Sara Williams     (Idaho)

Sara Williams (Idaho)

Sara Williams is based at KSZT, Sandpoint Airport, Sandpoint, Idaho. I mostly fly floatplanes due to my job with Aerocet and I love it! However, I grew up in 170B’s and have a soft spot for all 170’s. Living up in northern Idaho has given me great opportunity to be around massive bodies of water as well as some amazing backcountry flying down in the Frank Church Wilderness area. I hope to pursue more endorsements and ratings as the years come while enjoying the opportunity to fly whatever I can.  ...

Rhonda Ellisor     (Texas)

Rhonda Ellisor (Texas)

Rhonda Ellisor is based at Sandy Creek, an uncharted grass strip between Huntsville and Conroe, Texas, I became a private pilot on Dec. 31, 2016, learning in my very own 1954 Cessna 170. I also have quite a few hours in my instructor/boyfriend’s Cessna 185, L-19 Bird Dog and his beautiful 1960 Beech G18. He said he would only give me instruction in a taildragger!...

Karen Sheppard     (Michigan)

Karen Sheppard (Michigan)

Karen Sheppard is based at KMBS, MBS International Airport, Saginaw, Michigan. My husband, Steve, and I were lucky enough to come across an airplane club with a taildragger. So I embraced the moment, and earned my private pilot license in a 1956 Cessna 170A. I am a Mechanical Engineer by day and the rest of the time I live and breathe flying. Michigan is incredibly scenic, and by air, it is breathtaking. At any moment, I have friends and family members standing in line to take air tours of the Great Lake State. I love taking them along the lake shores and site seeing up near Traverse City and Mackinaw Island. Where ever we end up landing, N1441D draws a lot of “ooohs and aaahs”. It is truly a beautiful aircraft and a joy to fly. I also fly a C-172, PA28-181, and am currently training in a Sikorsky S-52-3 Helicopter. Karen Sheppard N1441D, 1956 C-170A...

Heather Hiller     (Arkansas)

Heather Hiller (Arkansas)

Heather Hiller is based at KHOT, Memorial Field Airport, Hot Springs, Arkansas. “I’m a single mom of 4. I home-school my kids and one thing I want them all to learn is how to Fly!” From Judy; I got a kick out of Heather's registration picture - she's wearing her brand new yellow LLT t-shirt and lookin' good! Must like it 'cause she just ordered a white and blue LLT tshirt too!  ...

Summer Fun from Amal Ajmi

Summer Fun from Amal Ajmi

OMG, I love getting flying updates from Amal Ajmi! Amal is based at Fairbanks, Alaska and is totally enjoying this summer’s warm weather Alaskan flying! My friend Ann and I spent the weekend flying and thought I would send a note and pictures. There are certain communities in Alaska that have annual events just too good to pass up; Lake Minchumina (MHM) has the annual Rock Skipping Contest. This year was the 37th! Pilots come from all over some years to participate, and yes you better believe it is a serious challenge. Some folks practice all year, gather their perfect rocks, and hone the exact angle of attack!!! My friend Ann and I have been flying together a bit over the years, me in my bird, she in her C-170B. It is always fun flying with Ann, and she is a great sport at powering down or circling so I am not left behind when we travel together. Ann has owned her pretty 170 for about 22 years and has been pert near everywhere with it in AK as well as in the lower 48. She is an accomplished pilot, but more so, she is very wise and smart about flying. I hope that some of that will rub off on me…. Anyway, we decided to fly to MHM for the annual event. One of the most stunning views during the summer are the fields of fireweed scattered across the landscape. Stunning pink ponds surrounded by lush green vegetation, stark in contrast, breathtaking…..As you fly across the lower Tanana valley, low over the multitude of lakes (with the occasional swan pair and young, or the moose cow/calf pair) you feel deep in your guts the absolute “This is WHY I live here!” Lake Minchumina is about 123nm southwest of Fairbanks. If you leave early in the morning before the thermals start, you get a dreamy smooth ride all the way down. For the most part the landscape is flat, but when you get to the hills surrounding the lake, your breath is taken away by the vast water body…..so pretty. In the spring, open portions of the lake will hold dozens upon dozens of waterfowl, waiting for the rest of the world to warm up……We landed and hiked around up to the lodge and back to stretch our legs before the event. Irises were still in full bloom and the wild raspberries provided a sweet snack along the way. This years’ event was won by two locals and a young man from Fairbanks. I never make an effort at serious competition as the winners ALWAYS get thrown in the lake for good measure. This year it was so hot (high 80’s) I am sure it was pleasant. One competitor was thrown out of contention by a pike who decided the rock was a tidbit of food. Rules are rules, and you are only allowed 3 throws….maybe next year. As always, the food was amazing with pulled pork, chicken noodle salad and the “Oh my God” pie. We flew home late in the late afternoon, stuffed, happy, hot and tired….but what a DAY!!!! Blue skies everyone, Amal...

