Terri Minter     (Oregon)

Terri Minter (Oregon)

Terri Minter is based at Starks Twin Oaks Airport, 7S3, near Hillsboro, Oregon. Check out this update and the new bird Terri’s flying! I’ve owned four airplanes, all of which have been Cessna taildraggers. My current airplane is a Cessna 170B, customized for camping. Ratings: PPL, High Performance Aircraft flown: Cessna 120, Cessna 140, Cessna 170B Dream taildragger: My current airplane is a dream to me, my C170B. I love it! Thoughts on taildragging: I appreciate the versatility of being able to land on pavement, a farmer’s field or a gravel bar. _________ Following posted June 15, 2013 ____________ “June 14, 2013: Today I earned my TW endorsement! Yahoo… A few weeks ago I purchased my first airplane. My 1946 Cessna 120 was flown home with a friend of mine from Phoenix. It was the most memorable vacation of my life. It was so exciting seeing fantastic scenery and learning more about cross-country flying. I simply can’t stop smiling.” “Thanks to my dear friend for helping me find just the right taildragger and flying us home safe, all while having a wonderful time together. I’m looking forward to discovering grass strips, suitable for my little C85 hp bird, for camping and picnics!” Terri Minter _________ Following posted January 3, 2013 __________ I am a private pilot and rent a 172 out of a small airpark near Portland, Oregon.  I have taken a few lessons in a taildragger and love them.  I am a low hour pilot, maybe 120 hours.   I have been taking lessons to get my endorsement, but have not completed it yet.  Weather getting in the way in Portland.  Photo is in a 172 tricycle gear.   Thank you so much! Terri...

Carol Bennett     (California)

Carol Bennett (California)

Carol Bennett is based at KSNA, John Wayne-Orange County Airport, Santa Ana, California. Independent flight instructor based at John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California. Active member of the Orange County Chapter of the 99’s, SoCal Pilots, AOPA, NAFI, Civil Air Patrol. Belong to a flying club at KSNA and teach private and instrument students in a C172. Part owner of a 1946, C120 also based at KSNA. Awards: 2018 AOPA Best Flight Instructor Western Region, Flight Training Experience Award. Ratings: Commercial Pilot, ASEL, Instrument Rated, CFII Aircraft flown: Cessna 172, 182, 206, Citabria, C120, Piper Cub, De Havilland Chipmunk, Vans RV9, Piper Archer, Piper Arrow, Great Lakes Biplane, Robinson R20. Dream taildragger: Carbon Cub Thought on taildragging: Makes you a better all round pilot, sharpens up your skills. So many cool taildraggers to fly!...

