Neosho Stunt Pilot Puts on Private Air Show for Veteran Turning 100

Neosho Stunt Pilot Puts on Private Air Show for Veteran Turning 100
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A World War II veteran reaches a milestone as he celebrates his 100th birthday. And today the new centurion got a very special gift in Neosho.

Allen Richter known as Rick to all, arrived at the Neosho airport for a birthday surprise. He joked, “I thought maybe I would parachute jump or something like that.”

Instead Rick got his own private air show for his 100th birthday.

His wife Irene Richter said, “He just talks about airplanes all the time. He loves to fly.”

“Inverted spin, upside down spin that’s tough to do,” said Richter as he watched stunt pilot Kyle Franklin with Franklin’s Flying Circus. Franklin says pilots are a tight family.

“We’re always happy to help each other out. It just means a lot more when someone knows how to fly.”

It seemed like the perfect gift. Rick’s love of flying began at a very young age. Irene said, “He took lessons without letting his parents know. He took lessons so he could learn to fly. I think he got his first license when he was fourteen.”

During World War II, Richter served with the signal corps in India providing the Air Force with information about what bridges or buildings to bomb.

Richter said, “I set up radio stations. Actually, I built some of them cause we couldn’t use the signal corps, they had portable radios but you needed a jeep to carry it.”

At times Richter delivered his smaller radio creations to remote areas by borrowing a plane and flying them there himself.

He said, “They were out thirty, forty miles. Take too long to walk. I’d ask them to cut an airstrip, fly in that way. Usually they were one way in, one way out airports. ”

And that’s one reason why Franklin was eager to fly for Richter. Franklin said,”It’s always great to give back to the veterans that have given so much for the country we live in. And I’m just proud to do it and happy to do it.”

“8 point roll,” said Richter describing the show. But the love of flying both men share is not all about exciting tricks.

Richter said, “I think just looking out the window and enjoying the scenery.”

And for Franklin, “There’s nothing like soaring above everybody. It’s very peaceful.”

“That’s quite a show!” said Richter.

Happy birthday

Richter’s work in the radio industry put him at WOC radio where he worked side by side with then, Dutch Reagan. Better known later to the world as President Ronald Reagan.