Donica Fox     (California)

Donica Fox (California)

Donica Fox is based at KCMA, KSZP, and KVNY and lives in Simi Valley, California. Hi everyone! I’m Donica. I started flying back in the late 80’s and continued to fly into the mid 90’s. Aviation had to take a back seat to raising a family and now I am making my comeback with interest in taildraggers. I recently got a little stick time in my dear friend’s Super Cub. Well, I don’t need to tell you that’s all it took. I’m hooked on taildraggers. I have always missed flying and now, at 62, I’m happy to pick up where I left off. I’m so glad I found LLT. Thank you for allowing me to join this group. I’m proud to be a member of LLT. My ratings are PPL, SEL, UAS I have flown Cessna 152’s, 172’s, Piper Warriors, Archers and I just got a little stick in a Super Cub and loved it. Dream taildraggers: Super Decathlon, Super Cub, Citabria I have always loved taildraggers. Something about how they sit on the tarmac shows a sexy attitude- WWII warbirds included. It takes a bit more skill to handle them. I love the challenge....

Day 2, Haunted Flying Tour

Day 2, Haunted Flying Tour

Monday, Day 2 of our LadiesLoveTaildraggers Haunted Flying Tour, we happily welcomed 4 more fliers to our growing group. We’re 16 strong now and loving it every time a new plane shows up and joins our gaggle.  Cheers to all the gals who fought rain and low ceilings to get here. Patience paid off! Welcome to CarolAnn Garrett who flew her Rans S-7S from Florida, Dee Ann Ediger and Ken Hollrah who flew their C182 from Ohio, Kathy Royer who flew her RV8 from Florida, and Lisa Allen who came the furthest in her Scout from Idaho. Very exciting to see our group grow from just 5 aircraft two days ago to 16 today. The best part of a Flying Tour is (you guessed it) flying our birds! This little video is a glimpse of one of the wonderful things I saw through the window of my Decathlon today; Hella Comat zipping by me enroute to Texas in her Pitts S-1T. Pine Bluff, Arkansas turned out to be a great stop for us to refuel, have some seriously southern cookin’ and wait out low ceilings to our south. Unfortunately we’re missing a few of our gals in this picture but you can tell there’s never a dull moment this week. I can’t say enough great things about Cypress River Airport, 24F, and the small town of Jefferson, Texas. This tiny metropolis of 2200 has wrapped its arms around us and jumped through hoops to make sure we have everything we need. I was smitten when I taxied up to the pump, hopped out and saw a “Welcome Ladies Love Taildraggers” banner. Now that’s just cool!  My contact here, Mary Keasler, has organized a group of ladies to transport all of us to and from town for an overnight at the Excelsior House, dinner at McGarity’s Saloon, and a Haunted Walking Tour. Airport Manager Ted McKinnen also made their courtesy car available to us for our entire visit. And it just keeps getting better and better. A ladies’ group made gift bags for our ladies with some special Texas treats. The mayor of Jefferson, Texas officially welcomed LadiesLoveTaildraggers to Jefferson, Texas during our evening dinner at McGarity’s Saloon. Oh yes, and the local Fox/NBC affiliate came to the airport and filmed, then met us at McGarity’s Saloon to do a TV interview. We’re all starting to feel like celebrities here! Yes, you guessed it, we’re having a fabulous time. So much so there’s hardly a moment to spare. More about Jefferson will have to wait for a follow up post about great places everyone can visit. In the meantime, we’re off. Mineola Weisner Airport, here we come!!...

