Ricky Ronig, Owner
Ricky’s love of airplanes began when he was just 7 years old when he was first introduced to radio controlled airplanes which he later flew competitively. He then moved on to building model airplanes. By the age of 10, he was being pulled across a football field on a hang glider that his dad bought; "this was the first time I flew and it was love at first flight". He was only 12 years old the first time he flew a real airplane, a 1947 Luscombe aircraft. From there, he experienced the thrill of flying an Ultralight airplane. Not long after, when he was a teenager, his father bought a Cessna 140 airplane and it changed his life. Ricky’s love of airplanes came from his father and has stayed with him his whole life.
While he was still in high school, his first job was with a Delta Air Lines pilot who built and sold Ultralights. The first certified airplane he worked on was a Piper Cub, overhauling the carburetor.
After high school, Ricky attended Alabama Aviation Technical College where he had ample hands on experience from building helicopters to rigging propellers. The classroom experience provided practical learning in regulations and airworthiness practices. This experience played a pivotal role in his life as he set his sights on working in the airline industry. However, fate and a tough economy, especially in the airline industry, led him down a different path into general aviation.
Ricky’s first general aviation job out of college in 1986 was working with Epps Aviation. There he was put on the Lear crew which provided many challenging firsts. Ricky wanted new challenges so he moved into the engine shop. The experience he gained at Epps led him to another general aviation company at the Peachtree City Airport working for Aerospec, then later Stevens Aviation. There he painted Gulfstream aircraft and obtained factory training in Gulfstream II, III, and IV including several other aircraft models. In 1993, after 7 years of experience and leadership, Ricky was recognized for his outstanding leadership and moved into his first maintenance management position.
After several years in Peachtree City, Ricky decided to open up his own shop at the Newnan airport. This allowed him to be near his family and participate in his children’s activities. During this time Ricky received his inspector’s authorization license and became a director of maintenance of a 135 charter operation and several Atlanta charter companies. Ricky obtained experience working with the FAA and regulations for charter aircraft. Ricky’s company was bought out by Hill Aircraft and he went to work for them as Director of Maintenance. Here he learned to manage a large team of people and oversaw 135 charter certificates, 145 repair station, manager of avionics, parts, and maintenance. Ricky’s experience managing over 30 people made him realize that the greatest assets are the employees who work on the airplanes day in and day out. In turn, managing this talent became Ricky’s strength.
Ricky was then offered a corporate job at the Newnan airport; this was ideal as this allowed him to be close to his family. He was Director of Maintenance of Corporate Aviation managing multiple corporate jets. During this time, Ricky was part of the acquisition, maintenance and management of Gulfstream 550, 450,150, Citation X, Citation XL, Citation Jet2 and EC155 Helicopter. As the Director of Maintenance of a Gulfstream operator, Ricky was on the Gulfstream Operators Advisory Board for the development of the Gulfstream 650 where he shared his input on the development of the aircraft and he would consider this a highlight of his career. Ricky continued to grow in his experience with Gulfstream by obtaining additional experience in factory training and also managing a large flight department for 10 years.
After some personal challenges, a downturned economy in 2009 and unsure of where life would take him, the opportunity to start WarDaddy Aviation presented itself and now is a full-service corporate aviation management company serving the greater Atlanta area.
WarDaddy is about a passion for aviation and excellence in client service. Ricky’s name and integrity are what keeps him doing "the right thing for the right reason no matter what", This principle is what led Ricky to have the opportunity to manage the Gulfstream 650 and is proudly displayed in the homepage of this website.