Published August 20, 2008 in the Buhl Herald
Robinette takes over shop at Buhl Municipal Airport
Buhl—It’s a profession chosen based on an early fascination with airplanes.
Rick Robinette, originally from Wendell, was raised on a farm near Gooding.
“When I was a little kid, I would lie down in the borrow pit and watch the airplanes that flew over the farm.”
At age 15, he left the farm and moved into a trailer at the Gooding Airport. He worked for the late Jim Wilkins of Western Aircraft of Gooding. He did everything from send weather reports to Boise to help work on airplanes.
Now he’s working on airplanes at the Buhl Airport. Robinette owns and operates 8 triple 9 Aviation.
The airport has not had a full-time mechanic on duty at the facility since Bob Squire retired at the end of 2006.
At age 18, Robinette had acquired his pilot’s license. When he was 19, he went to Alaska to work. Flying there was for pleasure only.
Then he moved back to Idaho and worked in road construction, but he was soon back to working on airplanes.
Robinette earned his commercial instrument instructor’s license and air power mechanics rating inspection authorization. He worked in southern California for Art Scholl, taking care of Scholl’s movie and show planes. Scholl, an aerobatic pilot, aerial cameraman, flight instructor and educator, died September 16, 1985[,] when his Pitts S-2 camera plane failed to recover from a flat spin and plunged into the Pacific Ocean while shooting a scene for the movie Top Gun. Many believe the camera equipment attached to the airplane may have been a contributing factor in the crash. The movie was dedicated to Scholl’s memory.
Robinette has worked for the federal Aviation Administration, airplane and helicopter service companies.
“I quit and was going to retire, but people kept wanting me to work,” Robinette said.
So he took over the shop at the Buhl Airport in October and moved in December.
Robinette and Ryan Moore were working on a plane Thursday, that they flew back to the owner in Arizona Friday.
Moore, a Buhl High School graduate is getting some hands-on experience assisting Robinette this summer. Moore will be back in school at Idaho State University, Pocatello, continuing his aircraft mechanics studies this fall.
Robinette now owns and lives on the family farm at Gooding. He has customers from throughout the Magic Valley fly in to Buhl for maintenance and repairs.
For more information he can be contacted at 543-8999.
Original Photo Caption:
Open for Business—Rick Robinette is operating his shop for the repair and maintenance of airplanes at the Buhl Municipal Airport,
located 1 ¼ miles west of Buhl on Deep Creek Road. Robinette states he intended to retire but people want him to keep working.Inquiries can be made by calling Robinette at 543-8999. (Photo by Sandra Wisecaver 2007)