Diane Kraudelt is based at BQ1, Gilliam – Mc Connell Airfield, Carthage, North Carolina. 

So you have had a successful career or two and you’re not too young nor ready for an affordable care center, now what? With an airport less than 2 miles away from work, how about an intro ride?


At the airport, having never even seen a small GA aircraft, I was a bit, (ha! a lot) hesitant; they sure are small! But I climbed into the left seat of a Cessna 152 and we’re off! I loved the takeoff and was not so thrilled with the straight and level but the view!!! We were just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the view! Indescribable! So, why not? I signed up for lessons.


Later that same year I’m a Private Pilot and again, now what?
By then I had learned flying “under the hood” is not something I was great at but I did love steep turns! Well, tail-wheel lessons seemed doable. So off to another flight school, one with a Super Cub.


I had a very experienced instructor who laughed instead of yelled. And let’s not even talk about that first take off; fortunately the grass runway was VERY wide. This wonderful instructor, a former airshow performer with a Pitts, sold his Pitts and purchased a Decathlon which he leased to the flight school. Want to go up? Sure! Better than steep turns!!! I was hooked and purchased my Super Decathlon the next year. The first photo of myself and my plane was taken the day I performed aerobatics solo! My husband took the picture, probably for “just in case!”.


I continued advanced training at Potomac Airpark. This is what airplanes are for!! I’ve had my baby for 19 years now and, while I have recently stopped aerobatics, I still fly whenever I can.

Ratings: Private pilot

Aircraft flown:
Cessna 152
Cessna 172
PA-18 Super Cub
Bellanca Decathlon
ACA Super Decathlon

Dream Taildragger: Super Decathlon

Taildragger thoughts: Actually, I think they are easier to land!

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