Mayo Clinic pilot receives an honorary salute

(ABC 6 News) – Chief pilot Bob Ringold was honored by a “water cannon salute” as he made his last flight with Mayo Clinic Tuesday afternoon.

Ringold celebrated 40 years in aviation and 12 years at Mayo Clinic Air Ambulance.

He estimates that he’s flown around 800 flights for Mayo Clinic in the last 11 years logging over nine-thousand hours in the air.

Ringold has led many advancements in Mayo Clinic’s air ambulance program. Ringold is one of few dual-certified to fly both Mayo Clinic’s medical helicopter and airplane.

He says he’ll miss flying professionally but is looking forward to his retirement.

"I will miss the people. It’s a very good bunch of people that work here and a lot of good friends have to make sure I come back for coffee. Flying is great, I really enjoy the flying but I will probably miss the people more than anything," Ringold said.

Ringold has spent the last few years primarily in an administrative role, helping manage Mayo Clinic’s medical aviation program certificate, but he continues to fly as a relief pilot when a shift comes open.