1st Solo for Madeline Norcross!

1st Solo for Madeline Norcross!

Great news everybody, 16 year old Madeline Norcross from Missouri soloed this week! Madeline’s passionate about flying and has been waiting for the “Big 16” to get here so she can solo. Thanks to a very happy dad for sending us the good news and congratulations to Madeline for a job well done. “As a VERY proud dad, I wanted to share with you that Madeline soloed on Monday!!! She did a great job and was SUPER excited!!  Her plans include finishing her private’s license, getting her tail wheel endorsement, and owning that UPF Waco.” Blue Skies, Proud Dad Tracy Norcross For more about Madeline’s passion for flying check out the following: Getting close to soloing Madeline Norcross (Missouri)...

Looks like Madeline Norcross is getting awfully close to soloing

Looks like Madeline Norcross is getting awfully close to soloing

Young ladies that passionately want to fly inspire the heck out of me! Something tells me 15 year old Mandeline Norcross is going to have that effect on a lot of people! One thing I happen to know about Madeline is, she LOVES Wacos. Her dad sent me this note and the link to a short video I have to share with you…. “As a proud dad, I couldn’t help sending you a QUICK VIDEO of  Madeline Norcross landing……with no assistance from her CFI.  I was invited to ride along, so I shot a quick video from the backseat with my iPhone. Madeline is 15 and hoping to solo on her 16th birthday.” “We hope to see you again at AirVenture. Safe Flying,” Tracy Norcross...

Lucky lad gets to solo his family’s Aeronca C3

Lucky lad gets to solo his family’s Aeronca C3

Looking for someone qualified to solo your 16 year old son in the family’s 1931 Aeronca C3 — who ya gonna call? Lorraine Morris, of course! Hey Judy, Just wanted to let you know I soloed a friend’s son in his family’s Aeronca C3. He did a great job. His grandfather purchased this plane from the factory in 1931.  Here are some pictures! * * I got to do it cause there aren’t many instructors around that have flown one before! I am surely very fortunate. Lorraine Morris Poplar Grove, IL I’m convinced Lorraine has the coolest friends. Here she is flying another friend’s C-3 last August.  ...

Allison’s first solo cross country …….. was to the Lady Taildraggers Flyin!

Allison’s first solo cross country …….. was to the Lady Taildraggers Flyin!