The LadiesLoveTaildraggers “Haunted Flying Tour” Itinerary & Registration

The LadiesLoveTaildraggers “Haunted Flying Tour” Itinerary & Registration

LADIES LOVE TAILDRAGGERS HAUNTED FLYING TOUR September 30 – October 6, 2018 JOIN US FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK OF GHOSTLY FLYING FUN! Taildraggers expected – Nosedraggers accepted Camp under your wing or carpool to motels All adventurous flyers welcome! For those that choose to begin on Day 1, our “Haunted Flying Tour” will cross 6 states. The full Tour includes 7 days of Flying Fun that begins at my home base in Indiana, crosses through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, and at the heart, highlights the Great State of Texas. I’ve designed it so pilots can join our Flying Tour when able, then fly back home when they must. Fly along for the full Tour or join in and out as your schedule allows. We’ll learn the haunted history of Texas, visit historic airports & aviation museums, and overfly one of the remaining early U.S. Airmail route markers. I’ve hand picked a few famous restaurants and of course local favorites, all sure to delight the foodie junkie in you! 7 Days will zip away while we make new friends, visit new places and share the fun of flying taildraggers. It’s going to be one Awesome Adventure! Our Tour will bend as necessary along our route to accommodate the weather and is a VFR only event. If you choose to fly along, fly and no-fly decisions are your responsibility as PIC of your aircraft.  You are responsible for your and your passenger’s safety and I nor Ladies Love Taildraggers take responsibility for your actions at any point during the Tour. For planning purposes, registration is required. There is no charge to participate and I, nor Ladies Love Taildraggers, will benefit financially in any way. My cost to participate will be the same as all others; fuel, food, motels, any admittance fees, possible cab/Uber fees, miscellaneous expenses. Itinerary Gather KMQJ: Saturday, Sept 29, 2018. Everyone’s invited to start the flying party from the beginning – my airport, my house, Indianapolis. Overnight at my place or I’ll find a bed for you at friends’ homes. Come – we’ll fit you in! Day 1, Sunday, September 30, 2018 To KSIK, Sikeston, MO for Lunch at Lambert’s Cafe  home of the Throwed Rolls Next To KARG, Walnut Ridge Airport, AR, tour the Wings of Honor Airport Museum Next To M70, Pocahontas Municipal Airport. Overnight at Days Inn adjacent to Pocahontas Airport, $89 night. (870) 892-9500. (7 n.m.). Day 2, Monday, October 1, 2018 To KPBF, Pine Bluff, AR. Lunch at Grider Field Airport Restaurant Next To 24F, Cypress River Airport, Jefferson, TX. Overnight at the historic  Excelsior House Hotel, rooms $99.95 night, 903-665-2513. Dinner at the fabulous old-west saloon, McGarity’s Saloon and 8:00 pm Haunted Walking Tour.  1.5 hours/$15 pp Day 3, Tuesday, October 2, 2018 To 3F9 Mineola-Wisener Airport, Mineola, TX. Morning Airport Museum tour with Lupita Wisener. This is one of the spookiest little towns in Texas! We’ll take a stroll by the haunted Beckham Hotel then have lunch at the turn-of-the-century Hogg Mansion. This spooky lunch stop includes a tour of the mansion & gardens and, for our group, a very special paranormal presentation. Lunch, tour & presentation $15 pp. Next To KSEP, Stephenville, TX. Overnight. Hampton Inn, Stephenville, $99 night. 254-918-5400 Day 4, Wednesday, October 3, 2018 Special guided tour of the Stephenville Historical Museum sitting on 4 acres complete with 13 relocated homes and historic buildings. Stories of murder and madness abound. Our personal guide, 79 years young, is known to tell “the best ghostly stories in all of Texas”.  Lunch at a favorite, the Hard Eight BBQ To KBPG, Big Spring, TX. Dinner and overnight at the haunted Settles Hotel. Call 432-267-7500 for reservations $149 night or Expedia (lower rate) Day 5, Thursday, October 4, 2018 10 a.m. tour of Hangar 25 Air Museum at KBPG To KSWW Avenger Field, Sweetwater, TX. Home of the WASPs. This is our flying tour’s keystone destination and not to be missed. Visit the field made famous by the WWII Women Airforce Service Pilots. Our overnight stop includes late lunch, a guided WASP Museum tour, evening catered dinner and drinks overlooking the field where over 1,000 women completed their training. Because special arrangements are required and catered meals are necessary, this is the one destination pre-payment is required. $50 pp. Holiday Inn Express 325-235-3500, $89 (Ask for special WASP discount) Day 6, Friday, October 5, 2018 10 a.m. Departure overflying early U.S. Airmail route marker, southeast of Avenger Field. To KGZN, Gregory Simmons Airport, Cisco, TX. BBQ/Burger cookout hosted by Cisco Aviation for LadiesLoveTaildraggers’ pilots & passengers. Next To F23, Ranger Field for Ranger Field Fly-in & Airshow. Overnight Holiday Inn Express/Eastland, TX $98, ask for Ranger Field flyin rate. Fly-in volunteers provide transportation to all motels. 5:00 pm Hamburgers $5. 6:30 pm, 30 minute airshow. Firepit and drinks after. Day 7, Saturday, October 6, 2018 Our LadiesLoveTaildraggers Haunted Flying Tour ends today at Ranger Field.  Spend the day at Ranger Field Fly-in & Airshow: *11:30 a.m. Slow-smoked brisket ($10 donation, while it lasts). *1:00 p.m. – Short airshow (airfield CLOSES 1:00 – 2:00). *Dinner run to Mary’s Café – Strawn, TX. *Fire pit & drinks. Overnight at Ranger Field or head home.   Room & Ride Sharing for the LLT Haunted Flying Tour SIGN UP SHEET Please email LadyTaildraggers@gmail.com with questions....

