Diana Votaw’s Spring Flight Around STL

Diana Votaw After annual, I took the little yellow sport cub from Sparta, Illinois heading west in a giant loop around St. Louis, Missouri. The morning was beautiful with calm winds. There are many airports in and around St. Louis that are suitable for the tailwheel to land, but this trip I just took pictures. I did a circumvent of STL at approximately the 30 mile veil!!!  I circled my house as well as a friend’s house taking aerial photographs then most of the airports around STL. I also got the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and their confluence – then back to Sparta – whew!!  The rivers were full with spring rain and the Missouri looked very muddy where it joined with the Mississippi River. Enjoy! Missouri River * Over the Missouri River * Aero Estates * Spirit of St. Louis Airport * St. Charles Airport * Downtown St. Louis from the Cub And from 2009, a couple shots. 2009 Grass Wheel Landing Diana does tailwheel instruction in her CubCrafters Sport Cub S2. Votaw Aviation With Student – and no, it’s the big guy that’s the student!...

Natalie McHaffie  (Canada)

Natalie McHaffie (Canada)

Meet Natalie McHaffie who is based at KYKF, Waterloo Regional Airport,  Etobicoke, Ontario Canada. Natalie sold her Pitts Special in 2012 and is currently “shopping”. Hi everybody, I fly a Pitts Special two seater at Waterloo Regional Airport. I’ve never been very competitive but I have entered aerobatic contests most years since I learned to fly in my forties.  The first contest I flew in the ‘Sportsman’ category with just 27 hours on my license. I’m especially proud of my daughter who flies airlines and trains airline pilots. I’m really looking forward to the taildragger summer fly-in – a great idea. Nat...

Bobbi Boucher  (Virginia)

Bobbi Boucher (Virginia)

Meet Bobbi Boucher,  A&P, IA, & CFI based at  Shannon Airport (EZF) Fredricksburg, VA and builder, pilot and owner of this RV-4. This white, pink and gold RV-4 pictured was built and test-flown by Bobbi Boucher over a period of six years – all 14,820 rivets; no quick-build for this girl!  The plane first flew in January 1998 and has since accumulated 402 hours.  N2QT is powered by a 160 horsepower Lycoming O-320 turning a fixed-pitch, wooden,  two-blade propeller by Aymar-Demuth. Bobbi knows her engine inside and out – she built it up herself. Bobbi holds a Commercial Pilot certificate with ratings for Single and Multi-engine Land and Seaplanes, and is also a Certified Flight Instructor. She started out flying sailplanes, and first soloed in 1973. She spent six years in the Navy working on P-3s, which enabled her to get her Airframe and Powerplant ratings. Thanks to the Navy, she was also able to get her Flight Engineer rating. Bobbi also went to Africa, at the request of the World Wildlife Foundation, to build and fly a Beaver RX 550 ultralight aircraft for the Foundation. She has also done a firewall-forward Lancair 320 and has built a Super Lancair ES with an IO-550 up front. Bobbi has flown her RV-4 in five AirVenture Cup races, making her the most experienced female pilot and solo pilot in AirVenture Cup history. Bobbi says her RV-4 is featured on page 18 of Kit Planes, May 2010 issue.  She also signed up for the Air Classic too!  Bobbi can be reached at her website, The Plane Doctor....

Rhonda Miles  (Tennessee)

Rhonda Miles (Tennessee)