Margot Taylor     (Hawaii)

Margot Taylor (Hawaii)

Margot Taylor is based at LIH, Lihue Airport, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii. What a fun group!  I own a Cessna 170A in Hawaii. I learned to fly initially in gliders in college. One summer in college a friend and I designed, built and test flew our own ultralight auto-towed wing-in-ground effect vehicle. After finishing college I started my airplane training in a Citabria and learned to fly aerobatics which I love for the challenge, and the fun of it! A couple years later I purchased a Cessna 170A which I fly around Hawaii which is like a dream. I love the atmosphere and people at airports because most everyone is awesome. Flying taildraggers is like a dream; they feel so much more natural than nosedraggers. I recently switched careers from scientist to helicopter pilot and am starting work as a helicopter flight instructor at a University in South Korea. Outside of flying I love camping, canyoning, travel, photography climbing and many ocean activities. I plan to fly around the world in a small airplane. Also want to in a helicopter but the route would not be all that “round” comparatively. Thanks, Margot Taylor...

Rose B. Ganim     (Massachusetts)

Rose B. Ganim (Massachusetts)

Rose B. Ganim is based at 7B2, Northampton Airport, Northampton, Massachusetts and flies a Cessna 170B. I spent a few days flying a J-3 Cub on skis at Andover-Aeroflex in New Jersey which was some of the most fun ever — even rivaling floats! Damian DelGaizo is a great instructor and is a terrific resource about bush flying and taildragger love right here in the northeast. Some of the photos of that day ended up included with his DVD about Ski Flying. I also got to fly a P-51 Mustang in Florida as a shameless aero-tourist.  What a beautiful machine, and I am proud to say that I am doing the landing and was only a little left of the center line. I never met a taildragger I didn’t like. Looks like a fun website. Take care and safe flying, Rose...

Colleen McKeage     (California)

Colleen McKeage (California)

Colleen McKeage is based at KJAQ, Westover Field / Amador County Airport, Jackson, California. Shortly after receiving my Private license about 10 years ago, I obtained a Cessna 170A, N5416C. She was in pieces and had sat for many years waiting for someone to put her back in the air! After 7 months of work inclusive of new interior, a major overhaul of the engine back to factory new specs, and much cleaning and detailing, she flew again! We have had many great adventures in 16C, inclusive of several trips to Idaho, and other fun destinations. Colleen McKeage...

Sandy Walther     (Pennsylvania)

Sandy Walther (Pennsylvania)

