Skip grew up in a house that had an “airplane room”, replete with models and pictures. His father was a pilot, and was a part-owner in a Beech Sundowner airplane. On his 10th birthday, Skip got to fly in the seat and control an airplane for the first time.
Skip was recruited to the United States Air Force Academy to play soccer, and majored in physics, attending while his high school friend Robert “Cujo” Teschner was also a cadet. When he was cut from the soccer team, his grades dramatically improved, which enabled him to receive one of the limited slots for pilot training. As a cadet, he broke his arm during a parachute failure while skydiving.
Skip attended pilot training at Reese Air Force Base, and was ranked high enough to select a fighter, and received an F-15C. He attended fighter fundamentals training in San Antonio, and was then assigned to the 54th Fighter Squadron in Anchorage, Alaska. His squadron was the first to utilize night vision goggles (NVGs) in dogfights at night.
After his Alaska tour, Skip was assigned to be a T-37 IP at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. After Laughlin, he was assigned to Lakenheath Air Base, England.
Skip eventually became the commander of an F-15 squadron in Lakenheath. In that capacity, he led his squadron throughout Europe in exercises.
After retiring from the Air Force, Skip became a CFI for five years, and was later hired by a legacy airline, and currently instructs on the B737.