This is the greatest story! 16 year old student pilot Allison Driver, instructed by her grandfather in his airplane, a Citabria, flies her first solo cross country 99 n.m. to our lady taildraggers fly-in in Savannah, TN. Pretty darn cool! Allison has been flying with her grandfather, CFI Ernest Betencourt, for some time and even registered on LadiesLoveTaildraggers at the ripe old age of 14. She has been working towards the goal of soloing on her 16th birthday and on Sunday, May 20, she met that goal soloing at the Murfreesboro, Tennessee Airport. Allison & Ernest fly out of KMBT, Murfreesboro Municipal Airport, Tennessee. Ernst writes, “Instructing Allison has been very rewarding and yes, occasionally challenging. Blending crotchety old man, grandfather and flight instructor is an imperfect process. You are right, I worry about all the things I haven’t had time to teach her, worry about all the things that can go wrong and then try to let her literally spread her wings while I keep my worries to myself. She has really been a fun student, has learned well so far, and is a very good “stick” in terms of her ability to handle the airplane. She can fly the Citabria as well as I can on all the basics, landings, T/Os etc. Probably better on the routine stuff because she pays more attention.” * The following article about Allison’s first solo was forwarded by Ernest Betencourt. Written by David Swindler, EAA Chapter 419, June 2012 News. What a wonderful day in the young life of Miss Allison Driver as she completed her solo flights in a most traditional and significant style creating a memorable moment at the Murfreesboro Airport on Sunday May 20, 2012. This Solo event was significant in a number of different ways. First of all her Solo was completed on her 16th birthday on the first day of her life when it was legal to do so. Not many pilots are able to brag about such a feat. It does take an early commitment with that goal well in mind. Secondly, her instructor was her Grandpa Ernest Betancourt one of our most respected Military and Commercial Instructor Pilots and EAA Chapter 419 Members. Most know Ernie by his Big Fire Engine Red Waco that captures our attention every time he flies. A third significant factor was the fact that Allison accomplished her Solo flights in a tail dragger- American Champion Citabria Explorer. As everyone knows, it takes additional skills to fly this type of aircraft. A fourth significant factor is that Grandpa Betancourt had significant confidence in the ability of Allison to invite all his friends and relatives to attend the occasion while Grandma Betancourt supplied cookies and soft drinks for all those attending the celebration. Grandma also prepared to hang a big sign on the airport fence after the Solo flights were completed. Another significant factor was the fact that Allison accomplished her Solo flights on a beautiful afternoon that was summer like with cumulous clouds and bright blue skies. Pilots know that such conditions produce rough turbulence that can make for uncomfortable flying. Most instructors like to do their solo flights early in the morning or evening when the air is smooth for easy flying. But Allison did a fantastic job looking like a professional pilot. I heard a comment from one of the fellows who said listening to her do her reports on the radio round the pattern that she was cool, collected, and sounded better than some of the best MTSU students. On Allison’s third and final landing, she planted the tail wheel on the ground somewhat ahead of the main wheels. During the social time while munching on a cookie, her Instructor Grandpa Betancourt commented that he liked to see people plant the tail wheel on the ground first because you know if that happens the aircraft is in a completely stable condition and will complete a safe landing every time. When one thinks about the physics and dynamics of the tail wheel aircraft, this is a scientifically true statement. Keeping with tradition someone, perhaps Grandpa, cut a big swath of cloth out of the back of Allison’s T Shirt to hang as a souvenir of the event. While enjoying her cookie and refreshment, I asked Allison a very general question about what she expected for her future. My jaw dropped to the ground when she told me what her aspirations were in life not expecting anything like she was about to say. Allison said that she wanted to have a Pink Cabin Waco on floats. I countered with “Oh, you want to live in Alaska?” The response was “No (stupid) in Florida!” A PINK CABIN WACO ON FLOATS IN FLORIDA!!!! David Swindler  ...

Jeanne Milton     (New York)

Jeanne Milton (New York)

Jeanne Milton is based at NY0, Fulton County Airport, Johnstown, New York. Picture from my first Cub solo I am a student pilot. I have solo time in a Cessna 120, J3 Cub and just got signed off in a friend’s Cessna 170.  I plan to finish my license in the 170 as the Cub has no radios.  My flight instructor, John Peck, and I just went in on a Cessna 120 project. I’m learning to rivet and reskin metal surfaces. I would like to finish my license this summer so I can fly the Cub to Oshkosh for the 75th anniversary.  Several pilot friends have volunteered to go with me. If the weather cooperates we will be there. We plan to come to fly in if possible. We are in the final stages of putting a new engine on the 195. Hope it will be ready. Jeanne Milton New York  ...

Masie Veal     (California)

Masie Veal (California)

Masie Veal is based at KRBL, Red Bluff Municipal Airport (her back yard), Red Bluff, California. “I am 16 years old and love our J-3 Cub. I soloed on my birthday and want to go on to get my commercial pilots license. I lost my brother last year in a plane crash and he had soloed in the same J-3 nine years earlier.” “I love flying taildraggers and would love to have a Stearman some day. We have lots of pilots in our family WingsAndRods.com . Masie Veal” It’s amazing how much fun you can have in 22 seconds! Check out Masie learning to fly a Cub. I’m not sure who looks happier, grandpa, Masie or dad! From the Red Bluff Daily News; “My brother was 16 when he soloed in the same plane,” Masie Veal said. “When I saw that, I just really wanted to do that, too.” Scott Veal had planned on watching his sister perform her solo, but he died Sept. 2, 2011 in a mid-air plane crash in Alaska. “In the last conversation I had with her brother, he was excited about her flying,” their father Jeff Veal said. “He had wanted to be here to see her fly.” Just 19 days after Scott’s passing, their mother, Lorry Veal, died of an undetermined natural cause. After her mother passed away, there was a moment when they had to re-evaluate the possibility of performing the flight, Jeff Veal said. It was not that Masie wanted to give up, but it was more about the time frame of getting it done on her birthday. “We wondered if it was going to be hard to get back on the plane, but it really became a healing process for us,” he said. Jeff Veal, a pilot for the state Department of Fish and Game and a flight instructor, taught both his children how to fly. He learned it from his father. “It’s fun and neat to have that connection,” Jeff said. “It’s a common ground that we have.” Jeff, Bob and Scott all worked on restoring the vintage 1947 Piper J-3 Cub that Masie and her brother soloed in. She also wore the same leather jacket that Scott wore when he soloed. “Even though I really wanted to do it, that added some sentimental value,” Masie said. More at Red Bluff Daily News Article by Tang Lor    ...

