can help, would you please contact me, either by clicking here, or at  I’d like to get it right, when I write…. Thank you!!!


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