I am Nancy Hancock-Cullen, a retired Air traffic controller, current private pilot and aircraft builder. I am married 45 years to a wonderful guy. We live in a 133 year old Victorian house; enjoy cats, vintage and classic anything and our precious friends scattered around the globe.
In addition to flying, and maintaining an airplane I inherited from my father, I am completing the build of an EAA biplane he started. I also enjoy gardening, capturing family stories, and historic restoration. In fact, we are in the process of restoring several older homes.
In this endeavor, I have discovered a knack for re-purposing all kinds of found objects and material. Some is put to use in our houses, some I sell.
I began working at my father’s auto salvage business in elementary school. I cleaned, took inventory, mowed and later, kept books after school. Most of my childhood, I lived in the house my father grew up in, located just across the street from the schools I attended. I graduated with virtually the same classmates I entered grammar school with.
I flew with my dad in the same airplane I fly today. After a short stint in college I ended up in Denver, CO where I entered civil service as a personnel clerk in 1972.
My Career BIO
After a few years of government paper pushing , I took the entrance exam for and entered a pass/fail training program in air traffic control. Upon completing the thirteen pass/fail phases of training, I spent the next 20 years happily “Pushing tin” and “telling pilots where to go”!
At year seven, I took a leave of absence to study French at the University of Strasbourg in France while my husband worked on a doctorate in Protestant Theology.
I moved into a staff position at the Wichita Air Traffic Control Facility in 1988. While there I caught flying fever and in 1992 earned my private pilot’s license. In parallel I restored my father’s 1961 Forney Aircoupe. He was my first passenger in that plane.
In 1994 I traveled to Madagascar as a member of a Civil Aviation Assessment Team opening up international aviation to me. In 1995 I became the Air Traffic Representative for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Brussels Belgium. I worked with International Civil Aviation Organization member nations, EUROCONTROL, NATO and the US Military on matters requiring air traffic technical assistance.
Following, I served on the FAA air traffic accident and incident investigation staff, for 5 years. In 2005 moved to the air traffic safety evaluations staff, Washington, D.C. I retired in January 2010 after 38 years of civil service.
My Second Life BIO
I named myself an Historical Entrepreneur. Under that title, I Give Lost Stories A Voice and Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose. I share about these two endeavors and the stones on which they rest each week in THE STONEBRIDGE BLOG.
We are in the midst of restoring our 1888 Richardsonian Victorian home, Maison Steinbuchel, located in Historic Midtown, Wichita, KS. This gives me ample material for my “found item re-purposing” outlet.
In 2015 I self-published my first book, a compilation of my father’s writings, who passed on in 2000. My BLOG includes snippets of stories from my own family heritage, as well as information on the family for whom our Historic Home is named.
In my free time, I fly, enjoy family and friends both near and far, gardening and regular date nights with the love of my life.
We are active members of Faith Community Church, Wichita. I am currently a member of the local Mission Aviation Advocate Wing, Kansas 99s, Experimental Aircraft Association, Women in Aviation, and the Chairperson the Citizen’s Advisory Board for PBS Kansas. My latest endeavor was earning a tail wheel certification. so that I can pilot the biplane when it is complete.
The Reverend Doctor Charles David Cullen and I married forty plus years ago. We do not have children. However, we enjoy our nieces, nephews. their children and the many students my husband instructs in classical education. We also have a brood of cats that you may hear about from time to time.