Aileen Watkins is based at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, (KDWH) Houston, Texas.

Aileen Watkins

I am definitely a taildragger girl and made my living early in my flying career as a taildragger pilot. When it was difficult to find a full-time flying job, my experience in conventional gear aircraft allowed me to fill a need at a couple of local flight schools where this skill was needed but hard to come by. As my client base grew, so did my opportunities.

Having started my flying career flying aerobatics with my first competition at 83 hours total time, my passion for doing something out of the ordinary and that required stick-and-rudder skills allowed me to “make my bones” in the flying world. My enthusiasm for the sport, and for aviation, carried me through my financial shortcomings to keep me in the air.

I don’t have a favorite taildragger, as I love them all, but the DC3, Pitts, Decathlon and Cub have very special places in my heart, and in my hands. They truly represent the romance of flying, and the kinship of the “ladies” that carry my heart though the sky.

My first two instructors were ladies and mentors who were both very accomplished taildragger pilots. I thank them for instilling in me the qualities of safety, professionalism, and the want and need of striving for excellence in flying, and in delivering quality flight instruction. They truly believe in the “safety” attitude, and having fun doing what we love.

Here is a photo of my daughter Katalin’s First Flight at age 5 weeks. It was also my hubby, Bob, and my 17th Wedding Anniversary. 1947 Cessna 195, taken on May 4, 2008

Some of the taildraggers I have flown: Cub, Pitts, Citabria, Decathlon, Taylorcraft, Extra, Sukhoi, Luscombe, Stearman, Bird, Great Lakes, Skybolt, Waco, Cessna 120/140/170/180/185/195, Maule, Husky, and the DC3.

Aileen Watkins

3 Comments

  1. Mark Shaver
    September 7, 2011, 5:14 pm   /  Reply

    Hi Aileen,
    Mark Shaver here would like to connect with you and catch up. The pictures look great. Could you E-mail me please? We worked at Pace together. Hope you remember. Glad to see you still have your love for GA. So do I.

    Mark

  2. Aileen
    July 17, 2011, 1:12 pm   /  Reply

    Hi Lisa! Yes, she is 3 and I also have another daughter, Alianne, who is 9 months old. Although Ali’s first flight was in an Archer, since the 195 above, belonging to dear friends Mike and Char Larson, has moved to Colorado, we need to get her into one so that she can join the fold as another lady taildragger. Both girls smile when they see airplanes!

  3. Lisa Martin
    July 17, 2011, 8:16 am   /  Reply

    You are a greaat addition to this site! How does your daughter enjoy flying now? She must be about 3 years old.

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