Abbie Parsons     (Ohio)

Abbie Parsons (Ohio)

Abbie Parsons is based at (5D6) Parsons Airport, Carrollton, Ohio, is 16 years old and just soloed!! Abbie lives on the family airport and her dad, uncle, grandfather & sister all fly. “We wanted to share these photos with LadiesLoveTaildraggers.” “Needless to say Abbie hasn’t quit smiling yet! We missed her 16th birthday by one day due to winds gusting to 45 kts…go figure.” – “Thanks, David (dad) & Abbie Parsons”...

Sydney Barnes     (Tennessee)

Sydney Barnes (Tennessee)

Sydney Barnes is based at 4TN3, Hawks Nest Airport, Moscow, Tennessee. Hi! I have wanted to learn to fly since about age 6. This is also when I decided I would enter the Air Force after college. Since then, I have only slightly modified my decision: I decided on the Navy and the United States Naval Academy when I was eight. My flight instructors, Jimbob Slocum and Steve Vihlen, recommended  that I register on this site, and when I got on the website, I practically drooled! I am in awe of all of these people interested in flying just like me. I am currently learning to fly a Schweizer 1-26 factory model glider. I soloed in a Schweizer 2-22E. Soon I plan to begin my training as a powered-plane pilot! I am the kind of person that I will always try something at least once.  My dad used to be in the Navy, and he worked in the Pentagon for about 10 years. I am the first (for a couple generations, at least) in my family to aspire to be a pilot. My older sister got jealous that I was doing something and she wasn’t, so she followed me into the air recently. Someday, I want to be just like Jimbob, and own/build my own planes. But I don’t think I will ever be a teacher. Trust me when I say, I would end up strangling one. My dream career: I want to fly the spaceship that lands on Krypton! Well, kind of. I want to be an astronaut. – I am so glad that I could show you a little bit of my experiences in the aviation world. Sydney Barnes...

Gina’s first solo!

Here’s a fun little video of a woman student pilot soloing in an American Legend Cub. “Thanks” to Bruce Bohannan for sending in. Check out her nice landing; I’ve seen old pros who couldn’t get one down this well. Congratulations Gina! Be sure and register on LadiesLoveTaildraggers – you’re one of us now!! From Bruce; “This is Gina’s first solo landing. Gina is a new student here at Flyin’ Tiger Flying School.” Bruce Bohannan http://flyintiger.net/6301.html [cvg-video videoId=’2′ width=’420′ height=’400′ mode=’playlist’ /]...

Elizabeth Reese     (Colorado)

Elizabeth Reese (Colorado)

Elizabeth Reese is based at KGJT, Grand Junction Regional Airport, Grand Junction, Colorado. I was born in 1976 and grew up in North Carolina. I moved to Colorado in 2001 and bounced around a bit until December, 2005 when I moved back to Colorado to stay. My husband has been a private pilot since he was in high school, and he motivated me to learn to fly after he flew us from Colorado to Montana for our honeymoon in 2008. I am currently a student pilot, and I started my flight training in June, 2011 in a Luscombe. I soloed the Luscombe in September. My husband and I own a 1941 J4 Cub which has been in his family since 1958, and I just soloed in the Cub today, February 12, 2012! 🙂 I am looking forward to completing my training in the Cub, and my husband and I are excited about our plan to go to Osh Kosh (for the first time ever) this year for the 75th anniversary of the Piper Cub. Hope to see you there!!! Elizabeth Reese...

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