A J-5 named Beatrice (The oldest J-5 Cub still flying!)

A J-5 named Beatrice (The oldest J-5 Cub still flying!)

Thanks to Jerry Griggs from Wichita, Kansas for submitting this great story. And special thanks to Brooke Tribley for taking the path less traveled – vintage aircraft ownership and taildragger flying! I bought my first airplane in 1972, a 1940 Piper J-5, but only kept it about two years …. as I ran out of money. It now belongs to 22 year old Brooke Tribley in Navasota, Texas.  As a DPE, in late March I traveled to Texas to conduct her private pilot check-ride in that very same J-5 Cub. From these two photos of the Cub, can you guess which one is me from 1972/73 and which one is Brooke?! I visited an old friend in Texas last week, Beatrice. Despite her age, Beatrice looked better than ever and is in good or better shape than when I owned her in 1972-73. Beatrice is the name given by the current owner, to my old Piper J-5 Cub, serial number 5-9. Brooke Tribley owns the Cub now and dearly loves the airplane. This Cub is the oldest J-5 Cub still flying. If anyone knows of a J-5 with serial number lower than 5-9 that’s still flying, please let me know. Brooke is something of a stick and rudder gal who didn’t want to learn to fly in a Cessna spam can. She bought the Cub, found a tailwheel instructor to teach her to fly it and after about 75 hours of flying, Brooke was ready for her private pilot checkride. Nearly 100% of her flight time was in the Cub, though a rented Cessna was used to meet the night flying requirements. As a pilot examiner I quickly agreed to give the flight test. With blessings from the Wichita FAA FSDO office, I was authorized to conduct the practical test at Navasota, Texas, where Beatrice resides in her hangar. The flight test went smooth and I was pleased to award Brooke her Private Pilot license. Unlike other flight tests I’ve done, this one unleashed a flood of distant, pleasant memories of the days when I owned Beatrice, using her to build hours towards my ATP. The memories include taking a road trip in Beatrice, immediately upon college graduation. Or would it be an airway trip? The road/airway trip was about a week long trip with sleeping bag and a few other things thrown in the back seat and I was off. The highlight of that trip was in Salina, Kansas; getting to fly Chuck Lemaster’s Boeing 247D, N18E while there. That very plane is now in a museum in England but it was a thrill to have flown a Boeing 247 from the copilot seat. I returned from that road trip to my flight instructor/mechanic job in Shawnee, Oklahoma with about four dollars in my pocket and half a tank of fuel left in the Cub. I knew when to quit and head home! Unlike Congress, I knew when I was out of money. Of course I had memories of hopping passengers and relatives in Beatrice, giving tailwheel checkouts to the previous owners and fabric recover of the airplane one summer. I’ve included photos from 1972-73 in the colors when I bought her, the colors after I recovered her. My old aviation mentor, Hank Henry, came out to Navasota to witness Brooke getting her private pilot license. Hank is an awesome guy and has been my aviation mentor since 1967. He taught me eights on pylons and other maneuvers needed to earn my CFI in 1969. I worked for him as a flight instructor and later we flew Cessna Citations together. He’s mentored hundreds in aviation over the years, especially young kids. He flew B-24’s during WW II and successfully crash landed a B-24 in Allied held Belgium after being shot up over Germany. He is 93 years old, drives in Houston traffic daily and still manages a flight school in West Houston. I maintain that Hank is the only remaining WW II pilot still working full time employment in aviation. Anyone want to challenge that? I left Navasota glad that I did this flight test and happy that Beatrice is in good hands happily doing what Cubs do best, teaching stick and rudder flying skills to pilots. It is likely that someday young Brooke will have a family and her kids will learn to fly in Beatrice. I’m 100% confident Beatrice will be up to the task twenty or more years from now. I hope I last as long as Hank so I can be part of that when Brooke’s kids learn to fly true stick and rudder skills in Beatrice. Jerry Griggs, Wichita, Kansas...

