Ginny Stromberg     (New York)

Ginny Stromberg (New York)

Ginny Stromberg is based at KITH, Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Ithaca, New York. Update Summer 2016 Home base still KITH for now…  But I was in Northern NJ for the last two summers. I spent last summer (2015) flying around Andover NJ in a SuperCub decked out for flying the Bush. It was part of a course in learning bush flying techniques. Once that was completed, summer 2016, I started learning to fly a Stearman around the skies of Andover, NJ. Both planes are awesome in their own way!! I think flying both of them has made me a better pilot and given me a wider path of knowledge. NOW on to finishing my commercial once and for all this fall/winter… I think I’d like to become a CFI too so I can teach in tail-wheels eventually. Ginny March 2015 I fly out of KITH. Love Tailwheel airplanes! I remember at my first flight school (where I soloed). They had this beautiful Citabria that I just found enchanting, but since my goal at the time was to fly a big jet, it just seemed impractical to learn to fly it, so it just sat in the corner of the hangar, lonely. No one ever seemed to fly it. And because no one flew it, it got sold…. I was sad the day it flew off, never returning. I sorely regretted never having flown it. I went on to solo at the first school but couldn’t escape that I’d missed out on that Citabria. My second flight school (where I got my private pilot) also has a Citabria. But again, being on this big jet dream I put off flying the Citabria… but ALWAYS looked toward it. I went on and finished private pilot at the second flight school, as well as Instrument, and started Commercial…. BUT just needing a break from commercial and wanting to do something fun… (and after the second school starting talking about selling their Citabria too, if someone didn’t fly it) I set out to get my tailwheel endorsement in it. And, yeah know what… I LOVE the Citabria. I got my endorsement in 2014 and flew it locally solo with great joy and pride for hours that summer and fall (it’s too cold for fabric planes around in winter) and look forward to flying it in spring. The most fun plane I’ve flown to date and I am so glad I finally just learned to fly it. It’d been calling me from the start. I don’t dream of big jets anymore, I dream of tailwheel flying. I’d like to eventually go on to finish my commercial and CFI, and teach in tailwheel. Along, with that I’d love to experiment with flying other tailwheel airplanes....

Heather Shaw     (Texas)

Heather Shaw (Texas)

Heather Shaw is based at KGGG, East Texas Regional Airport, Longview, Texas. I’m a student at LeTourneau University. I’m originally from Idaho and learned to fly there. I’m currently learning how to fly a Citabria and working towards my private pilot license.  ...

Cynthia Daigle     (Maine)

Cynthia Daigle (Maine)

Cynthia Daigle is based at KSFM, Sanford Seacoast Regional Airport, Sanford, Maine. I started flying taildraggers to gain confidence. I have flown many types of planes but I fell in LOVE on the first flight in the Citabria. My instructor Sue is amazing and has brought me far in only three flights. Today we’re working on cross wind and wheel landings. Flying stick and rudder is so much fun!! It really feels like I am truly learning to fly with a lot more control. It is challenging but so worth it!!...

Diane Bassham     (Iowa)

Diane Bassham (Iowa)

Diane Bassham is based at KBNW, Boone Municipal Airport, Boone, Iowa. I got my tailwheel endorsement in a rented Champ 14 years ago, and put it to use towing gliders with a Supercub for the local glider club. There I met my husband, one of the other tow pilots, and 10 years later we finally bought an airplane of our own, a 1972 7KCAB Citabria.  ...

Carri Ann Pratt     (Alaska)

Carri Ann Pratt (Alaska)

Carri Ann Pratt is based at KLHD, Lake Hood Seaplane Base, Anchorage, Alaska. Been a lifelong dream to learn to fly!!! As a little girl, I had the common little girl dream of having my own horse, so at the age of 14, my father bought me a black Arabian! I learned to care for her, groom her, ride her, blanket her and tend to her health over the next 24 years. We truly learned to ride as one. However, I knew I couldn’t pursue flying until my girl wasn’t with me any more, as I was committed to the time and money invested in life- long companion. The week after she passed, I wanted to fill the void of my lost friend and I knew it wasn’t going to be another horse. So, I found a Citabria GCBC, 150 hp taildragger that would help light up my eyes and bring passion to a continued dream...

