Lou Wipotnik

by Lou Wipotnik on February 1, 2012

SAFE #: S0000299

Hometown: Mount Prospect IL, United States

Home Airport: KPWK

Occupation: Free Lance MCFI

Education: Military (Army) Air Traffic Controller

Pilot Certificates: ATP & Comm. Glider- CFI A/M/G/AI/RI/RH/RG

Airplanes Flying/Flown: Most Light SE & ME

Educational Specialty: CFII & Tailwheel

Q & A

What drew you to aviation?: I had two uncles in the Air Force during WWII, who got me interested in model airplanes. I then advanced to flying models, and onto the real thing.

How long have you been involved in aviation education?: I started flying in 1957, and have been doing so ever since, except for a short time in the US Army, where I was an Air Traffic Controller in Germany. However, I was able to do some flying from time to time while in the service.

What's your favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: Teaching others to enjoy flying like I do. Also Safety Education, both in my flying club and the Civil Air Patrol.

What's your least favorite part of what you do in aviation education?: I enjoy every part of aviation education. You might say, bad weather when I can't fly.
Ground school is OK, but I'd rather be flying.

Do you have a memorable aviation experience you'd like to share?: Flying the B-17 and Good Year Blimp-"America.". Flying to and landing on, the US Navy aircraft carrier "George Washington" while it was at sea trials, then staying over night as a guest of the Navy, then departing the ship by a Cat Launch "WOW." Flying in the Concorde. Being in the cockpit of a USAF KC-10 while being re-fueled by a KC-135.

Why did you join SAFE?: Was involved with NAFI since it began. I had become disillusioned with the Board of Directors and how they tried to get rid of some of the founding members. Also, I wasn't getting anything out of NAFI, their monthly magazine was nothing. So at Oshkosh I joined SAFE, and been happy ever since.

What would you like to see change in aviation?: I think the FAA's Wings program is still a little intimidating, especially to older pilots.

Any suggestions on how the above might be accomplished?: Only through organizations like SAFE and AOPA will the FAA listen, you have to put pressure on them.

Any accomplishments in, or noteworthy contributions to aviation and/or aviation education you'd like to mention?: C.A.P. Safety Officer of the Year award for the Great Lakes Region (1995). Receiving the "Flight Instructor of the Year (1996) at Oshkosh. The Wright Brothers
"Master Pilot" award (2007). Being a CFI Master Instructor from 1998 thru 2012.

Who are your role models in aviation?: Growing up in aviation, Chuck Yeager, Bob Hoover, Paul Poberezny and many of the military pilots were and still are my idles.

Anything else you'd like to add?: My one dream left, is flying in a P-51.

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