Amy Reiss     (Pennsylvania)

Amy Reiss (Pennsylvania)

Amy K Reiss is based at KXLL, Allentown Queen City Municipal Airport, Allentown, Pennsylvania. I am currently building hours for my commercial rating and working to finish up my Bachelor’s in Aeronautics by this fall. I first started flying January 29, 2017 and just got my IFR rating early December 2017. Aviation has opened my eyes to a whole new world. It has been a challenge working full-time, managing college classwork, and chipping away at my ratings, but it has taught me a lot; as a pilot and as a person. I knew since I was little that I wanted to fly and it’s very rewarding to have a license from the FAA in my hands today. One of the many things that I love about the aviation world is that you never stop learning. I have gained so much knowledge already within a year and continue to each and every time I fly. I’m excited for what the future has in store. I have an Instagram page (@aviator_amy23) that I use to help promote aviation and inspire others to follow their dreams. It’s very rewarding to be able to help others who are also very passionate about what I love. Ratings: Private Pilot, IFR rating, and Commercial Rating (In Progress). Aircraft flown: DA20, DA40, Cessna 150, Cessna 152, Cessna 172, and a T-6D Texan (I will continue training in the T-6 as soon as I get my tailwheel endorsement). Dream taildragger: Honestly, there are too many taildraggers that I’d love to fly to just pick one! I would love to own a Piper Cub one day and offer tailwheel endorsements and PPL training in a Cub when I get my CFI. Thoughts on taildragging: I am drawn to the old souls who soar the skies compared to the newer aircraft with all their advanced avionics. When I fly in a taildragger, I feel as though I am taking a flight back in time and enjoying the very beginning of the aviation world as if I was there....

Sneha Harish’s LOVE STORY  (Hong Kong)

Sneha Harish’s LOVE STORY (Hong Kong)

This is Lady Taildragger pilot Sneha Harish’s love story. Guess who was instrumental in bringing Mike and me together?! Ladies Love Taildraggers, of course!! Simply put – If it weren’t for Judy’s LLT,  I probably wouldn’t have met my gem of a husband! It all began in the year 2011. I was instructing on the Bush Baby Explorer (A taildragger!) in the “bush” by Kruger National Park, South Africa and loving it! It was in November that year I received a job offer in Uganda – a job I had never applied for! The company wrote to me saying THEY HAD STUMBLED UPON MY PROFILE ON LADIES LOVE TAILDRAGGERS and would like for me to be part of their charter organisation flying tourists around Uganda. I was being hired to replace one of their charter pilots, Mike Epstein, that had just resigned and moved ahead in his career. The only thing I knew about Uganda back then was that its capital city was Kampala (It used to be on my school quiz team, specializing in “Capitals of Countries”). Regardless, it sounded like a dream job in a continent dubbed “Deep Dark Africa”. A month later, I packed everything I had and off I went into the land of the unknown – well, at least for me, it was! Fast forward 3 months to March 2012. I happened to bump into Mike Epstein, the pilot whose position I had filled in the company. It was at a company dinner overlooking the lovely Lake Victoria. We were introduced to each other. It took him 6 months to convince me that we should be dating (I still tease him about how persistent he was!). A couple of months into the relationship, he tells me how he had seen pictures of mine shared on a social networking site from an Airshow on my Company’s 15 year anniversary earlier that year in February. And that he had taken a liking to my legs  and set up the whole meeting on that particular evening with help from mutual friends. So it wasn’t by chance, after all!  3 years later, Mike and I even had the wonderful opportunity to be colleagues at another company in Entebbe, Uganda and fly for Doctors Without Borders in The Democratic Republic of Congo! A gorgeous, lush green country with the warmest people, the most ferocious thunderstorms and some stunning landscape to fly in!! Even the proposal happened up in the navy skies on the night of 8 March, 2016 in a B-777 (Not a taildragger but special nonetheless! ). I was on my way to Malawi for a new job and Mike accompanied me and surprised me with a ring! In April of 2017, after being with each other for four and a half years, we tied the knot in Cape Town, South Africa (Mike is South African) and later in November 2017, we had our Indian wedding in a town called Mussoorie in the lower Himalayas. I wanted a beach wedding and Mike wanted one in the mountains. Both of us were left feeling satiated indeed! We now live in Hong Kong, blissfully married. Mike flies the Boeing-777 and some day when I grow up, I want to be like Mike! As a life partner, Mike’s immensely supportive of my ambitions. He’s very inspiring and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to share life’s adventures with! I can’t thank Ladies Love Taildraggers enough – best matchmaker ever!! Here’s to Flying, Laughter & Happily Ever After!! ...

