Michael John Ratty passed away in a tragic accident on Tuesday October 21, 2014. He died doing what he loves best, flying.
His interest in flying began when he worked for his brother-in-law as a crop duster. He got his private pilot's license and to pay for his ratings, he sold airplanes in Hayward, California. His first corporate job was with Kaiser Steel Corporation. He then flew for a regional airline company named Air California, which later merged with American Airlines. He flew for them up until he retired as a Captain flying 767's. His passion for flying was still strong so he started Carolina Barnstormers Corporation. Carolina Barnstormers was a service that gave flying tours around the Triangle as well giving tours in Northern Michigan. The company was based in Durham, at an airstrip called Lake Ridge Aero Park. Out there he shared his passion for flying and teaching with other flying enthusiasts.
He is mourned by his wife, Pahnea, his two children, Jon and Jennifer, and loyal animal companions, Lizzie, Lexi, and Pouncer. He is one of nine children who will miss him dearly as well. He made countless friends throughout his years of flying and teaching who will sorely miss him.
His memorial service is being planned and will be announced at a later date.