Ski Landing on Alaska’s Harding Icefield

Ski Landing on Alaska’s Harding Icefield

If you send me an email that involves taildraggers and awesome destinations, it just might appear on LadiesLoveTaildraggers! Alaskan pilot, Bill Quirk tells me, “Make a visit to Alaska to enjoy the best in ski flying operations. Harding Icefield is only 74 miles south of Merrill Field in Anchorage, Alaska.” The massive Harding Icefield which is over 700 square miles in size (30 miles in length and 15-20 miles in width) is 74 air miles south of Merrill Field on the Kenai Peninsula. It is roughly a 3,000 to 4,000 foot mountainous plateau trending northeast and southwest that is covered with a layer of 1,000 feet of ice from thousands of years of snowfall of several hundred inches per year. All of the ice first came down as snow and after many years of immense pressure from the weight of the snow was transformed into ice. Unlike glaciers, icefields are flat on top and the ice does not flow but remains static. Nevertheless, the Harding Ice field does have 3 dozen glaciers flowing off the edges of it into lower elevations. The icefield also has magnificent mountains all around it. A few mountains on the icefield stick up through it and provide an incredible scenic value by breaking up the tabletop flatness of the icefield. Alaska has only 4 major icefields and all are very special and beautiful. Very few people in Alaska fly their airplanes and land on these remote wonderlands. Even fewer visitors to Alaska schedule trips to see our unique icefields. These magnificent icefields are Alaska’s hidden gems and people would revel at seeing them. Ever since placing skis on my airplane for winter flying I wanted to land on the Harding Icefield. It is so remote and massive that it intimidates me and I would not think of flying down there alone and landing on the icefield. Dee at Merrill Field told me he would guide me there in his Piper Super Cruiser. This was a few years before 2010. Dee took off from Merrill and I was right behind him in my Arctic Tern. We arrived on the icefield and Dee went in and attempted to land. He gently touched down his skis and then quickly lifted off. He told me the wavy snow was hard as concrete as the airplane’s skis rattled. This can break your skis if you attempt to land. We flew over the entire icefield and Dee dragged his skis in several additions places and the wavy snow was too hard for a safe landing. We left without a single landing. I was fortunate having Dee along to prevent breaking my skis and having to call for help. Finally on January 23, 2010 Dee and I landing our airplanes on the southern and highest part of Harding Icefield at 5,600 feet elevation. We made 2 landings that day. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was so excited for finally being able to land and walk around on the massive icefield. We could see to the north for about 20 miles over the icefield covered with fresh snow. We could also look to the southeast and see the Pacific Ocean. I will never forget this glorious day that I had been waiting so long to achieve. The Harding Icefield is so beautiful and attractive that I would like to go there every winter. What holds me back is that it is difficult to find pilots that are willing to fly there with me tagging along. I don’t like to make this kind of flight by myself as I am somewhat terrified with the remoteness, the huge massive mountains and the gigantic icefield. On March 26, 2019 I flew down to the Kenai Peninsula to fly in and land on Twin Lakes at the head of Benjamin Creek which flows into the Killey River and into the Kenai River. Twin Lakes is 65.5 miles south of Merrill Field. I had heard about Twin Lakes and wanted to go there. I landed on upper Twin Lake at 2,600 feet ASL. The snow covered ice was perfect for a smooth landing. The mountains around the lake were spectacular and the snow covered hills were there for great cross-country skiing. I need to bring Peter down here for skiing on the hills. When I flew out of Twin Lakes I continued eastward toward Skilak Glacier. This is a gigantic glacier coming off the north side of the Harding Icefield. I circled around and I could see the icefield. I thought that this would be an easy approach to reach Harding Icefield. I knew I would not be able to find anyone to fly down here but I decided that it would not be too scary and that I could do it without too much stress. This got me excited about making an airplane flight and landing on the icefield in the coming days. Two days later on March 28 I decided to make the trip to the Harding Icefield. The weather was sunny with a few clouds. Visibility was not a problem flying to the Kenai; however, that may be different on the massive icefield that could be fog covered with the south winds coming from the Pacific Ocean’s Gulf of Alaska. The winds aloft at 3,000 feet were estimated to be 10 miles per hour and at 6,000 feet at 16 mph. This is acceptable although it will be a little bumpy. You never know for sure until you fly out and see for real what the weather conditions are. It was a little bumpy and slow due to flying into the 10-12 mph south winds. I was flying at only 80 mph. The massive Skilak Glacier is over 2 miles wide at its narrowest point with mountains on both sides as it climbs up from its toe at 500 feet ASL to over 4,000 feet on the icefield. With such a wide pinch point this large glacier should not have the turret effect with wind speeds escalating to high numbers such as 30-60 mph with heavy turbulence. This would certainly be a show stopper and I would have to turn around and head back to Merrill and try on another day. As suspected the winds were low and not turbulent and so I few on up to 4,000 feet reaching the Harding Icefield. There were a few misty thick fog banks in a few locations on the icefield and covering mountain tops. I can avoid these and should not have any problems. I would just need to watch in all directions and be ready for a quick takeoff to fly away from fog banks that are moving in my direction. I found a flat place on the icefield at 4,000 feet and decided to land here. It was a smooth landing with deep packed snow that was hard enough that my skis sunk into the snow only 1-2 inches. I did not need my snowshoes walking on the icefield. I noticed that the wind had increased on the icefield to 14 to 20 mph. It was a steady wind from the southeast but was not a problem. It was 30° F and the wind made it chilling so I pulled my jacket’s insulated hood over my pilot’s cap to keep warm. I took off from the landing area and circled round on the icefield before landing a second time. Arriving back on the Harding Icefield after 9 years after my first landing was an important event for anAlaskan pilot who is highly inspired by the scenic wonders of wintertime snow and ice in Alaska’s coastal mountains. This is something that I will cherish for life and am so fortunate for having the opportunity for making it happen. This is why I live in Alaska and why I would be shortchanged by living elsewhere. The Alaskan coast is the showcase of the entire world for its mountains, glaciers, icefields and fjords. It just happens that the only way to really see it up close is by making special flights and landings in a ski- equipped airplane—nothing short of this will provide everlasting benefits. Since I have my own private airplane, I will always plan to take advantage of this world class adventure. This is what living my life in Alaska is all about—taking advantage of the incredible world class scenic wonders. I look at this adventure as the future remains unpredictable, where every decision involves some level of risk. Sometimes you can go beyond risks by knowing that there is infinite intelligence at work in the hidden dimensions of your life. At the level of this intelligence your choices are always supported if you have a strong background in the subject of your risk—flying airplanes. Not that I want to make too many difficult and risky decisions; nevertheless, once in a while I will choose to push it a little bit to make enormous gains in my life. With no risks; you will make very little gains in your lifetime. I would say that I always attempt to make calculated risks that may be a little scary but are relatively safe and provide mewith the opportunity to live another day, month and year in Alaska’s wilderness paradise. I have made many ski-equipped airplane flights to land on the massive glaciers in the Heart of Denali National Park near Mount McKinley and never seem to be intimidated by flying in alone from Merrill Field which is 125 air miles in distance. The reason for the difference is that I always see and am in communications with the many scenic flights from Talkeetna. I know of only 1 airplane in Seward that takes scenic air tours over the Harding Icefield (summer only). They don’t fly many trips there and they don’t land on the icefield. They fly quite high over the edge of the icefield and you may not see them....