Deb Penrod’s LOVE STORY   (Pennsylvania)

Deb Penrod’s LOVE STORY (Pennsylvania)

Deb Penrod is based at N47, Pottstown Municipal Airport, Pottstown, PA. This is Deb’s love story. I met Curtis in 1999 at the United Parachute Club, at New Hanover Airport which was a grass strip in Gilbertsville, PA, when he came as a student. He was dressed in his PA Army National Guard helicopter pilot flight suit. I tried to introduce him to other single lady jumpers, but fortunately there were no takers and I became single some months later…I owned a Cessna 172 at the time (what a great way for a 40-something single woman to meet men) and he got his civilian medical just so he would be able to fly it. We married in 2004 in the Florida Keys – at 14,000 feet in a Skyvan that I had once had a partial ownership in, and then we promptly jumped out with our wedding party of a half-dozen jumper friends – me in a yellow jumpsuit. He acquired a 1956 Cessna 182 about 10 years ago, configured of course for skydiving. And, coincidentally, it was the same jump plane from which we had both made our first jumps at United. And, of course, I was subsequently the first jumper he put out! I feel honored when he puts the front passenger seat in for me…otherwise, ya gotta sit on the floor with nothing but a parachute and a seatbelt! We have since flown in his plane from PA to Florida, Wisconsin, Montana, the Carolinas, etc, etc, you get it. Several of the trips have been under the wing in a tent – 3 weeks is great, but I warn you that 3-and-a-half weeks does push it! And, we’ve also been on skydiving trips in many states, as well as Belize, Costa Rico, Canada, Belgium, and others. I bought a 1940 J3 Piper Cub about 4 years ago, and Curtis has been my diligent manager, advisor and supervisor. And critic. I have been an AOPA Airport Support Network representative for our airport, and as part of being an advocate for aviation and the airport, at my request Curtis regularly flies local municipal employees, staff, elected officials, and interested citizens for an appreciation of our lovely Borough and our gem of a small GA airport. (Oh yeah, he also flies the kids of the employees at our local micro-brewery – how romantic is that!! We’ve also done the aerial photography for the Bok Fest Goat Races at said brewery, double romance when you get a close look at those adorable goats.) And, ladies will understand, to add to the romance, he also does test-pilot work for a helo shop….really big machines! The latest: he got me a yellow Honda scooter/motorbike…and painted a lightning bolt on it! Oh gosh, I have so much more to tell, so many more pictures to share. Stories of the adventures, pictures of our world! ❤❤❤...

Kathy Quinlan’s LOVE STORY   (Texas)

Kathy Quinlan’s LOVE STORY (Texas)

