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!...

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!”...

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....

India Meyer (Massachusetts)

India Meyer (Massachusetts)

India is based at 7B2, Northampton Airport, in Northampton, MA. She is currently a student pilot who had never thought about flying until several years ago, when she watched biplanes doing aerobatics as she was climbing in Red Rock Canyon in Nevada. She says she was instantly captivated and that spark stuck around. For her 21st birthday, her mother bought an intro flight for her at the local airport in Northampton, MA. India says, “Boy was I hooked! It took me another year to fly again, this time in Salt Lake City where I lived the past two years. After lots of on and off due to lack of funds, I have spent the past 6 weeks back in the air, where I belong. I am back in Massachusetts temporarily until I finish up my PPL. I currently have 30 hours total time and am preparing for my first solo flight shortly.” India had the pleasure of taking a flight in a gorgeous Stearman E-75 recently and it was her first tailwheel flight. She thinks that it’s pretty remarkable to feel it all come full circle from that day watching biplanes that set her on the path she’s on today. India is excited to finish up her PPL and move on to instrument rating as well as receiving tailwheel training. Aircraft flown: C172, C152, PA-141, Stearman E-75 Dream taildragger: Super Cub Why I love taildraggers: India writes, “I think I’ve always been drawn to taildraggers because of the accessibility it allows. I’ve been a rock climber for the last 8 years and the pursuit has taken me to many remote places across the country. It’s hard not to imagine flying myself and others out to these beautiful places that most people don’t get the privilege of visiting in their lifetime. A dream of mine is to fly a float plane out to an area called the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories of Canada to climb the Lotus Flower Tower.”...

Greta Liebeler (Virginia)

Greta Liebeler (Virginia)

Greta is based at KPSK, New River Valley Airport, in Dublin, VA, although her heart remains in her home airport KSZP, Santa Paula Airport, CA where she learned to fly. There she earned her tailwheel endorsement, completed Emergency Maneuver Training, and started flying basic aerobatics. She has relocated to Blacksburg, VA for school, looking for as many opportunities as possible to fly tailwheel on the east coast. Aircraft flown: Citabria, Decathlon, Super Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, C-150, C-152, C-182, C-172 Dream taildragger: Pitts S-2B and a Cessna 180 Greta says, “I love taildraggers because of the feeling you get when you grease a wheel landing. Also, all the aerobatic planes I have flown have been taildraggers.”...

Morgan Murphey (Tennessee)

Morgan Murphey (Tennessee)

Morgan is based at McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, TN. She has been flying since she was in diapers, soloed at sixteen, private pilot’s license at seventeen, all with her father as her instructor flying from a 1700 foot grass strip her dad made on their farm. She went to college at Middle Tennessee State University for Criminal Justice (to become a lawyer for sexual assault victims) and Aerospace. It was not until after college she realized that she was going to be a professional pilot. It was her pride and joy. She landed an awesome gig flying for Go Fly TV and her job was basically to get her Instrument Rating while being filmed for a documentary. It was one of the best experiences she had ever had. Currently she is a corporate pilot out of TYS with the same burning passion she has always kept for flying. She is a big trail runner, backpacker, animal lover, vegetarian, festival goer, wine enthusiast, and traveler. She loves the outdoors and meeting new people. She has little fear other than not living her life to the best of her ability. She says that she has been lucky that she truly has never cared what the world was trying to make her to be and just be who she is: a damn female pilot with no knowledge of the word “can’t”! Aircraft flown: Cessna: 150, 152, 172, 175, Cardinal 177RG, 182, 310, Citation Mustang, and Citation XKing Air: 90, 200, 250, 350Piper Super Cub, Piper Cherokee 180, Diamond DA 40, Cirrus Vision Jet, Cirrus SR 22, Mx 7 Maule, Twin Baron, Premier RA 390, Cardinal 177RG182, 310, Citation Mustang, and Citation XKing Air: 90, 200, 250, 350Piper Super Cub, Piper Cherokee 180, Diamond DA 40, Cirrus Vision Jet, Cirrus SR 22, Mx 7 Maule, Twin Baron, Premier RA 390 Dream taildragger: P-51 Mustang with a man posed on the side in skimpy clothing! Why I love taildraggers: Because it’s real flying fun, you can’t stop flying this plane, you cannot stop working at it. Well that is my Maule at least… I flew a Super Cub and it was easy and just “plane” fun. I love how they can take off and land in such short distances and, let’s be honest, they are all beautiful. Plus it doesn’t matter how short you are because absolutley no one can actually see over the cockpit of a taildragger. Keep in mind these are my opinions in the taildraggers I have been in. I’m sure there is plenty that is different out there from what I have said!! I just love the pure look of shock on people’s faces when they are saying, “WHY would you work so hard to fly?” I just always say, “Why not!”...

Pam Sprang (Georgia)

Pam Sprang (Georgia)

Pam is based at KCCO, Newnan Coweta County Airport in Newnan, GA. Pam is a part-time physical therapist and owns a Cessna 182. She holds many certificates including Commercial, CFI, CFII, MEI… everything short of ATP, which is on her “to do” list! She has 20 hours in a J-3 Cub and 1.5 hours single engine sea plane. She has flown a Cessna 150, 152, 172, 182 (straight leg & retractable gear), Piper Seminole & Aztec, J-3 Cub on land & water, & probably more! Pam’s dream taildragger: Cessna 140Pam loves taildraggers because: Taildraggers are basic, traditional airplanes!...

Lakshmi Vempati (Virginia)

Lakshmi Vempati (Virginia)

Lakshmi is based at KVKX, Potomac Airfield, Friendly, Maryland. I have been a pilot since 2001. I love to fly to exotic destinations for that $500 vegeburger. Ratings: Private pilot, instrument rated. Tailwheel and complex rating. Aircraft Flown: C152, C172, PA28 (Warrior, Archer, Arrow), Grumman Tiger, Piper J3 Cub, Citabria Dream Taildragger: Stearman...

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....

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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