Holding Ladies Love Taildraggers for ransom!

Holding Ladies Love Taildraggers for ransom!

Oh geez, you just never know what’s lurking in your email each morning. Lucky for me it’s usually a bill, a newsletter I may or may not read, or Facebook telling me I’ve been tagged. Yikes, if it’s my picture on Facebook, hope I combed my hair that day! On an above average day an email might be from someone who visited the LadiesLoveTaildraggers website for the first time and wrote to tell me how much they enjoyed it – that our members have inspired them and to keep on doing what we’re doing. I love those! Then there are oddball days; the very rare complaint about LadiesLoveTaildraggers or a difference of opinion about something I’ve posted. Oddball – but not necessarily bad. Opinions – everybody has one and I accept my way isn’t the only way. But when it comes to emails, I draw the line when it comes from an anonymous source that threatens the existence of LadiesLoveTaildraggers. The demand: 0.3 BTC to my Bitcoin wallet ~ $2500.00 The threat: Your hosting account and your domain ladieslovetaildraggers.com will be blocked forever Requirements: Here is a list of what you get if you don’t follow my requirements:  Blah, blah, blah, on and on, plus complete destruction of your site and reputation forever. Do you want this?  If you do not want the above problems, then before June 6, 2019, you need to send me 0.3 BTC to my Bitcoin wallet: 19ckouUP2E22aJR5BPFdf7jP2oNXR3bezL  The email was long and detailed about how the LLT website would be destroyed. Frightening in a lot of ways. I have no doubt that everything noted is possible to accomplish. But the common sense side of my brain says it would take an enormous amount of time and effort to shut down any website, and why pick one that makes no money?! No payout will come from me. I may be wrong, and others know far me about this stuff than I do, but I’m betting LadiesLoveTaildraggers will be around for a long time....

You Can Play a Part. Signup Today!

You Can Play a Part. Signup Today!

