Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wayne K. Rippel




Along this journey of mine, I've met some very interesting people (and continue to) along the way. One of these people is Wayne Rippel, a former Radio Mechanic with North Central Airlines. Wayne's is an interesting story in the fact of how he started, and then completed his airline career. Let's hear it today!


Per Emails: "My name is Wayne K. Rippel and I was based at YIP. I started as a radio mechanic on DC-3's in 1958. I always wanted to fly airplanes but I was satisfied being around them. I resigned from NCA in 1963 and went to Zantop Airlines, because Red Wallace and Pete Wall turned me down for a flying job! I would have given anything to fly for NCA but it seemed that they were looking for experience rather than loyalty.
My fondest memories of North Central was flying ACM on my days off, getting a little stick time test on the DC-3. Having a friend like Larry Warinner, who came to my home, and helped me with my written test, and flew with me in my 3rd interest airplane, and helped me with my commercial, instructors and instrument ratings.
My worst memories were when I tried and tried to convince upper management of North Central to hire me, with no success.
On a scale from 1 to 10, I would rate my career with North Central a 40, because even though I didn't get to fly for them, their pilots taught, pushed, encouraged and trained me to become what I dreamed to be all my life; a pilot for a major airline. I'm now retired from TWA and have been for 18 years. I spend a lot of time thinking back over my life and thanking God for the help and encouragement I received along the way."


Wayne also shared a few stories and memories for us as well. " I get to thinking back from time to time and always enjoy hearing about someone I know from NCA. I remember shortly after I made Captain for TWA I was in the NCA ramp office talking to some North Central pilots. One of them made the remark, 'there stands the greatest success story there ever was!'
A last note...I fought, struggled and worked hard as I could all the way. I dreamed all my young years to fulfill my dream. Many things stand out in my mind. One, when I first started to fly for Zantop, I was at the terminal in YIP, in uniform, and a little boy looked up at me and said 'are you a pilot?' and also when I made Captain with TWA. I was in CVG and walked back in the airplane. Two ladies asked if I was the Captain, I said yes, and they said, 'oh, you're so young!' When the Chief Pilot of TWA stopped me in the hallway one day and said, 'Wayne, you're going to have to start smiling, you're scaring these copilot's half to death!'

None of this would have happened if it wasn't for my dear friend, Larry Warinner and North Central Airlines. "


THANK YOU Wayne for sharing these stories with us! Wayne shared a few photos with us as well, including a sun drenched NCA DC-3 and Wayne at the controls of a TWA 727...his retirement flight to be exact!
It's true how Herman works in mysterious ways, isn't it? :)

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