LLT Pilot Wins Stearman Spot Landing Contest!

Outstanding news from the National Stearman Fly-in at Galesburg, Illinois (KGBG), this year September 4 thru 9. This famous fly-in has been held annually for 46 years and celebrates “the biplane that introduced more of World War II’s “Greatest Generation” to flight than any other airplane”.

Julie Thomas

The excellent news is LadiesLoveTaildraggers’ member Julie Thomas won 1st place in this year’s Stearman Spot Landing Contest. Julie competed in her white 450 Stearman appropriately named ‘The Memphis Queen’. A whopping 37 Stearman participated and OUR Julie came out on top! From reports I’m hearing, she was the only woman competing. We got it girls – Wink-Wink!! 

The Thomas family of four, Julie, hubby Howard and sons Marshall and Ben flew two taildraggers to Galesburg. Marshall flew the Stearman with Julie riding along and Ben and Howard flew their Maule.

17 year old Marshall received a well deserved award for being the youngest Stearman pilot to fly into Galesburg. Proud mom Julie is his instructor.

17 year old Marshall Thomas

And there’s more Lady Taildragger news from Galesburg. The boys may just want to get out of the way, the gals have it! Marie Spear won the Poker Run!

“I took first in our poker run. Here’s my winning hand and fun prize.
It’s about time the guys learn that the ladies are here to play and to win.” 😁

Early Saturday morning Julie and Stearman owner and LLT member, Marie Spear, took some time away from Galesburg to visit us at the LadiesLoveTaildraggers C77 Fly-in. Julie sent a pix and note, “Here’s a picture just before I started at GBG…at 6:50 a.m. to come see you all at C77 …. warmed up 10 gal of oil in 20 min (46 degrees at start). It was definitely worth it!” 🙂

What a treat to have a bunch of female Stearman pilots show up at the LadiesLoveTaildraggers fly-in. Marie Spear flew her Stearman and LLT member Diane Sokolowski rode along. Pam Bartlett hopped a ride with Julie Thomas.

Marie Spear & Julie Thomas; “Of course Lady Stearman Pilots can hand start their planes!” Photo credit Kendra Helvey

Marie Spear refueling at C77. Photo credit Kendra Helvey

Julie Thomas refueling at C77. Photo credit Kendra Helvey

Stearman owner N222FR, Diane Sokolowski, and Marie Spear at the LadiesLoveTaildraggers Flyin! Photo credit Kendra Helvey

Pam Bartlett and Julie Thomas posed pretty at the LLT flyin!  Photo credit Kendra Helvey

I hope all women, licensed pilots and those still dreaming about getting their ticket, are as inspired by these ladies and their flying machines as I am. I sound like the preacher on the pulpit but if your goal is to fly, then make it happen. If you haven’t flown for years or haven’t logged time for too long, the clock is ticking – get back on the path. These women are living their dream and I guarantee it wasn’t by accident. They wanted it, they worked for it and made it happen. Stearmans are cool as can be but you can have just as much fun in an old Taylorcraft, Champ or Luscombe for a lot less bucks. I hope you find a way. 🙂

“Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.”  — Chris Grosser