A Pilot’s Perspective on our Haunted Flying Tour

Wondering what this week’s LLT Haunted Flying Tour is all about? Nina Marousek from New York, sent me her thoughts and wonderful pictures in this beautifully written article.

A spooky Kelly Jeffries,  lunch at a “spirit house”

Why spend all kinds of mad money and precious time to fly more than 1,100nm to hang out with a bunch of gals in Texas?  My family doesn’t get it. My male pilot friends didn’t get it.  But between us gals, of all the questions we Fly-In attendees asked each other this week, not one asked why they had come to Texas. That’s because the women who attended this year’s LadiesLoveTaildraggers Haunted Tour just “get it”.

Lynn Gardner from Florida

This themed event was a spectacularly grand way to have a lot of girlie fun with other girls while having fun with our airplanes.  It’s all about light hearted camaraderie, flying and airplane petting in a common language.  It’s about reaching out and relating with like-minded souls who strive hard and work hard to have and keep this precious privilege that few understand.  Regardless of anyone’s day job, list of ratings, logbook hours or length of experience, this week we are all equals.

This Fly-in is salve for a pilot’s soul.  The formula was simple. Twelve flight hours to get from Indianapolis to Sweetwater Texas broken up into manageable doses of two to three flight hours a day that we fly together.  Towards the end of the week, we were 17+ beautiful airplanes proudly streaming into and out of strips of grass and pavement as the LLT women pilots.

The non-flying fun factor was experiencing air museums, ghost tours, meeting enthusiastic airport personnel and town dignitaries and enjoying great southern cuisine together.

What could go wrong? Fly for 1.5 hours, stop, have lunch with 10-30 new friends. Jump back into the plane, fly another hour, land, check in at the hotel or campsite and later come together again for dinner. Then there’s the armchair and campfire hangar stories late into the evening. Go to bed, get up, rinse and repeat day after awesome day.

The city of Big Spring, Texas from the 15th floor rooftop at the Settles Hotel

All of this interspersed with “special events” such as late night guided tours, drinks in the Presidential suite of a town’s best hotel and penthouse rooftop cocktails. And only goodness knows what regal festivities still await tomorrow, our last day, at Avenger Field.

Val Slocum at “Spirit-House”

For these few days we are the universe and all of us queens within it. We are cared for and we care for each other; no one has a problem alone.  In this universe of the LLT fly-in, every one of us has great value within, as well as, beyond our aviation status.  Who wouldn’t spend their aviation duckets (and some of the rent money) to participate in this?

No, attendees at this fly-in don’t need to waste a moment of this precious week asking why anyone went through hell and back to get here.  It’s intuitive, we long for it and we found it here.

Writing this has made it clear to me how beautiful an event this fly-in is. A place where women can be all we can be. Sometimes a rarity in real life. Everyone else can look at us cock-eyed for spending good time and money to come to Texas for flying and tours, but the Fly-in admins get it and we get it.  And that’s all that matters.  BTW, when’s the next one? 😁👠

The Mayer welcoming LLT to Jefferson, Texas.

Blue Skies and warm regards,

~Nina~

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