Civil Air Patrol

Blackhawk Tech’s Aircraft Maintenance Technician Program receives Civil Air Patrol Awards

Photo by Jeri Gonwa, Public Affairs Officer - From left to right: Colonel Robert Karton, Great Lakes Region commander , Pat Ripp, Blackhawk Technical College Aircraft Maintenance Technician Instructor, Major General Charles Carr, national Civil Air Patrol commander and Col. Clarence Peters, Wisconsin Wing commander.

At the Wisconsin Wing Civil Air Patrol’s annual Wing Conference in Waukesha, Blackhawk Technical College’s revered Aviation Maintenance Technician Program was recognized for its significant, long-term contributions to the aerospace field with the prestigious Frank G. Brewer – Civil Air Patrol Memorial Aerospace Award by the Wisconsin Wing and the Great Lakes Region of the Civil Air Patrol.

Patrick Ripp, one of Blackhawk’s three instructors, accepted the awards from Major General Charles L. Carr, Jr., Civil Air Patrol National Commander, Colonel Robert Karton, Great Lakes Region Commander, and Colonel Clarence Peters, Commander, Wisconsin Wing.

As a result of these awards, Blackhawk’s AMT program is under consideration by the Civil Air Patrol’s National Aerospace Education Review Committee, which includes members of the Brewer family, for the National Award.   Civil Air Patrol consists of six wings in the Great Lakes Region, with a total of 52 wings comprising the eight regions of the national organization.

The Brewer award is presented by CAP in commemoration of Frank G. Brewer, Sr., and his lifelong interest in aviation, youth and education to individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to the aerospace field over a continuous period.  Blackhawk Tech’s AMT program has been operational for more than 70 years and certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1949.  Current instructor Rick Theis has been at Blackhawk for 20 years, Pat Ripp for 15, and Mario Flores for 12 years.

Two graduates, including Archie Henklemann and Richard Wixom, have been inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.  Visitors to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh see the ‘Wright Flyer’ replica on display.  This replica was built by Blackhawk students under the direction of then Blackhawk AMT chief instructor, Archie Henklemann of Janesville.

Other graduates have gone on to become engineers, pilots, or managers/directors of maintenance at EAA, Air Tran, Midwest Express, and US Airways; work at NASA and the Smithsonian; own and operate aviation and aviation maintenance companies, and become restoration specialties for the EAA, Blackhawk airways, and Tab-Air.

The citation which accompanied Blackhawk’s nomination for the Brewer Award read in part, “Blackhawk Technical College’s Airframes and Power Plants Mechanics program has made and continues to make significant contributions to the aerospace field by providing invaluable aerospace education to the State of Wisconsin and the nation.”

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