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Richard MacVicar

July 11, 1927 December 15, 2018
Richard MacVicar
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Obituary for Richard MacVicar

Richard “Mac” MacVicar, a local legend within the aviation community, departed the earth on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown at the age of 91. This time he didn’t return. Mac was at death’s door less than a year ago, but he refused to cross the threshold. He fully recovered and was soon back to work at his hangar at Randall Airport, fixing airplanes, swapping stories, telling jokes and searching for parts for antique and new aircraft from a personal collection large enough to be the envy of the Smithsonian. Mac never stopped flying his“Super Cub”—a 1958 Piper PA 18-95. He was a proud member of the United Flying Octogenarians, an organization of pilots who are still flying after the age of 80. He was rarely seen without his signature “UFO” cap.

The son of the late John and Mary Coulson MacVicar, Mac was born on July 11, 1927 and grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey. In the early 1930’s, his father took him to see the airplanes at Arcola Airfield in Rochelle Park. He eyes were fixed on the skies ever since. He enlisted in the Navy following high school and was trained as an aircraft technician. Eventually based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, he notably assisted on the Goodyear F2G Super Corsair which was intended as a low-altitude interceptor and was equipped with a 28-cylinder, four-row Pratt & Whitney R-4360 air-cooled radial engine.

After being discharged, he continued to study aviation on the GI Bill. He took his first flying lessons in the mid-1940’at Wurtsboro Airport and soloed in 1945 at what was then Christie’s Airport in New City. He studied at Roosevelt Aviation School on Roosevelt Field, Long Island. He earned his Airframe and/or Powerplant (A&P) certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and worked at Teterboro Airport and later in Rockland County. He went on to qualify as an “IA”. Inspection Authorization is a designation given by the FAA to aircraft mechanics who are capable of certifying an aircraft airworthy.

Mac was employed by Bendix as the company researched and developed what would become the Bendix Doppler Navigation Systems, a precursor of today’s tracking technology. Mac flew extensively in DC3s at low altitudes over railroad tracks to test the emerging systems. He continued to earn ratings—Single and Multi-engine Land, Commercial, Instrument, and Ground Instructor. He moved to Middletown in 1964 and continued to build a loyal clientele and extensive network of friends. Mac owned 13 airplanes during his lifetime, 5 were J3 Cubs. He was a frequent flyer to many local airports, many of which are now shopping centers. He co-authored The History of Aviation in Rockland County with Adam Raines in 2013. His life story was featured in the American Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) magazine in 2015. In addition to his nieces and nephews, Mac has a wealth of friends who are mourning his loss while celebrating a life well lived.


Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm on Thursday, December 27, 2018 at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc, 130 Highland Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940. A Funeral Service will be held at 10 am on Friday, December 28, 2018 at the funeral home, burial with Military honors will follow in the family plot in Mary Rest Cemetery in Mahwah, NJ.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Thursday

27

Dec

2:00 PM 12/27/2018 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 12/27/2018 4:00:00 PM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States

Visitation

Thursday

27

Dec

6:00 PM 12/27/2018 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 12/27/2018 8:00:00 PM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States

Service

Friday

28

Dec

10:00 AM 12/28/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 12/28/2018 11:00:00 AM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States
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