Chelsea Montgomery, Minnesota

Chelsea Montgomery, Minnesota

Chelsea is based at KMIC, Crystal Airport in Minneapolis, MN. She is from Bloomington, MN and just got her PPL with Club Cherokee! She is attending ATP Flight School in Mesa, AZ to further her flight training. Aircraft flown: Piper Archer, Piper Warrior Dream taildragger: J-3 Cub! Why I love taildraggers: I have heard that learning to land them is challenging but rewarding....

LLT on the Stearman Flight Team!

LLT on the Stearman Flight Team!

The Pensacola News Journal highlighted one of our LLT members last weekend. Julie Thomas flew her Stearman named “Queen of Memphis” as part of the Veterans Flight in the 2019 Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show in Florida. She was part of a 6 Stearman flight that entertained the crowds with their formation skills. The Stearman Flight Group, of which Julie is a member, hones the sometimes lost art of formation flying in Stearman aircraft. They train rigorously and often to perfect their skills and fly about 20 teaching clinics and air shows a year. But this was the first time Julie had flown in an air show with the Blue Angels! The Stearman Flight Group also sets their mission as keeping the heritage of this classic WWII trainer alive. Julie’s own Stearman earned its keep after the war as a crop duster. Now it’s helping to remind young and old alike of times that are bygone, but still so significant in history for the role the Stearman played as a primary trainer for US, Canadian, and military pilots of many other countries. As an Air Force C-141 pilot for ten years and now a FedEx Captain flying an Airbus A-300, Julie has certainly experienced a wide variety of flying. The fact that she’s currently the only woman in Stearman Flight makes no difference to Julie. But if she can inspire any young women who see her fly, that’s just another bonus. “The World War II veterans love having Julie as one of their pilots and many say she reminds them of the WASPs (Women’s Air Service Pilots) who played a major role in America’s victory and WWII,” said Roy Kinsey, another member of the Stearman Flight.    Check out Julie’s interview here! Julie has attended many LLT fly ins – Tennesse, Illinois, Texas, and Louisiana to name a few. And if you don’t see her flying in her gorgeous white Stearman, you might see her as captain of another taildragger – her Maule M5. Check out those awesome tires! And I think there might be a Decathlon and some other taildraggers in Julie’s hangar – sounds like she has her priorities straight:) Without a doubt, she’s one of the ultimate ‘Ladies Who Love Taildraggers’! Julie modestly downplayed the significance of her achievements in the interview with the press, but we know she’s amazing and we’re so proud that she’s a member of Ladies Love Taildraggers!...

Mikaela Young, Alaska

Mikaela Young, Alaska

Mikaela is based at PAFA, Fairbanks International Airport, in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Straight out of high school, Mikaela started A&P school and worked as a mechanic’s helper at Everts Air Cargo working on DC-6’s and C-46’s. She graduated a year later and tested and received her license. Almost two years later, she completed all the requirements to become a Flight Engineer on the DC-6 but had to wait a month till her 21st birthday before she received her license. Shortly after turning 22 Mikaela started flight training for her PPL. Within the next year she tested and received her private, instrument, commercial and multi engine rating. She was then checked out as a FO part 125 in the DC-6. Within the last 5 months since that happened she has received her tailwheel endorsement, CFI and single engine sea rating. She is currently in the middle of ground school and completing her ATP written so she can start training and get typed in the C-46 and DC-6. Ratings: Commercial ASEL, ASES, AMEL, Instrument airplane, CFI, Flight Engineer (DC-6) Aircraft flown PA-18, C-182, C-172, C-150, DC-6, C-46, PA-28R, PA-23, PA-32, AT8A, PC12 Dream taildragger: PA-18 Why I love taildraggers: They give me the endless opportunity to explore this beautiful state!...

Alyssa Cobb, Maryland

Alyssa Cobb, Maryland

Alyssa is based at KFDK, Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, MD. She owns a Cessna 170B and loves to fly taildraggers and go to grass strips! She just had her first child in July, so she is not flying very much at the moment. Ratings: Commercial pilot single and multiengine; Seaplane (single); CFI, Tailwheel endorsement Aircraft flown: Cessna 150/152, 170A/B, 172, 182; Piper Super Cub, Archer, Arrow, Aztec; Citabria, Decathlon Dream taildragger: Cessna 170B! Why I love taildraggers: I started flying with my dad in taildraggers off a grass strip behind our house! Taildraggers are true aviation for me. My dad rebuilt the Cessna 170B that I bought from him, and I met my husband through the airplane — he came to preheat the engine for me one winter day. So, it has many special memories with it, and I look forward to making memories with my son in it!...