Woohoo!!! As recently reported, LadiesLoveTaildraggers has succeeded and prospered for 10 phenomenal years. This month, May 2019, is the 10 year anniversary of LLT. Thank you for joining me in this incredible journey – one that has given us a voice and connected lady taildragger pilots around the globe.  I consider it a privilege to be included among so many extraordinary female pilots! I think you’ll agree our small group found a niche that was ready to be filled. After ten years our member numbers continue to grow and our mission continues to expand. In the past 10 years of blogging I’ve explored a long list of tactics trying to find the right mix to entice just a few more members. Many of my ideas crashed and burned but a few caught on.  Everyone seemed to like the LadiesLoveTaildraggers videos, our awesome t-shirts, reading about our newest members and, of course, our scholarships. More recently our very own Pilots Air B&B, Bed Breakfast & Beyond, seems to have taken off. That said, nothing can change the heart and soul of what LadiesLoveTaildraggers is all about, having FUN flying a taildragger! If you don’t absolutely love dragging your tail — well, I guess it wasn’t meant to be. On the other hand, if you do, you’re hopelessly hooked just like me. Since the beginning, all women taildragger pilots have been welcomed and nose-wheel pilots have been encouraged to join us. Student pilots have been cheered-on to fly a tailwheel aircraft and plenty of men have seen the light and joined us along the way. We have made a difference. And now, after 10 years of holding the stick, (a.k.a. the LLT keyboard) it’s time to spread the responsibility and together welcome the next generation of lady taildragger pilots. The platform is in place. The audience is here. All we need now are individuals willing to step forward, volunteer, and play a part in the future of LadiesLoveTaildraggers. While thinking about making changes, I took to heart a recent comment by Kelly Jeffries, “I have always liked the fact that we are an unorganized, organization. Often, when a group tries to structure, things start to get complicated; rules, dues, officers; then it gets yucky.“ It’s sadly true but the yucky stuff is not the direction I’d like to head. Light and loose with a little help from my friends is my goal! If you’d like to spend a little time — or a lot — filling an important roll within LadiesLoveTaildraggers, please sign up TODAY.  There are many ways you can help. We need…. Regional Liaisons WordPress contributor: Add new member “Pilot Profiles” to LLT website WordPress contributor: Write a feature monthly post about inspiring lady taildragger pilots WordPress contributor: Guest writers Google-maps: Add new host pilots to LLT Bed Breakfast & Beyond 2019 AirVenture: Tuesday Luncheon Chairwoman 2019 Natchitoches Louisiana Fly-in Co-coordinator (must attend fly-in) 2019 Natchitoches Louisiana Poker Run & Silent Auction chairperson (must attend fly-in) 2019 Natchitoches Louisiana Fly-in photographer (must attend fly-in) 2020 LLT Scholarship Chairwoman 2020 LLT AirVenture Chairwoman 2020 LLT Flyin Chairwoman (evaluate destination options & Chair flyin) Other inspiring comments came from Lynn Gardner, “Let’s figure out a way to divide and conquer for the sake of all LLTs.”   And Rebecca Cozad, “This group’s niche focus makes me very happy! In all the other FB groups, there is great content, but an endless stream of male-dominated displays and misogynistic comments.” Thanks also to Hella, Andrea, Sharon, Lynn and Christine for your much appreciated input. Volunteer Signup Form...

Andi Paradis     (New York)

Andi Paradis (New York)

Andi Paradis is based at KGFL, Floyd Bennett Memorial Airport, Glens Falls, New York. My first flight was in a J3 Cub, and life has been a relentless chase for that thrill, awe, and freedom ever since. I’m 28 and work in Engineering and Graphic Design, and still look up every time I hear an engine overhead. My relationship with aviation began on a grass strip with taildraggers, flying for pancakes, aerobatics on cool summer evenings. The people I learned to fly with were true aviators- history came first, then fun. They and all the mentors I have had throughout the years have instilled the old school way of thought in me that makes me crave bush flying, lake landings, crop dusting, aerobatics, and slipping into beautiful strips. Aviation, for me, is ultimately the easiest way of being transported to the place in history where women were ferrying aircraft and women were in the factories riveting wings, fighting a stigma that I feel we are still trying to fight back against during one of the most important times in our history– and I try to honor those women every time I get behind the stick. I am looking forward to meeting new people and seeking advice, encouragement, and sharing stories! Sounds like a great group. Ratings: Student Pilot Certificate Aircraft flown: Piper J3 Cub, wheels/skis Meyers OTW Cessna 172 Cessna 180 Beechcraft Bonanza Super Decathlon Pitts S2C T-6 Texan (paid ride, 20 mins PIC) Cessna Grand Caravan (right seat) de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter (right seat) Dream taildragger: J3, 185 Turbo, Air Tractor, Pitts, Carbon Cub, how can you choose just 1?! Thoughts on taildragging: My first flight was in a J3 Cub, on a grass strip, with the door down; I will never forget the way the grass smelled. We landed, then hopped into a Meyers OTW, an aerobatic-turned-trainer taildragger used during the war, alongside the Waco. We did a hammerhead, a Cuban, and a loop, and I was hooked. I have been and will forever be chasing the feeling of wonder and gritty inspiration that those two first planes made me feel. It connects me to history- to the Rosies and the WASPS of the past. Aviation for me is grabbing hold of the stick, looking up over the nose, and feeling the rush of all those who saw it all before me....

