Coby Sena’s flight to Copalis State Beach Airport, Washington

Coby Sena’s flight to Copalis State Beach Airport, Washington

Here’s an adventure flight we should all figure out a way to make happen! Thank you to Coby Sena for sending in her pictures and describing her wonderful flight up the coast from San Jose, California to Washington state. And who knew Washington has a beach runway – that’s legal? This past summer I flew my husband and two friends to the Seattle area to visit some other friends. We made the trip in a beautiful Cessna 180. One of the highlights of the trip was landing at Copalis State Beach Airport (S16) just before sundown. Copalis is the only beach in WA where landing is legal – possibly in all the lower 48. It is simply a stretch of beach with a windsock at each end. It is an official airport run by the WA Department of Transportation (for info Since this airport is also a public beach, I had to overfly the landing area first to make sure the beachgoers got out of the way before we landed – there were a few surf fishing from the landing area. Not something I need to do everyday! I also had to check the tides before planning our landing time. It was an awesome adventure – right up with beach landings in Baja! Oh, in addition, I passed my CFI exam in October and am now teaching part-time at AeroDynamic Aviation at Reid-Hillview Airport, San Jose, CA. Coby Sena CFI  ...

Kerry Conner     (New Zealand)

Kerry Conner (New Zealand)

Kerry Conner is based at NZMS, Masterton/Hood Airport, Masterton, New Zealand. Hello, I am from New Zealand and own a flight training organisation specialising in taildragger training. The only aircraft I have for training ab-initio through to CPL are taildraggers. Available on-line we have a Piper Cub (100hp) no flaps, a Piper Pacer (160hp, 4 seat), a Cessna 180 and a Tiger Moth. I have over 3500 hours in taildraggers and love flying and teaching in them. Taildragger aircraft I have ratings in are all those mentioned above plus The Cessna 150 taildragger, Cessna185, Maule, De Havilland Chipmunk, Gardan GY-20, Jodell D11, Thatcher CX4, Percival Piston Provost, North American Harvard, World War I aircraft such as the Pfalz DIII, Fokker DR-1, Airco DH 5, Fokker DVII, and the SE5a. I have also flown a J3 Cub, DH90, Auster, Cessna Bird dog, Beech Staggerwing and the Thorpe T18. I have been flying since 1984 and have over 7500 total hours. I live and work out of a town in New Zealand called Masterton, which is home to “The Vintage Aviator Collection” of WWI aircraft, which I am very privileged to be a part of as a pilot and get to fly their unique aircraft in airshows. I am also a member of the NZ Warbirds Assn, NZ Women in Aviation, AOPA and the NZ C180/185 group.  If anyone wants to come to NZ for a holiday and needs a taildragger fix, please come and see me, it would be great to fly with other women who love taildraggers.  Find me at Cheers, Kerry Conner Masterton, New Zealand...

Judy Phelps     (California)

Judy Phelps (California)

Judy Phelps is based at KSZP, Santa Paula Airport, Santa Paula, California. I am the co-owner of CP Aviation, a flight school located in Santa Paula California. I am a CFII and specialize in Tailwheel and Emergency Maneuver Training. My career in aviation began while working at the local airport restaurant where I met my husband Clay Phelps who owned the flight school next door. This was the beginning of an amazing journey and a life changing experience. – In 1999 I earned my Private Pilot Certificate and in 2003 I became a Flight Instructor. I own a variety of taildraggers starting with my favorite a Pitts S2B. In August of 2011 I flew my first airshow, something I thought I would never do. I also fly Decathlon’s, Citabria’s and a Cessna 180. – – It’s official, I am now a part of Ladies Love Taildraggers! Judy Phelps, Master CFI-A, CFII Vice President CP Aviation, Inc “2011 National CFI of the Year”  ...

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!!”...

Debra Ross     (California)

Debra Ross (California)

Debra Ross lives in California & owns a Cessna 180.  She sent me the following note  – If you’re interested, send me an email ( and I’ll connect the two of you! “This looks like a great group and I love taildraggers. I have a C-180 in the Lake Tahoe area and am currently in the Palm Desert area. I wanted to fly it down but the weather up there did not allow it when I left. I am looking for someone in the area who might need an excuse to go flying. I would like to go to Bouse off Hwy 10 towards Blyth to visit the man who taught me to fly taildraggers many years ago. I can drive for sure but if you know anyone who might be interested please forward this to them. It is last minute because I would need to go in the next couple of days. Bouse and Quartzite both have dirt strips.” Regards, Debbie Ross...

Jeanne MacPherson’s new Wings!

