Stephanie Bensinger (Florida)

Stephanie Bensinger is based at 9FL1, Flying W Air Ranch Airport, Bushnell, Florida.

Soloed in 1984 and flew ultralights until Sport Pilot came along. I now build, repair, and fly Experimentals.

I’ve been planning to join for a while now, and a trip I just took with my BFF in a taildragger triggered the desire to follow through. Last weekend I flew a Rans S-20 from central Florida to southern Kentucky and back with Cassandra Bradley (who also registered here this week), and we had incredible fun. I’m uploading some pictures of the trip. The first is on the way north.

I’m on the right (Stephanie); Cassie is on the left.

At our destination, with our magic carpet behind us.

Visiting with our dear friend Livia Meuer, who is also an LLT member. (I’m the short one.)

There’s much more I could write about the trip, but I’ll leave it at that. Thank you, Judy, for putting this all together!

Ratings: Sport Pilot, SEL, SES

Aircraft flown: Teratorn Tierra UL, Rans S-4 Coyote, Aventura II, CGS Hawk Arrow II, CGS Hawk Sport, Groppo Trail, Rans S-20 Raven. (These are just the planes I have built. There are many more on the list, including EAA’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast.”

Dream taildragger: Rans S-21 Outback.

Thoughts on taildragging: The same reason I prefer manual transmission cars. The more control I have over the machine, the more deep the experience, be it traveling down a road or feeling the slipstream of flight. There’s also deep satisfaction in a perfectly executed shift or a grass-tickling three point. I can’t discount the bragging rights, either. There are few men, and fewer women, who can competently fly taildraggers.

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