“I don’t have the nerve to land”

“I don’t have the nerve to land”

A woman registered recently on LadiesLoveTaildraggers and her honesty caught me off guard. She didn’t beat around the bush or try and water it down and make excuses; she was just really honest and wrote, “I don’t have the nerve to land.” Wow, now that’s REAL. She loves to fly but the act of landing the airplane is just too scary for her. Coming from a long history with aviation sorts, I’ve noticed that flying airplanes and honest discussions don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. After all, when you’ve got a bunch of Type-A pilots shooting the breeze (or should I say “bull”) about their adventures in the air, fessing up that they’re afraid of anything just doesn’t happen. So with that mindset, when I read her “bare your soul” comment about her fear, it really struck me. I met Linda Winters last Fall at her very own “Winter’s Airport Fly-in” after she sent me an email invitation. It’s a mere 43 miles from where I’m based but its a private farm strip and, not knowing a woman was based there, I’d never been there. Linda says: “I have the airplane (Cessna 170A), the runway (Indent: 0II9), and the dream; but, I don’t have the nerve to land! Even so, “I Believe I Can Fly”. One day I will fly my Cessna 170 to the Ladies Love Taildraggers Fly-in! My husband and I raised our boys with many family trips in our airplane. I’ve been active in EAA and their Young Eagles program since 1994. It’s exciting to see a young person get hooked on flying. They are the future of GA. Every year since 1996 I have hosted a Fly-in here at Winters Airport (www.WintersAirport.info). It’s the 3rd Saturday in September…..and there are always room for more airplanes so come on over. It’s just fun to hang out and look at airplanes, especially taildraggers.” Linda Winters Monrovia, Indiana, 0II9 What Linda doesn’t say is that her husband, the pilot, is now deceased. He flew their C170 out of their 1600′ grass strip and she misses all that flying. She loves that old Cessna 170 and loved being in the air. Of course, things are different now with the hubby gone, but anybody can tell she truly wants to get up there again.  I say we send Linda some encouragement and help her get over the fear of landing. There’s a pilot in there somewhere that needs to get out. Linda, I believe you WILL fly your C170 to our Ladies Love Taildraggers Fly-in some day!...

Tammy Farrell     (Alaska)

Tammy Farrell (Alaska)

Tammy Farrell is based at PASX, Soldotna Airport, Soldotna, Alaska. We are living in a small cabin and all of my “taildragger” pictures are packed away in a connex and under about 2+ feet of snow. My favorite was a 7ECA Citabria N5506C, but we sold it and it went to Miami, FL. I have most of my taildragger time in a Cessna 170, 2930D, that we also sold.  Now I fly a 210hp C175 and we are building up a PA16. I’d like to find a Vagabond.  My husband and I live in Soldotna, Alaska where we operate an aircraft maintenance and rebuild business.  Even though I’m an A&P IA, I usually get stuck doing all the paperwork. – I’d love to go to Uganda and see the giraffes crossing the runways!!! (See the international post on this sight).  I like this sight.  Maybe we need to start an Alaska division! Tammy Farrell Soldotna, Alaska...

Laura Mayer     (Connecticut)

Laura Mayer (Connecticut)

Just in from Laura Mayer… “It’s High Time I sent an Update! Just saw the Christmas video and loved it!” Laura flies the family 1978 Cessna 180K Skywagon  purchased in 2010. “I passed my IFR check ride in August. Yippee!!” “Really hoping I can make one of the fly-ins next year now that that training is behind me.  So looking forward to meeting lady taildraggers in person!” Laura Mayer And from July 2009….. I started flying lessons at the age of 48 and got bitten by the aviation bug with the tenacity of a tick. My love affair with flying began with a J3 Piper Cub. I still remember laughing uncontrollably when I did my first S-turns on the taxiway. Learning to fly was a hard won lesson for me; discouragement almost triumphed, but desire and my not too scant stubbornness prevailed. I finally soloed on June 3, 2007. When I abandoned the plan of getting a Light Sport rating and decided to go for my Private Pilot, I reluctantly switched to a Cessna 152. Once I got my ticket, I set my sights on purchasing my very own 152, despite the fact that my husband and I already owned a plane. When Bob (who is an IA) first decided to purchase an airplane, he did extensive research, more methodical than I initially realized. And the plane he finally settled on as his fervent desire was a tailwheel, a 1953 Cessna 170B. Initially, I had no plans whatsoever to fly that plane. Probably because it almost cost our marriage with its demand of money, sweat, and tears!! But once I got my tail wheel endorsement , 49A transitioned rapidly from being a financial albatross to being my most cherished passion in life. I’m certain I speak for all the women on the site when I talk about flying. Flying is my passion, my release, the purpose of my life. The world could be falling down around me, but once I hear “cleared for takeoff,” I am the happiest person in the world and pure joy reigns. We live in beautiful New England and places like Montauk, Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard, and Newport are a scant hour or two away. Laura &  her husband own a 1953 170B, N3149A, upgraded with a Lycoming 180, constant speed prop & STOL package.  Laura is based at DXR (Danbury Municipal Airport, Danbury, CT). Laura says “Ladies and taildraggers – PERFECT together!!”...