Sarah Shrader     (Wisconsin)

Sarah Shrader (Wisconsin)

Sarah Shrader is based at KRHI, Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport, Rhinelander, Wisconsin. For some unknown reason, I developed a severe fear/phobia of flying as an adult. It was affecting my life in numerous negative ways and became something I needed to address. I tried a Fear of Flying program (SOAR). It helped but not enough. All of the people, places & situations aligned and I found a local flight instructor willing to try to help me. “I’m not a psychologist. I teach people how to fly. But if you’re willing to try, I’m willing to try.” That first meeting was November, 2014. After many intense hours (read here, “lots and lots of crying”) 🙂 I soloed in June 2015 and got my PPL in December 2015. This past October, I bought my own airplane, a taildragger. She’s a 1941 Piper J4 Cub Coupe named Marvel. I helped with her annual and all of maintenance that comes along with an old bird, learning, learning, learning. What a glorious journey this is!! Ratings: Private Pilot SEL with High Performance, Complex and TW Aircraft flown: C172, C182, J4 Dream taildragger: Oh, there’s so many I need to try first! 🙂 Thoughts on taildragging: I feel as if flying taildraggers will forever be a challenge, therefore making me a better pilot....

Me, Public Speaker? No Way!!

Me, Public Speaker? No Way!!