Rhonda, welcome to Ladies Love Taildraggers!  You have no idea how happy I am you registered so we can all learn about your incredible story.  We can only hit the highlights here but I’ve included a link near the end of this post to your website for all those that would like to read about the entire adventure. Rhonda Miles has a 1972 Cessna 180 Skywagon and is based outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Collegedale Municipal Airport (KFGU). The following provided by Rhonda. “I saw a flier for your group on the board by the Vintage planes at Sun-N-Fun last week.  I kept my fingers crossed that it was a good website and interesting.  I was not disappointed.” Rhonda’s Skywagon named “Jezebel”! My first flight was at 3 months old in a Cessna 195.  My Dad was a cropduster in Arkansas for 46 years so I cut my teeth on taildraggers,  short strips, levee tops, and sand bars. I have 47 airplanes in my logbook and 27 are tailwheel.  I used to instruct in a J3 Cub outside of Nashville.  I fly Hawker 800XP’s to support my habit of aircraft ownership.  I am ATP rated with 3 type ratings but my love is tailwheel.   I have a 1972 Cessna 180 now, which is my dream plane.  “Everyone has a dream, don’t they??” ———————————— In 1998 I flew around the world, through Russia and Siberia, with a female friend in a M-5 Maule.  Taken from the website: Americans Rhonda Miles and Nikki Mitchell recreated one of history’s most daring and remarkable flights. The journey, known as the Flight of the Rodina, was a story of courage and stamina in the tradition of Lindbergh and Earhart. It took place 60 years ago in 1938, when three Russian women pilots flew non-stop from Moscow to the southeastern tip of Siberia. They flew with virtually no radio transmission, through skies so overcast they blocked all visual landmarks yet they broke a world record and opened up the route across Siberia. They were feted worldwide, and received their country’s highest award, The Gold Star of hero of the Soviet Union. Best friends and around the world partners, Nikki Mitchell & Rhonda Miles, pictured before their 1998 around the world flight. The following picture is with the group in front of the Maule is in Siberia.  The men are Russian military, sent to fly along with us in a military AN-2.  They were to “Be SUPPORT” (yeah !!)  I am the one in a ball cap.  The girl to my right is Khalide Makaganova the, 1984 World Aerobatic Champion.  She flew with me in the Maule.  The brunette to my left if Nikki Mitchell, my best friend and the one that did the flight with me.  Through Russia she flew in an AN-2 with Natalia Vinakarova, an airline pilot with Magadan Air.  Nikki manages Waylon Jennings business and has for over 20 years. We still have a website up with the flight on it at  www.bridgeofwings.com . ——————————– In 1990 and 1991, I also spent a month each year in the jungles of Vanuatu searching with the Ni-Vanuatu natives for the remains of a WWII pilot that was killed in a Corsair. Corsair found in jungles of Vanuatu ——————————– This is Nikki and I hauling our first transport of 12 dogs for Pilots N Paws.  Since Jan 31, 2010 “Jezebel” my Skywagon has saved 40 dogs lives. So, I guess you could say, I love aviation, tailwheels, and adventure..  LOL…   Always looking for a new one!...

Tiger Club Invades Gatwick, UK

Pictures courtesy of Richard Foord @ Richard.Foto4@btinternet.com.  Thank you, Richard, and also to Nic Orchard for sending the link on the Tiger Moth’s flying adventures over Gatwick in the UK.  This was one rare event for some lucky GA flyers, thanks to the volcanic eruption. Moth Formation “This was probably a ” once in a lifetime ” opportunity and was hastily put together by enthusiastic Tiger Club members within a very short space of time while having a cup of tea and a piece of cake – a few phone calls later and all the usual reprobates arrived and after a briefing we were ready to go. This shows the true spirit of the Tiger Club and sport aviation – that’s what flying is all about – having jolly good fun !!  A total of thirteen aircraft formed the Balbo.” Look close * The big guys sit on the ground while the Moths get to fly! * Over Gatwick * Bucker & Druine Turbulent, UK * Wow! Pictures from this link: Tiger Club Invades Gatwick...

Freya Shiller  (Texas)

Freya Shiller (Texas)

Freya Shiller  is based at KLBX, Brazoria County Airport, Angleton/Lake Jackson, Texas. I learned to fly in a 1947 C140.  I was lucky enough to think everyone flew one.  My first and only instructing job was in tailwheels. I came up thru the ranks as a CFI, ferry pilot and commuter pilot to find myself flying 757 and 767.  I tell people that pays for my AVGAS.  Currently I own a M20E and a Pitts S2B....

Volcanic Dust over Europe sent by lady taildragger, Nic Orchard

Many thanks to Nic Orchard for sharing her Sunday flying adventure in the UK with all of us.  You’ve got to read this one!  The following report per Nic…. “I don’t know how much news has filtered through the volcanic dust but over here it’s only us little guys that are flying.” Yesterday, lady taildragger, Nic Orchard, was among several UK general aviation flyers who were able to overfly Gatwick Airport!!  Nic was in her Jodel (above) in formation with a Rans! “Heathrow and Gatwick are silent….no, wait, they’re not completely quiet.  There was a 10 ship formation yesterday from the (in)famous Tiger Club, over-flying the runway at Gatwick.  People have been getting clearances through bits of airspace most of us usually avoid like the plague.  U.S. readers may not appreciate how ‘no go’ these places are to puddlejumpers in the UK – normally.” Looks like you got to make a relatively low pass, Nic, over Gatwick?!  Great shot! “Amongst the Sunday flyers today, my partner in his Rans and I in the Jodel did the same thing.  The controllers at Gatwick are over the novelty of all this toy traffic now, as the country’s Sunday flyers all seemed to want to do the same thing, but without us they’d only be flying kites…Now which is the smiley I need?  Oh, I know.  It’s this one.  ” The big boys, all grounded *...

