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Most kids dream about getting their driver’s license when they turn 16, but the son of country star-slash-pilot Aaron Tippin had loftier pursuits. And Ted Tippin fulfilled them this past Sunday, Dec. 15, when he completed his first solo flight.
Making the milestone even more special was who signed his logbook upon landing, making the solo flight official: dad Aaron.
“It was a big day. He’s the first Tippin to solo since I did, and then my cousin soloed a couple years after me. Teddy is the first one in the Aaron Tippin clan to continue the tradition of aviation,” says Aaron, whose own father, also a pilot, signed his logbook after Aaron’s completed solo flight on his 16th birthday.
Ted had planned to solo on his 16th as well—Dec. 14—but bad weather kept his 1946 J-3 Cub aircraft grounded until the next day.
“It’s really a cool little airplane,” says Aaron of the family’s Cub, which sports a modest 85 hp engine. “If you tell an airline captain that you soloed in J-3 Cub, that’s highly impressive.”
“Before the solo, we were flying four to five days a week to get ready for that,” Ted says of his training. He’s looking forward to getting back up in the air as soon as possible. “I still want to fly at least once a week. I love it. It’s just a passion.”
One that he shares with younger brother Tom, mom Thea and, of course, dear ol’ dad, whose video for “Ready to Rock” showed off Aaron’s flying skills.
Still, it’s a hobby the Tippins don’t take lightly. “Aviation is an unforgiving mistress and it will kill you,” says Aaron. “What it means to the Tippins, personally, is it’s a tradition . . . and we’ll just keep this going forever.”