McKenzie Mitchell, Alaska

McKenzie Mitchell, Alaska

McKenzie is based at PAFA, Fairbanks International Airport, in Fairbanks, Alaska. She is a hunting and fishing guide in Alaska who is looking to incorporate off-airport flying into her current work 🙂 Aircraft flown: PA-12, Cherokee 140, Piper Arrow, Cessna 150, 152, 172 Ratings: Private, Instrument, Tailwheel, Instrument and Advanced Ground Instructor Dream taildragger: PA12 Why I love taildraggers: Access to the Alaska wilds!...

Raquel Labastida, Florida

Raquel Labastida, Florida

Raquel is based at FLL, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is currently a flight attendant but recently has become very interested in changing roles and becoming a pilot! She says she talks with the pilots that she works with all the time and they keep encouraging her to get her PPL. Once she did the introductory flight she fell in love with flying and now she is currently in the process of finding schools/CFIs and scholarships to help pay for it. Aircraft flown: Cessna 150 Dream taildragger: Bellanca 14-13 Raquel says, “I am excited to be a part of this women in aviation group and can’t wait to meet other women with the same passion!”...

Jodie Gawthrop, Indiana

Jodie Gawthrop, Indiana

Jodie is based at KUMP, Indianapolis Metropolitan Airport inIndianapolis, Indiana. She is a 19-year-old private pilot-turned-aircraft mechanic with an affinity for anything that flies. While she says she didn’t grow up in a flying family, she stumbled into aviation on her own after her first airplane ride at 13. She fell in love with the exhilarating freedom of flight, and it’s something she enjoys sharing with others. Through maintenance, she’s discovered that it’s all the more gratifying to fly when you can understand and appreciate how every component on the aircraft operates. Jodie says, “Flying is even more fun with friends from all walks of life, and the aviation community is incredibly supportive.” Jodie has a penchant for piston engines and a passion for warbirds. Roaring radial engines, mighty V12s, and the birds they power have always fascinated her; she hopes to do everything she can to keep ‘em flying. When not around airplanes, Jodie can be found flying and chasing hot air balloons around central Indiana. Aircraft flown: 7GCBC & 7KCAB Citabria, 7AC Champ, 8KCAB Decathlon, C-162, C-172, C-182, PA-24, PA-28, Extra 300 Dream taildragger: A polished Cessna 195, one of the classiest aircraft ever! Why I love taildraggers: I love taildraggers because there’s something particularly beautiful about flying a fabric-covered airplane from a grass strip. It’s a nod to aviation’s roots, and these aircraft never fail to make me smile....

Karina Skinner, Massachusetts

Karina Skinner, Massachusetts

Karina is based at IB9, Mansfield Municipal Airport in Mansfield, Massachusetts. She is a student pilot with a tailwheel endorsement. She began to learn about planes when she was 8 years old. After that, she would read and watch almost anything she could about WW2 planes (mostly the fighters and pursuit planes). Karina decided that she wanted to learn how to fly. Two years ago her older sister got a flying lesson. Karina says, “I asked my mom if I could also go up. Two years later, I’m still flying and learning.” Aircraft flown: Sport Cruiser (CRUZ) , Warrior PA28-151, Cherokee PA28-140, Cessna 172, Citabria 7GCBC Dream taildragger: A Republic P-47 Thunderbolt or maybe an F4U Corsair! Why I love taildraggers: They are such a joy to fly in! They are able to do different landings unlike nosewheel planes and it’s a different experience flying in a tailwheel! They are fun to take off in and learn about, especially when you are sitting in the pilot’s seat getting the first-hand experience....

Kimberly Jane Olsen, Australia

Kimberly Jane Olsen, Australia

Kimberly is based at YSCN, Camden Airport in Camden, New South Wales, Australia. She says she is mostly a glider pilot these days. In fact, she is an L2 Gliding Instructor (CFI). But Kimberly flew taildraggers long before you needed an endorsement! She flew a Mudry CAP10 for military selection. Aircraft flown: Mudry CAP10, CT4, C172, C152, PA28, Skyfox Gazelle, Quicksilver Dream taildragger: Stinson 108 Why I love taildraggers: They are real airplanes 🙂...

Elizabeth Hawley, Texas

Elizabeth Hawley, Texas

Elizabeth is based at Kickapoo Downtown Airport in Wichita Falls, TX. (Wouldn’t you love to say that airport name every time on final? It just makes me smile!) Elizabeth says, “The joy of flight came to me when I was almost fifty by way of my husband. He introduced me to it and I have not stopped flying. We live in North Texas where the weather is fair for most of the year, giving me the opportunity to fly year-round. My other passion is photography, and practicing both makes me feel like I’m in Heaven.” She holds an IFR rating. Aircraft flown: Cherokee 180, Cessna 150, Bonanza A36, Bonanza V35B, Citabria Bellanca, Luscombe 8F. Dream taildragger: Luscombe 8F Why I love taildraggers: Taildraggers engage every muscle in your body when you take off, cruise, and land. They make you tell them what to do, and in this way, it’s the closest I’ve been to flying an airplane....

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