By Gene Pape
On March 5, 2015, San Francisco Bay Area combat flier Mike Petri passed away after battling Frontal Temporal Disease for the past three years.
Mike was one of the best combat fliers, but more, he was just a great person to be around. He flew with Norm McFadden, Rich Brasher and others as a member of the Condor Legion combat team in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s and continued flying for many years after. Ken Burdick contributed the following Mike story:
My favorite Mike Petri story is the Bladder Grabber early days when he thought he had it in the bag. I have (someplace) a video of it all with Greg Davis and Greg Warnell doing the play by play as he flew Chuck Ruddner for the final -- like three times and lost. He was such a good sport about it all, but he was soooo funny! Jumping up and down as the sun was setting.
He was truly one of the good guys.
Don Chandler of Red Bluff, Calif., adds this remembrance of Mike: "I hadn't Mike more than once or twice since I left the bay area in 1989, but I remember him well. Mike was a member of the Condor Legion Model Airplane club in Redwood City that Dick Allen, Lee Parker and myself started, or at least resurrected in 1970. It was always a blast to watch him and Rich Brasher fly combat matches. Mike flew in all the WAM combat meets and any AMA event within travel distance. It wasn't just combat though that got Mike the good guy name. We all flew at Zimmerman Field back then and he was not above helping us non-combat types when we needed it, launching etc. One of my fondest memories of Mike was seeing him go to work in a San Francisco hotel in his doorman uniform. Some how he didn't seem like a world class combat flyer while opening doors and hailing cabs, but man was he ever."
If anyone would like to add remembrances of Mike, photos or other obituary information, please send it to Flying Lines.
This page was upated March 10, 2015