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June 25, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: Pilot challenges the stereotype

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“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.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
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.”

• Age

• Home

• Work
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.

• Family
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.

• Education
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?
30 years

• 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.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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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