June 25, 2014
Faces of Fauquier: Pilot challenges the stereotype
“I grew up thinking flying was only for the rich, but it’s not,” Chuck Tippett says.
I ferried a plane from Seattle, Washington, to Virginia, and I put Fauquier County up there with some of the prettiest places I have flown in the country.
His passion takes him all over Fauquier County — at an altitude of several thousand feet.
Chuck Tippett has flown planes for 30 years, with a résumé that includes serving as a volunteer pilot at the Flying Circus Aerodrome & Air Show near Bealeton, a wing walker and private flight instructor.
Mr. Tippett says his full-time job as a lineman for the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative fuels his aviation hobby.
“I grew up thinking flying was only for the rich, but it’s not. I sold my motorcycle and bought an ultralight aircraft. I taught myself how to fly and wanted to teach others.”
The aviator owns several aircraft: a Piper Cub, an Aeronca Champ and numerous ultralights.
Dressed in his uniform and tall flight boots, Mr. Tippett describes hand-eye coordination required for a smooth journey: “Flying is like dancing.”
He adds: “I put Fauquier County up there with some of the prettiest places I have flown in the country.”
Volunteer pilot at the Flying Circus Aerodrome & Air Show near Bealeton since 2002 and wing walker for 10 years. Private flight instructor for seven years. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative lineman for 35 years.
• Why do you do the job?
It’s a passion I have had from a very early age. To get up there and fly, it’s a third dimension. It’s incredible. It’s a release for me to go out flying. I grew up thinking flying was only for the rich, but it’s not. I sold my motorcycle and bought an ultralight aircraft. I taught myself how to fly and wanted to teach others.
Wife, Vicki, who has worked 30 as a counselor in Fauquier County Public Schools for children with learning disabilities; two sons, Chip and Chuck, both former Marines; a daughter, Tory, and four grandchildren.
Osbourn Park High School, Manassas, 1979.
• Civic involvement
Works with Hospice Support of Fauquier County to give patients airplane rides. If anybody needs anything, my wife and I will help.
• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
• Why do you live here?
I love Fauquier County. I love the history, the friendliness. My roots go back to Haymarket and I feel like Warrenton is how Haymarket use to be.
• How do you describe this county?
Open, beautiful. I ferried a plane from Seattle, Washington, to Virginia, and I put Fauquier County up there with some of the prettiest places I have flown in the country.
• What would you change about Fauquier?
I love the First Nights in Old Town. We’ve raised all of our kids here. I wouldn’t change anything.
• What do you do for fun?
I go to our beach house in Coles Point.
• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Old Town (Warrenton). My wife and I love it.
• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think our supervisors are doing a good job. It won’t change much.
• Favorite TV show?
The 10 o’clock evening news on Channel 5.
• Favorite movie?
“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Harrison Ford is my hero.
• Favorite book?
“Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah” by Richard Bach.
• Favorite vacation spot?
Our beach house and St. Simons Island in Georgia.
• Favorite food?
• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for John King, Mike Truschel and Bryon Stewart. I have learned so much from them. They have taught me to be a father first and live life. I could die tomorrow and I wouldn’t change a thing.
• Who’s your hero and why?
It’s a cross between Robin Hood and Superman. I would be Robin Hood because my wife and I are always helping people. I would be Superman because sometimes I wish I could change things and turn back time.
• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Keep working, keep on living life the way I do and buy another airplane. I would give some money to my wife and donate it to charities.
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Previous Faces of Fauquier:
• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.
• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.
• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.
• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.
• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.
• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.
• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”
• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.
• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.
• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.
• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.
• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.
• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.
• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.
• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.
• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.
• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.
• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.
• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.
• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.
• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.
• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.
• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.
• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.
• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.
• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.
• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native
• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.
• His job dovetails with passion for hunting
• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.
• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people
• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.
• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.
• He lives and works in a beautiful place.
• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.
• Pretty things everywhere she looks.
• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.
• One day, he might run the company.
• FISH volunteer likes to help others.
• She sees the community’s generosity.
• Cop patrols while most people sleep.
• Pastor a constant in Calverton.
• She keeps the courthouse spotless.
• He loves working working outdoors at the park.
• She sees “everyone” at Carousel
• Library assistant works in a “fun place"
• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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