Flying Tiger Line
Pilots Association

Kip Cutting

In Memoriam...

Kip A. Cutting

May 10,1945 - December 20, 2017

On December 20, 2017, Kip Arthur Cutting, a 41-year resident of Sonoma, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family after a courageous 9-month battle with cancer. Kip was born in San Jose, California, on May 10, 1945, and was raised in Campbell and Cupertino, Calif., along with his two brothers, Dane and Ty.

While attending college at San Jose State University, he met the love of his life, Jane, at the University's flying club.  He volunteered for the US Naval Reserves beginning in 1966, where he spent two summers in Pensacola, Florida.  After graduating from SJSU in 1968 with a BA in Aeronautical Operations, Kip was commissioned and reported to a Naval flight training program in Pensacola. At the start of their cross-country trip, he and Jane took a detour through Reno and were married on July 31, 1968.

Kip quickly became a highly accomplished Naval pilot and was the first in his class to qualify for aircraft carrier landings in a T28 on the USS Lexington and later in a Grumman S2 on the USS Independence.  While Kip was honing his flying skills in Corpus Christi, Texas, Jane was caring for their infant son, Sean, born in April of 1969.   Kip was later assigned to the VP 50 squadron flying P-3 Orions, anti-submarine warfare aircraft, out of Moffett field in Sunnyvale, CA.  He completed an intensive wartime tour in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and another in Adak, Alaska, with detachments throughout the Pacific. Daughter Noelle joined the family in December of 1971, and as Lieutenant, Kip was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1972.

Turning his flying skills into a career in commercial aviation, Kip began working for Flying Tigers on August 28, 1972, flying DC-8s out of San Francisco. Soon afterwards, Jim Hengehold, a fellow Flying Tigers pilot, introduced Kip and Jane to the developing Diamond 'A' community in Sonoma, where they eventually built their home.

Kip at the Napa Reunion in 2015

During his airline career, Kip was a Captain of many aircraft, including DC8s, 727s,  Airbus 300s, and 747s. He received multiple recognitions, including his lauded position as the Chief Pilot for the Boeing 747 at Federal Express in the late 1990s.

After retiring from flying, Kip found a new passion in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Sonoma State University. He quickly immersed himself in OLLI and was instrumental in the development of its program. Over his 15 years of volunteering, Kip served on every committee and was the Founding Chair of the Finance and Budget Committee.

Kip is survived by Jane Cutting, his wife of 49 years, son Sean and daughter-in-law Perrin and their children, Grace and Sam, of Sonoma; daughter Noelle Mayes and son-in-law Rex and their children, Ben and Nick, of Williams, CA; brothers Dane and Ty Cutting; and step-brothers Paul and Dave Rife of Sacramento.

2017 Christmas Card Photo

Per Kip's wishes, the family will hold a private gathering after the holidays to celebrate his life.

His family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Sonoma State University or the Sonoma Branch of Hospice by the Bay.

Tributes to Kip

From Jim Booth: Our friendship spanned over 55 years.  He was an excellent pilot, mentor, and friend and will be truly and sorely missed.  May God rest his soul.

From Oscar Szigeti:  Like many others. I’m saddened to hear of his passing. Kip was a great guy, always fun to be around and a true “ Tiger “.
I do have a fun story about Kip. When I got checked out as a DC-8 F/O at Tigers, at that time IOE was really just doing 15 hrs of observer time as opposed to a more traditional IOE with a check pilot in the other pilot seat. As it turned out, the first part of my observer time had Kip in the right seat. The F/O’s job was to keep track of all the paperwork including the Form 1, fuel tickets, CTR, etc and at the completion of the trip to forward them to headquarters. I had read up in the flight ops manual what was supposed to be the order of the documents prior to inserting them in the envelope.
So I asked Kip how he organized the paperwork for submission to make sure I was gonna do it right. Kip of course had it all down and confirmed pretty much what I had found in the flight ops manual. Like most Tigers Kip had a great sense of humor and unlike many Tigers tended to know and follow most of the rules for stuff like this.
Then for the second part of my observer experience, enter Brent Sensabaugh. Another super guy that we all loved. You won’t be surprised to find, that when I posed the same question to Brent about the paperwork order that was required his response was “ Shit I just take all that crap and just shove it in the fuckin’ envelope and let those secretary’s figure out what the fuck to do with it when they get it. “ So as I debated between “ Goodness and Badness” ala Caddy Shack, you know I followed Brent’s way of doing things and naturally never heard a word back. Course if I had done that at Fedex, I’d probably still be there saluting all the chiefs trying to splain my way out of things.
Yeah Kip was a good guy to be sure and will be sorely missed.

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