Owner/Pilot: Dennis Guentzel
Waco Taperwing s/n A-83 was born 4/49/29 and delivered to its first owner, famous race pilot Johnny Livingston. Its original registration was NC8568. Records are sketchy, at best, but they show a transfer to a gentleman in Illinois a few years later. It was so registered until acquisition by Russ Gage, Canton, MA in 1981. By that time the registration had been changed to N9012F.
The original number , NC8568 was traced to a crop duster in Bakersfield, Ca. The FAA reported that the aircraft had been heavily damaged in an accident. However, the business is no longer operating and it is presumed that the owner is deceased.
The color scheme was not an attempt to duplicate a specific livery, but rather an attempt to duplicate the design used by the Waco Aircraft Company when producing their “racing” and “sport” versions of the already famous Taperwing.
It is a 1929 Waco ATO Taperwing, NC8565, s.n. A-83, standard airworthiness certificate, restored in 2002 by Rare Aircraft of Owatonna, Mn. Power is from a Jacobs 755B2 engine with 275 HP. The aircraft has a total of 376 hours, of which I have flown 275 since restoration.. The plane and pilot are based in Bozeman, Mt. (BZN). It has some of the “modern” electronics down on the side panel, but the panel instruments are all restored Waco “steam gauge”. When acquired by Dennis the registration was changed to NC8565. The original was not available, and NC8565 was as close as possible…and from an original Waco series.
Dennis flew for Northwest Airlines for 30 years and retired in 1998 with about 21,200 hours. Prior to his NWA career, he spent some time as an instructor mostly in Pipers, most every model from Tri-pacer to Aztec’s, as well as some Cessna products. Since then Dennis has been happily flying his Waco.