History Hero: Chuck Tippett

When the big storms, the hurricane winds, and the twisters drop trees and utility lines, knocking out power to thousands…Chuck is one of “those” guys dangling from tall towers — soaked in icy rain and fighting the 60 mile an hour gusts to get your electricity back on.  But on weekends, he takes it nice and easy — wing walking atop 80 year old biplanes. He’s a colorful part of “The Flying Circus Airshow,” in Bealeton, Virginia. This fascinating group takes to the air each Sunday in Summer doing wild tricks in vintage Stearman biplanes — once used to train pilots in World War Two. They are recreating the early days of flight — when The Barnstormers went from town to town to show Americans the new flying machines. 

“When I was a small child I saw one of these barnstorming air shows, and it just turned me around.”

Chuck Tippett, Pilot, Wingwalker

Chuck is a pilot and a wing walker. More importantly he teaches the next generation of wing walkers — an ongoing process to keep this piece of Americana alive. In the 1920’s the barnstormers visited small towns all over the country — and for many a person, it was their first exposure to flying. The planes, the wild stunts and pure force of personality of these hero pilots thrilled the masses. You will see him in our program under construction and this short preview called “The New Barnstormers.”

 

 

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“History Heroes” are profiles of people young and old we meet along the way sharing their love of the past.

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