Sun ‘N Fun 2010 -Thursday

Sadly, we headed back home Thursday afternoon thanks to a flu “bug” that tried to ruin my otherwise very fun visit. The famous "Green Apples" retractable Mustang II I’m hanging in there and thought I’d add a few observations on what I saw at Sun ‘N Fun. – the poor economy and the windy weather made for a poor turnout, at least early in the week (totally unofficial observation!) – visitors from around the world still come to Lakeland to see for themselves the incredible assortment of airplanes – talk to like minded aviators & aviatrixes – and make lifelong friends.  Heck, that’s why we’re all there! – you don’t have to wonder around long to notice the aviation population is TRULY aging.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s part of life, but now’s the time to share our passion with the next generation.  For what it’s worth, I’m really going to start making an effort to talk it up and give airplane rides to those outside of my aviation circle.  It’s downright sad how few 20 & 30 somethings you see making their way around Sun’n Fun. – Sun ‘n Fun sure could use a fresh, new approach to attracting women aviation enthusiasts.  Just like men, many wives and girlfriends attending do not want to pilot a plane; they come to see their friends, enjoy the sunshine and have a good time.  I think that’s a great thing.  What I don’t understand is how EAA organized visits to the local Tupperware factory or group ladies’ shopping trips can be easier to find than aviation gatherings and forums for women.  Surely I’m just not looking in the right place?!? – Light Sport (LSAs) are all the rage!  It’s shocking how far this industry has grown in no time but be prepared to spend big bucks if you buy new.  You’ve got to ask yourself “would I rather have 2 or 3 or even 4 7AC Champs, or one brand spanking new, factory built LSA?” Judy along with Alice on her first Champ flight! And as far as next year goes, we’ll no doubt be there.  I hear the camping is good but if you’re not into camping, let me know.  I found the perfect spot to stay, reasonably priced, and a mere 25 minutes away!  I’ll fill you in!...

Bette Bach Fineman  (Arizona)

Bette Bach Fineman (Arizona)

Bette Bach Fineman is based at Montezuma Airport (19AZ) Camp Verde, Arizona, and says she has owned a total of 14 airplanes, all but one a taildragger! I flew right seat in taildraggers from 1957 to 1968, when I finally soloed my first Aeronca Champ.  Got my license in 1970, graduated to a DeHavilland Tiger Moth in 1972 and have owned 14 airplanes (only one of which was not a taildragger),  but no more than three at any one time! Bette’s first Champ in 1968 – All six of my children flew before they were born.  Both husbands were/are flight instructors who encouraged my career which has included aerial photography, flying formation for other photographers, ferrying antiques and classics across the country, running a Vermont soaring school with another single mother, editing aviation books and doing some of my own writing. I published my book “Patterns: Tales of Flying and of Life” a couple of years ago.   We live at a residential airpark, with my third Champ in the hangar, and just sold a Cessna 180. Sadly, recently retired from solo flight due to limited eyesight. For more about Bette’s amazing life check out Winged Victory: Interview with Bette Bach Fineman...

Sun ‘N Fun 2010 Wednesday!

It was another windy start on Wednesday and it never really let up, gusting to 28 mph from 070.  It sure put a damper on arriving Champs, Chiefs, Luscombes … well, you get the idea – any of the low & slow varieties hardly had a chance of making it in on Wednesday.  I haven’t heard any official numbers but attendance had to be on the light side. The Entry Gate – just to make you feel like you’re here! You really can do Sun ‘N Fun in two good days since it just doesn’t cover as much ground as Oshkosh.  Of course, planes are coming and going all the time so the adventure is seeing who’s there now that wasn’t there yesterday. Pete and Jeanne Reed’s green & cream Stearman is first in this Stearman  line up (thanks for identifying the owners, Susan) We carried our brand spanking new, light weight, folding camp stools and parked ourselves by the flight line just watching the amazing assortment of planes landing and taking off.  We should have had big numbers to hold up and score how they did fighting the wind! Rides in a New Standard bi-plane on aux grass strip As you might guess, RV’s were conspicuously in abundance. RV8 in the company of many more RVs! I found this Mullicoupe parked in the IAC area. I had to jump in this picture of the Mullicoupe, a Jim Younkin & Bud Dake design Here’s something you never see – a Callair or this sign!  This one was on the cover of Flying Magazine in 1950! Callair 4 place – yes it really does say “Please Touch”! The west end of 090 aux grass was the perfect spot to hang out and watch. S2C forward slipping on short final to the grass! I was so happy to finally meet aviation writer, Sparky Barnes Sargent, who I just happened to bump into in Vintage Aircraft. And what a great backdrop for my picture with Sparky Barnes Sargent – Jack Hill’s gorgeous Waco! This may be my last post from Lakeland – I seem to have come down with a bad cold or maybe the flu… just going to wait till tomorrow and see how it goes.  Glad I got to be here, either way!...

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