Brandi Terkeurst     (Alabama)

Brandi Terkeurst (Alabama)

Brandi Terkeurst is based at  Moontown Airport, 3M5, located just east of Huntsville, Alabama. My name is Brandi and I fly out of a small grass strip in northern Alabama called Moontown. I blame my grandfather for getting aviation in my blood (I thank him all the time). He flew bombers in WWII and owned several aircraft over the years. I only remember flying with him once, so I didn’t grow up around it. A complete coincidence, I now work for a legacy carrier in an operations control center tackling global issues on a daily basis. I love it, but for me it doesn’t compare to GA. There ain’t nothing better than dragging your tail around on a nice afternoon while you put your work aside. I like the freedom of flying on my schedule. I compare it to getting a bicycle when you’re a kid and being able to go down to the local ice cream shop. Then, you get your driver’s license at sixteen to go grab dinner all the way downtown. Obtaining a pilot’s license just opens the next door to the whole world – you know what I’m talking about. Tail draggers just make it that much more fun! I took my private check ride in our 1954 Cessna 170B. I’m in the process of restoring a 1947 Cessna 140. Thanks! Brandi Terkeurst    ...

Anna Schwisow     (Idaho)

Anna Schwisow (Idaho)

Anna Schwisow is based at KPUW, Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport, Moscow, Idaho. Hi, my name is Anna. I started flying with a friend in a Taylorcraft when I was 13.  Since, I’ve been flying almost exclusively in taildraggers – I have hardly any tricycle time!  I took some time off from flying for college, but now I’m trying to get back into it. A couple of years ago, my dad and I bought a 1952 Cessna 170B with the Lycoming 180 conversion and constant speed prop.  The plane lives part of the year with me at the Pullman, WA airport (near Moscow, ID), and part of the year with my dad at Sunrise Skypark near Marsing, ID. We’ve been working on fixing it up, and even made it a new instrument panel last summer. The two guys cutting a piece of aluminum are working on cutting my instrument panel – they’re a couple of my friends at UIdaho, Josh and Cam. * Since the plane is so capable and Idaho has some sweet backcountry, I’m hoping to start learning backcountry flying this summer. I’m currently at the University of Idaho working on my Master’s degree in Adult Organizational Learning and Leadership.  Once I graduate in August, I hope to do research in aviation education, and I’m especially interested in AOPA’s research on attrition rates among student pilots. I’m super-excited about finding this awesome group of beautiful and talented women!  Hopefully I’ll make it to the Idaho fly-in at Smiley Creek to meet some of you.  🙂 * Blue Skies! Anna...

Susan Theodorelos’ “Thursday Adventure”

