Cloyce Joseph Tippett was born on February 14th, 1913.
Twenty-six years later, on February 14th, 1939, he was at Kelly Field, Texas, flying a Sikorsky OA-8, also known as a JRS-1 or S-43.
Flying at Kelly Field was an accomplishment Tip had been trying to achieve since he was 16, flying his own Jenny biplane in the fields of Port Clinton, Ohio.
The amphibious twin-engine Sikorsky “Clipper” was only one of the many aircraft Tip learned to fly, at Kelly Field, and afterwards. This was a passenger craft and could hold up to 25 people in addition to the crew. Tip was learning every aspect of aviation, including navigation and communications.
Amphibious aircraft enjoyed the extended landing and take-off options afforded by waterways, but there were techniques specific to using those waterways that Tip had to master. Calm water was one thing, but any chop or waves presented a unique set of problems.
The extraordinary detail of Tip’s life as an aviation pioneer, described in the soon-to-be-released book “When No-One Else Would Fly”, was made possible by the flight logs and other documents that Tip carefully preserved throughout his life and travels.
Tip’s birthday flight in 1939 at Kelly Field, Texas was recorded in his flight log, along with every other flight he took as he studied with the US Army Air Corps. His descriptions of those times are a delightful read, and the book is almost ready!