Kathy L. Quinlan is based at KBMQ, Burnet Municipal Airport-Kate Craddock Field, Burnet, Texas. This is Kathy’s love story. My love of flying started when I was a child watching Sky King. I didn’t want to be like his niece, I wanted to fly his airplane! My dad became a private pilot and my very first airplane ride was in a Piper Colt. From then on I was hooked. For my eighteenth birthday he gave me a logbook and a flying lesson. I could only afford one lesson every two to three weeks. I soloed for the first time on April Fools Day 1970, in a strong crosswind. I ran out of money and had to stop lessons.   A year later, I started taking ground school at the local Junior College. I was the only lady there. I met my husband in that class and we were married June 12, 1971. A couple of days later we took our private written and both flunked. Our first airplane was a 1946 Luscombe 8A, hence my love affair with taildraggers!!! We had to sell it in 1976. In 1981 we bought a Piper Tri-Pacer and had to sell it in 1986. Just after our 45th wedding anniversary we bought a Cessna 150G. I started lessons just before our 46th anniversary. Feb 8, 2018 I flew solo cross country, to my lesson, for the first time. My Fly Boy was a nervous wreck. He told everyone that his Little Chickadee flew off without him. My plan is to have my private pilot before our 47th anniversary. I feel so blessed to have met my Fly Boy and that we share not only a love for each other,but for flying also! My Fly Boy is 74 and his Little Chickadee is 66. I can hardly wait for the next chapter in our life together…….flying all over the place together in our fourth airplane, a taildragger!!!  Kathy...

Tori Patterson’s LOVE STORY   (Indiana)

Tori Patterson’s LOVE STORY (Indiana)

Lady taildragger pilot Tori Patterson is based at KMCX, White County Airport, Monticello, Indiana. This is Tori’s love story. My love story starts the summer after I graduated high school, while I was a fresh private pilot volunteering at our local Aviation Day. My job was to write down names and information of those interested in learning more about the flight school I attended. Clipboard in hand, I greeted families and spent a few hours in the sun at the airport. Around the end of my assigned shift, I saw a small taildragger land and start taxiing to the ramp. I didn’t know much about taildraggers at the time, so I was intrigued. Lo and behold, the pilot gets out and starts walking straight towards me. I notice he’s a handsome guy around my age, a rarity in the circles of pilots I was in. I soon found out that his taildragger was a 1941 Stinson 10A, and I asked this stranger if he was planning to go flying again that day. I told him that if he was, I would love to go with him and see his airplane. Lucky for me, he had flown in to visit his parents and had some time to spare before lunch. We went up in the Stinson and it was the most amazing “speed-dating” experience as we flew around the pattern. I learned his name was Daniel and he was in college studying Chemical Engineering. The last two generations of his family flew recreationally and restored vintage aircraft, including two Waco biplanes and the Stinson. After we landed and exchanged phone numbers, I got a message from him that evening asking if I would like to go out to dinner the next weekend. We hit it off immediately and started dating that summer. Our relationship continued to get more serious while I attended the college close to his and studied to earn my instrument rating the next year. He started learning to fly the Straightwing Waco, so we would take that to fly-ins. We spent almost every free weekend we had flying to different airports around the area, and soon we were inseparable. I knew this man was something special when he made a point to regularly attend Ninety-Nines meetings with me and got the approval of the other members. We flew to Oshkosh together three times, in a different plane each time, and got yelled at more than once by well-meaning flight line workers who thought we were young hooligans “climbing on aircraft we shouldn’t be” while we unloaded. He is my best friend and flying partner, and we decided to get married soon after he graduated in 2016. I was in my Junior year, so in order to follow him to his first engineering job I had to transfer schools and move 5 hours away from all of our friends and family. I’m now finishing out my degree in Aviation Management at Purdue University, hanging out with my best friend (who I get to call my husband!!) every day, and we have two cute dogs that are spoiled rotten. We still make an effort to fly on the weekends, and share a love and understanding of each other that I only thought existed in fairy-tales! If you think about it, all of this was brought together by a taildragger. 🙂...

Johanna Harris     (Washington)

Johanna Harris (Washington)

Johanna Harris is based at KOLM, Olympia Regional Airport, Olympia, Washington. What a cool group! I am currently finishing up my Instrument Rating, which will be followed by a Commercial ticket soon after! I can’t wait to accomplish those goals. Working at a flight school/FBO has helped me meet some amazing pilots and life long flying friends. I practically live at the airport and I am 100% happy with that. Outside of flying, I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, and spending time with my family and friends (dog included). Looking forward to one day owning a taildragger! Ratings: PPL Aircraft flown: Beech Musketeer Cessna 152 Cessna 172 Cessna 182 Beaver Amphib Luscombe 8A Robinson R22 Dream Taildragger: Oh there are too many choices… Supercub, Cessna 195 or a Luscombe come to mind! I also love the P47. Taildraggers are the ultimate adventure aircraft! I can’t wait to one day be able to take mine camping all over the United States....

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