These great pictures were sent in by Jeanne MacPherson (you remember Jeanne, Montana Pilot of the Year)! Congratulations, Jeanne, on a beautiful find. How about flying it to the lady taildraggers fly-in this August so we can all get a ride?! We just purchased and I picked up our new to us, 1955 Cessna 180, she’s a beauty. – – –     For more on Jeanne visit her pilot profile

Marykate Bayer     (Illinois)

Marykate Bayer (Illinois)

Marykate Bayer is based at (LL10) Naper Aero Club Airport, Naperville, Illinois. My husband and I own 4 taildraggers between us. I married my husband for his 1955 Cessna 180, but pretended I didn’t as I negotiated the purchase of my 1947 Cessna 140 the evening before our wedding day. I intended to sell the C140 in a year or two – but 15 years later it is still in the “fleet”. We bought our first plane together – the Fleet 10F – in order to enjoy the round engine experience (Warner 145). And we’ve also acquired a Smith Miniplane from a friend. Someday we will sell the Fleet and C140, and I will find a Baby Ace or Rose Parakeet so that I have an open cockpit to putt around in while my husband is out in the Miniplane!!! You can never have enough planes when there are two pilots in the family…like your cars: The SUV (Cessna 180), the Volkswagon (Cessna 140) and the convertible MG (the Fleet biplane)…doesn’t everyone have their multi-use cars??!!  ...

Kathy Royer, C180

Kathy Royer, C180

Kathy Royer is based at (7FL6) Spruce Creek Airport, Daytona Beach, Florida. I’m an Airbus Captain and Check Pilot for United Airlines. I also own a 1965 C-180, which I’ve had for 11 years. Prior to that I owned a Luscombe for 3 years. Tailwheel airplanes are more fun to fly and keep your skills honed. *...

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....

Amy Hoover    (Washington)

Amy Hoover (Washington)

Amy Hoover is based at (KELN) Bowers Field Airport, Ellensburg, Washington. My journey into taildragger flying started in the early 1980’s when my work as a geologist and white water river guide entailed flights into the remote river canyons in central Idaho, and I have been hooked ever since. I obtained my private license in 1988 in Salmon, Idaho and later that year bought a 1947 Cessna 120. I loved flying it all over the Idaho back country and it taught me many things about flying a little airplane in big mountains. For some reason I don’t now completely remember, in January 1991 I flew it to Florida (maybe it was due to the -20 temperatures in Idaho and the sunny skies in Florida). On the way back I stopped over for the winter in South Carolina and completed my instrument rating, commercial license and CFI. In 1992 I landed my first job as a backcountry Air Taxi pilot for SP Aircraft in Boise, Idaho and taught mountain flying seminars for the FAA out of Challis, Idaho. After flying rafters, hunters, supplies, and various other cargo for a few years I decided to combine my love of flying with that of teaching and in 1995 began work as a full-time CFI for BobKat Aviation in Boise. A year later my good friend Lyn Clark asked me and Lori MacNichol, another CFI from McCall, to join her in starting the “McCall Mountain/Canyon Flying Seminars” to promote safety in the Idaho back country. We built the seminar concept around instruction Lyn had been conducting for decades and ran our first classes in July, 1997. Sadly, Lyn was killed in an accident later that summer, but we decided there was a great need to keep the seminars going as more and more pilots were coming to Idaho to enjoy back country flying. For the next five years I developed the company’s training curriculum, wrote many articles on mountain and canyon flying for “Pilot Getaways” magazine, and authored the company’s training manual, “Mountain and Canyon Flying” which is still in use today. However, I still wished to reach out to a broader spectrum in aviation training so accepted the position as Director of Aviation at Mt. Hood Community College in Oregon, where I taught for 5 years while I completed my Ph.D. in Education at Oregon State University. I left the 120 in good hands and in 1999 hooked up with my 1955 Cessna 180 (Charles) that I flew on many adventures around the NW and BC. Yet another opportunity came along and in 2003 I joined the faculty at Central Washington University where I am currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Aviation Department. I have published approximately 20 articles and manuals on Mountain and Canyon Flying and have given more than 75 presentations to various organizations and forums throughout the U.S. I have the privilege of having logged over 5000 flight hours, half of them as a CFI, and have given over 1000 hours of instruction in flight simulators. My current research interests are in single pilot concurrent task management and multi-crew cockpit operations. My real love is still flying the rugged terrain of central Idaho. After spending more than two decades studying the rocks and landforms, navigating the rivers, and flying the canyons, I have developed a great awe and deep respect for the Idaho wilderness. I love sharing the wonder of the area with other pilots and realize that a certain responsibility must accompany the privileges we enjoy when flying the backcountry. My focus for backcountry instruction includes not only safe and courteous operations but emphasis on the fragility of the area and how we, as pilots, have obligations in preserving the resource for future generations. I said goodbye to Charles and in 2009 bought the “Canyon Goddess” – a new American Champion Citabria Explorer, and am happily giving tailwheel instruction and mountain flying classes with her in Idaho and Washington. I have owned 4 taildraggers (Cessna 120, Cessna 140, Cessna 180 and Citabria 7GCBC – current one) and I have flown, as near as I can count, over 40 different taildragger aircraft. You can see more on my web site at Visit Facebook page “Canyon Flying”...

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