Gillian Morse (California)

Gillian Morse is based at KSBA, Santa Barbara Municipal Airport, Santa Barbara, California.

I am an engineer living in Santa Barbara, CA. Originally from Chicago, I went to Purdue University where I earned a private pilot license and a BS in aeronautical engineering. After college I lived in Fort Worth, TX working as an engineer at Lockheed Martin on fighter jets. While I haven’t flown an actual F-35 or F-16, I have certainly flown the simulators many times!

I earned my tailwheel endorsement in Fort Worth in an Aeronca Champ and have been captivated by taildraggers ever since. I moved to California last year to continue my career with Lockheed Martin. I have been a pilot for over 6 years now and am currently building cross country hours to earn my instrument rating. There aren’t many tailwheel aircraft for rent in the area, but I hope to buy my own in the next year or two!

Ratings: PPL

Aircraft flown: Piper Warrior, Piper Cherokee, Piper Archer, Aeronca Champ, Cessna 172

Dream Taildragger: Cessna 195

Thoughts on taildragging: I love flying taildraggers because they are so fun! As pilots we often get caught up in the radios, the gps, gadgets, etc. We forget to enjoy that magic feeling of flying, where it’s just you and the aircraft and the earth far below. I think flying a taildragger makes us more aware of that magical feeling and that’s what it’s all about for me!

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