Susan and Andy are two of the most passionate aviators I know and they KNOW aviators from one end of this country to the other. Heck, make that around the world!! You’ll agree after reading Susan’s story …. I’m getting too old to stay up til midnight and get up at 0330 to catch a 0530 flight to Charlotte, NC! All that said… we headed out Thursday morning on a grand adventure to inspect and possibly purchase a Cessna 170A for our friends from Germany. A zillion phone calls, wire transfers, last minute changes in plans later… we were finally on our way. Andy, Brad and I… I was along as Navigator but mostly for the ride and adventure! We non-rev’d on the “company jet” and landed in Charlotte about 7 am after a great flight with a good friend as Captain! We were met by the owner/seller of the 170, had a nice visit on the 30-45 minute ride out to Lincoln County Airport and found out that we knew a lot of the same people! Steve & Tina Thomas, Doug Parsons and a few others I don’t recall at the moment. Once at the airport, Brad set about inspecting the aircraft… As soon as that was accomplished, Andy went for a test flight with Rick while Brad perused the paperwork…. After the test flight, we left Brad and Rick to discuss business and were standing outside when I heard that distinctive sound and looked up and said… “Andy… a Custom Cabin in the pattern!” Sure enough…. Bob Perkins and his wife Barbara landed and as they taxied up we walked over to the plane and Andy said… “I’m with the FAA and I’d like to see your paperwork…” Bob had this puzzled look on his face like… “I know this guy….but he’s not supposed to be here!” And then it finally hit and we all simultaneously said… “What are you doing here?” What a great treat to see the AGC-8 looking spiffy as ever and have a great visit with Bob and Barbara! We unfortunately had to decline their kind invitation to visit with them at their strip just a few miles away — but we knew we were facing a long trip home and needed to get on the way. We will be back tho!!! We felt badly for Rick as you could see in his face he hated to part with his beautiful 170 — but we loaded up and promised to see each other soon. I curled up in the back seat with my nifty iPad2 complete with nifty Nav programs while Andy and Brad flipped a coin for left seat! We started the long climb up to 8500ft to clear the mountains… (I say that with tongue in cheek as they really are more like hills for someone like me who used to live on the West Coast!) Anyway – we finally leveled off and thankfully it was MUCH cooler at altitude than it was back at Lincoln County Airport! I actually got a bit chilly up there! But the air was smooth and starting to clear as the weak cold front had passed through earlier. The scenery was beautiful… (if you look past the strip mining) – Eventually, we managed to clear the “mountains” and started a slow decent back down … and I finally convinced my “drivers” to make a stop at Portsmouth, Ohio… The winds aloft made our trip a bit longer than we wanted so it was great to get out and stretch a bit…. I kept the new owners up to date with emailed photos of our trip. Topped off with some fuel and we were on our way for the last 45 minutes of the “Adventure”. We finally landed at I73 and it was great to be back home… 98C is now tucked in the hangar at Moraine waiting for her new owners to arrive and have a good look and take a spin around the patch. The plan is to leave the plane here for the summer and attend some fly-ins with us — then crate her up for the trip to Germany this fall. While I hate to see another plane go across the pond… she will have great new owners who will love and take care of her with promises of rides for us when we venture over to visit! Susan Theodorelos...

Wendy Frazer     (Idaho)

Wendy Frazer (Idaho)

Wendy Frazer is based at (KEUL) Caldwell Industrial Airport, Caldwell, Idaho. I have been flying since 2002. I own a 1952 Cessna 170B-completely restored by my father who passed away in 2000. Polished aluminum with orange-love it, but hate to polish it! Colorado Springs Got my instrument rating in 2004. Love to fly Idaho’s beautiful back country! * 8301A Lava Hot Spring N8301A Kelowna...

Claire Swigard     (Arizona)

Claire Swigard (Arizona)

Claire Swigard is based at (KDVT) Phoenix Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Arizona. I signed up for flying lessons in 1965 because my husband bought an old Aeronca Chief and I thought, as long as I was going to help pay for it, I should see if I liked flying. I loved it! I am still learning and now own a Cessna 170A, a Cessna 180 and am restoring a Cessna 185A. My eldest son is my IA and keeps them in pristine condition. As you can tell, I really like bright colors!  They do show up well in the air, especially the 170....

Dianna Klein     (South Carolina)

Dianna Klein (South Carolina)

Dianna Klein is based at (KSMS) Sumter Airport, Sumter, South Carolina. I had my very first flight before I was a year old in a Piper J-3 Cub and I’ve been in love with flying ever since! My husband and I just bought a 1953 C-170B and are having a blast with it. The biggest reason I fly taildraggers is the challenge. A taildragger is something that will never be mastered, and with the proliferation of tricycle gear aircraft, flying a classic taildragger is becoming a lost art. It’s my way of preserving history while enjoying the present.   Wonderful website! So good to see there are many of us!...

Tracy Salmi     (Texas)

Tracy Salmi (Texas)

Tracy Salmi is based at 44TE, Shirley Williams Airport, Kingsland, Texas. * Tracy Salmi with her Cessna 170 Neil Salmi and I were married in January and we have bought a hangar home on 44TE in TX. I sold my home and hangar in KS. Still have the C170.  Am a CFII multi engine instrument  land /single engine sea. I enjoy flying and the people that fly and build airplanes....

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