Have I mentioned before that not so long ago it was agonizing for me to stand up in front of a handful of people and speak, even just to introduce myself? I was the perfect candidate for Toastmasters but the last person actually willing to show up at a meeting. I’m guessing if we’ve met, you must be gasping out-loud right now since today there aren’t many clues that person ever existed. Thinking way back, I have memories of a long, restless night the evening before giving a speech to my high school speech class. My last name was Ernspiger and I waited in torture as students with names beginning with A, B, C and D went before me. I remember hearing their voices as they spoke but not one single sentence uttered filtered into my consciousness. I sat there nearly frozen in fear wishing a bolt of lightning would strike me dead and put me out of my misery. I’d like to say things improved once I walked to the front of the room, and finally turned and faced my fellow 14 year-olds but it wasn’t Hollywood and my agony continued. Somehow I got through it and, thinking back, it probably wasn’t as hideous as I thought at the time, but the entire, dreadful event left me forever fearful of public speaking. Just a few years later I learned to skydive at age 18 and learned to fly an airplane at 20, and for me, both were a piece of cake compared to speaking in front of an audience. Fast forward many years and along comes the website I shamelessly named “LadiesLoveTaildraggers”.  The average guy on the street thought it was about sex as few non-aviators have a clue what a taildragger is. Must be pretty sexy if ladies and tail are both in the name! Over the years real people and spam bots promoting every kind of sex toy have left comments and tried to infiltrate the site, always booted out by me. They were no doubt seriously disappointed when the reality was me, my little taildragger airplane and a bunch of other happy women focused on just one thing – their love of flying taildraggers!  Luckily, lady taildragger pilots got it and together we pushed on.   Unbelievably, this month, May 2019, is LadiesLoveTaildraggers’ 10 year anniversary! May 5, 2009 I created the very first post on our brand new website and have continued to look to the future. In those 10 years I’ve grown immensely as a taildragger pilot and been fortunate enough to log many hours in a Champ, Rans S7, RV7 and Decathlon. Happily, I was able to leap back into aviation after a 23 year absence (Type 1 Diabetes) and somehow managed to entice a few of you to join me in the joy of flying a taildragger. This past decade and with your support we’ve been able to Host the LadiesLoveTaildraggers blog and Facebook Group Register over 2,000 members based all over the world Award dozens of aviation scholarships valued over $50K to women pilots Host 8 annual LadiesLoveTaildraggers fly-ins Host 1 fabulous week-long “Haunted Flying Tour” Connected members at regional and national fly-ins across the U.S. And best of all, identify the one single topic that pushed me to the speakers’ podium.  Today I happily give presentations about our organization, our fabulous members, and the joy of flying to pilot organizations, civic groups and schools when invited. If all that doesn’t make you happy, this will. The number of women pilots in the U.S. remains low (make that obnoxiously low) at just 7%. The exciting news is the number of student pilots in the U.S. grew from 93,000 in 2000 to 120,500 in 2019. And 12.5% of 2019 student pilots are female, a significant increase from 7% and something to be celebrated. I choose to not focus on the fact that our overall pilot population has decreased over the last several decades. Instead, I believe it is our responsibility to focus on the next generation of women pilots and each do our part as mentors, encouraging, aiding and supporting where we can. Sprout where you are planted! Women and men pilots alike, it’s up to us to lead and welcome the next generation of pilots into our community.  I hope, my friends, I’ve explained my personal metamorphosis and highlighted how LadiesLoveTaildraggers came from zero to the most awesome group of women aviators on the planet. Thank you for 10 fantastic years. The time has come to evaluate, morph and adapt to best keep the spirit of women taildragger pilots alive and moving forward. Changes are coming to LadiesLoveTaildraggers. My blogging life: Because I founded LadiesLoveTaildraggers and have been the sole keeper of all things “LadiesLoveTaildraggers”, truth is, I’m the organization. Unlike the Ninety-Nines and Women In Aviation, it’s just me doing the best I can – one person on a mission. I’ve blogged and Facebooked, even auto Tweeted in hopes of finding other ladies as passionate about the beauty of taildragging as me. It’s now time for the organization and me to become two separate things.  In some small way, I was able to channel a flow of lady taildragger pilots that always existed, and give us a voice and a way to communicate. Together, we’ve used the platform to generate awareness about the joys of flying a taildragger and encourage more women to fly. Hopefully they fly a taildragger but down deep, we just want them to fly. If you’d like to comment on how LadiesLoveTaildraggers can best meet the needs of our members and encourage more women to fly, please respond:  ...

Ashley Benton     (Oklahoma)

Ashley Benton (Oklahoma)

Ashley Benton is based at KPWA, Wiley Post Airport, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Been flying for a few years now and on my way to the Airlines. I had so much fun in Alaska flying last summer getting my tailwheel endorsement. One day I would love to own a Carbon cub! Ratings: Commercial, Instrument single engine, High performance, Tailwheel Endorsement, Complex, Spin training Aircraft flown: C-172, C-152, C-182, Grumman Cheetah, Piper Cherokee, Piper Apache, Cessna 310, Piper Arrow, C-150, and Stinson Dream Taildragger: Carbon Cub What do you love about taildragging? So much fun. Who doesn’t?!...

Marion Love     (New York)

Marion Love (New York)

Marion Love is based at NY94, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Rhinebeck, NY. Growing up on the rocky runway of a true Flying Circus, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, shaped my belief in “what’s possible.” It took me awhile into adulthood to realize how many capabilities were formed at the airport: you can fix anything, you can harness the forces of nature, you can learn anything from scratch, you can engage interesting people from all over the world, you can build on the wisdom of geniuses, and it’ll be really fun! The flying culture put girls in the thick of it, “all hands to the planes.” That made a great foundation for my work and adventures. Now I hope we can give more “young types” the thrill of aviation, with more open gates to fun-flying. Ratings: Private, Tailwheel Endorsement Aircraft flown: 1946 Funk B85C-12H, Aeronca Champ, Cessnas (172, 150, 152, 210). Dream Taildragger: So many, how can one choose? Thoughts on taildragging: There’s a sensation of free-flying in a “rag and tube” taildragger. Every bit of the elements around you gives a thrill, from the bumpy ground before the tail lifts, to the release as the wheels lift, to the tight turns and the wind influence aloft. Landings are like tip-toeing onto the ground again....

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