Sandy Walther is based at New Garden Airport, N57, Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania. Last week I purchased a 1955 Cessna 170B! I am the treasurer of EAA Chapter 240, based at New Garden Flying Field in Toughkenamon, PA.  The airport used to be owned by the DuPonts. I enjoyed seeing that picture of Alice DuPont on your website. The following is an article I wrote for my EAA chapter newsletter. My New Baby I blame it all on fellow EAA chapter member Bill Kelsall. Bill took me flying in his 1948 Cessna 170 and I instantly fell in love with his taildragger. “I’ve got to get me one of these”, I exclaimed. It handled so easily, just like a Cessna [duh!] and flying a taildragger was such a fun challenge. I was determined to own one. First step was to get that tailwheel endorsement which I quickly earned in a Citabria with Greg McCarthy. When you are ready to buy an airplane, you have to think long and hard about what you want and how much you can afford. I wanted a four-seater to carry my family on trips, and enough power to get us there in a reasonable time. Various members in Chapter 240 generously let me fly with them in their airplanes. But nothing clicked until I flew with Bill. The Cessna 170 was just right. After a little research, I targeted the 1955 version, which is right before Cessna started putting that little wheel on the wrong end. Next step was to find a 170 for sale. Bill is a member of the International Cessna 170 Association, and he called me after attending their annual convention which was held this year in Longmont, Colorado. He had met a guy who was ready to sell his 1955 170B due to his declining health. I contacted the nice Texas gentlemen and he sent me a bunch of pictures. The airplane was in fantastic shape inside and out, although the instruments had not been upgraded. I spent some time talking with the owner, but finally decided this airplane was priced too high and the owner wasn’t willing to budge. Bill and the Ghetto Hangar Gang pointed me to Barnstormers website which is so much easier to search than Trade-A-Plane. I caught an ad for N4491B but was too late. Some guy in Pittsburgh nabbed her. Then I found a fresh ad for an airplane in Palm Beach, Florida. It was tail number N4490B. And, yes, I had called the owner just in time. He sent more pictures and I showed them to Bill and the Gang. Florida, they warned me, is the worst place for an antique airplane because all that salt air invites corrosion. But I was determined to check it out. I definitely needed a thorough pre-buy inspection. The Gang provided lots of advice on how to prepare for the purchase. This is nothing like buying a car! There are SO many steps! Here’s what I did before I even touched the airplane. 1. Contacted AOPA and EAA to get insurance quotes, then called an insurance broker directly who found an even better deal. I had less than 150 hours total and a fresh taildragger endorsement, so nearly all insurance companies wanted me to get 10 hours dual instruction then 10 hours solo time before carrying passengers. That sounds reasonable. 2. Contacted Philly FSDO to get the required forms 8050-1 Aircraft Registration and 8050-2 Bill of Sale. You have to use the original forms; they cannot be downloaded. 3. Ordered a title search using a link from AOPA’s website. 4. Used AOPA’s VRef tool to estimate the airplane’s value. I found it to be a bit low compared to what I had seen in various ads. Maybe they undervalue the classic beauty of 170s. Who knows. 5. Ordered a CD from the FAA on tail 4490B which contains ownership history and all the Form 337s (major changes) on the aircraft. Costs only $10 – what a deal! 6. Figured out financing. I opted to use a home equity line of credit rather than an aircraft loan. 7. Downloaded and printed all the Airworthiness Directives on Cessna 170s. The Gang was impressed by the book I put together. 8. Prepared a simple Purchase Agreement. I wanted something to document the transaction for Pennsylvania sales tax purposes. They no longer accept those $1 sales. PA House passed a bill to eliminate sales tax on aircraft, but bill SB 1552 is still sitting with the Senate and I’m not willing to wait it out. Mike Macario, a fellow chapter member who is both A&P and CFI, graciously agreed to perform the pre-buy inspection. I wanted a mechanic I knew and trusted. I wanted to be there, too, because this was going to be MY airplane and I wanted to look it over. We took a quick one-way flight to Palm Beach and the owner drove us to the most Beautiful Hangar-Home Community where the airplane was tied down. [OMG – if you ever win the lottery, buy a home in Wellington Aeropark!] We spent several hot and humid hours opening up everything and testing the engine. The owner had a complete set of logs – good! – and we spent time reading the entries and comparing them to known ADs and FAA history. Other than a minor update we asked the owner to make in the last entry, the logbooks were in order. Then all three of us went for a flight. Ahhh, that smooth Cessna feeling hit me again. My stomach was jumpy because I really wanted this airplane. By this time it was getting late and we needed to eat and sleep. The next morning, Mike and I met with the owner and began negotiations. Boy, I was glad I had done my homework. We agreed on a price, and I whipped out the cashier’s check, purchase agreement and the FAA forms. Yippee! I just bought a plane! After a few pictures, I climbed in the pilot seat and remembered to open the door for Mike. I don’t even remember the takeoff. I was already flying high. In reality we had to stay low to avoid a few rainclouds. Three hours later we made it to Jacksonville-Craig Airport. Yep, still in Florida. Darn headwinds. But 4490B met another admirer, the FBO mechanic who liked her shape. I was proud to show her off. Another three hours and we made it to Florence, SC. Yep, more headwinds but the clouds were gone and we could go higher. We climbed and watched the terminator rise up and create nighttime. ATC granted us flight following the entire route, handing us off to each center. After more than TEN hours flying we finally arrived at New Garden. My baby was home. A huge, heartfelt Thank You goes out to everyone who encouraged me and guided me in this journey. I couldn’t have done this without you. That determination paid off. I am now the owner/caretaker of Nine Zero Bravo. Watch for me as I work on my next few hours of insurance time. Then let’s go flying!...

Cathy Page    (Arizona)

Cathy Page (Arizona)

Cathy Page is based at Ryan Field Airport, (KRYN) Tucson, Arizona and flies an RV6. I found out about your site from my friend Summer Martell who flew her Student Prince out to Ohio from West Washington last summer for the LLT fly in. Looking forward to meeting some as time goes on. I may even be able to piece together coming out to the fly-in coming up next month, if the stars align. Maybe even find a willing passenger to share the adventure. – Thank you,  Cathy Page RV6 in Tucson (KRYN)  ...

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