Julia Kirchenbauer     (Colorado)

Julia Kirchenbauer (Colorado)

Congratulations to Julia Kirchenbauer! Here is her awesome update. Julia is based at KFTG, Front Range Airport, Denver, Colorado. Aug 26 was a very exciting day! ASEL check ride completed… In a tailwheel of course! In almost 70 hrs of flying, I have 4 total hours nose wheel (all logged over 4 years ago)! _________________________________________________________________________________ Posted July 12, 2015 Completing my ticket has been a work in progress for nearly 5 years. I started flying lessons while I was in the US Navy and had a large number of set backs each time I would hit the ground running. From temporary closure and eventual permanent closure of the Navy Flying Club on base, to detachments at other Naval Air Stations and the USS Carl Vinson. The road was challenging but I managed to log a few hours here and there. Some of my first hours in my logbook include time in a Pitts S2C, a PT-17 Stearman, and a BT-13 (WWII Basic Trainer). Fast forward a few years to the fall of 2014, the end of my Navy contract. I returned home to Colorado and was surrounded by aviation nerds. Included in those nerds are Gail and Doedo Schipper (Gail is a fellow LLT). It was Doedo’s suggestion to train in a tailwheel, as ultimately I will be flying our 2004 Stoddard Hamilton Glastar N767JA (tailwheel) and our replica WWI Sopwith Camel bi-plane (current build project). It just so happens that KLMO, their home base, has a flying school (Fly Elite Aviation) with several tail wheel aircraft available to complete primary training in! Conveniently Doedo also happens to be a tailwheel instructor there. The stars finally aligned and I have logged 24.8 hours since November. Most of those hours were in the schools 1970 7GCBC Citabria, N9116L. Also included in those hours was a stall and spin recovery training flight with aerobatic pilot Dagmar Kress in her beautiful Pitts S2C. Last weekend Doedo suggested I fly the school’s 2004 7GCAA Citabria N519MA. What a delight after flying N9116L, with the added challenge of no flaps! Yesterday, July 9, 2015, I soloed for the first time and logged my first 0.8hrs and 3 landings as Pilot in Command of N519MA at KLMO. I made it this far, there is nothing holding me back from completing the remainder of my requirements and my check ride! There isn’t enough room in this block to list and thank all of the people that have supported me, inspired me, pushed me and taught me! I know I could not have done it without them all. I am looking forward to meeting a bunch of fellow LLT’s at Oshkosh this year. Julia Kirchenbauer...

Gail Stillings Burch     (Florida)

Gail Stillings Burch (Florida)

Gail Stillings Burch is based at KOMN, Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, Ormond Beach, Florida. Hi there, I am a private pilot that trained in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1982 (while pregnant with my now pilot son). My late husband Clayton Stillings was a Marine Corps F-4 pilot, an airline pilot and a CFI. He was my inspiration in learning to fly. When he became ill and passed away I packed my pilots license and aviation gear away, that was in 1992. Well, 23 years later our son inspired me to get back in the pilots seat, as he was studying for his license and enjoying general aviation so much that he talked of nothing else. With his support and the support of several folks at my home airport (Ormond Aircraft Brokers) I found a great instructor who helped me get current. I think I have the three point landings down, now on to the wheel and crosswind skills. Keep you posted, and special thanks to my son, Chad Stillings and my flying friend Roscoe aka Steve Searle. If that was not enough challenge, my son and his wife and I bought a 1946 Luscombe, currently being restored by the great crew at Ormond Aircraft and due to finish this fall. Pictures soon to follow of our Luscombe (519SB) in honor of the late Clay Stillings (his date of birth) and SB for our last names (or Sassy Brat) as she has been nicknamed, and wearing the colors silver and blue in honor of my daughter-in-law’s late father Al....

Terry Fiala     (Colorado)

Terry Fiala (Colorado)

Terry Fiala is based at KAPA, Centennial Airport, Denver, Colorado. I love living in Colorado, hiking and playing agility with my dogs Rudder and Turbo, playing tennis, and of course flying. I’ve been fortunate to have many flying adventures since I earned my PPL in 2010. I own a C182 with my husband and now I’m finishing up my tailwheel transition, something I’ve wanted ever since I did a lesson on spin recovery during primary training. I work as a flight school strategic marketing consultant, and plan to some day become a CFI. In the meantime, I just enjoy the privilege!...

Cindy Fritz    (Idaho)

Cindy Fritz (Idaho)

Cindy Fritz is based at KBOI, Boise/Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. I learned to fly in my 1972 Citabria 7GCBC. I received my PPL in December 2014. A week after that the skis went on and I am baby stepping my way into Idaho snow covered backcountry airstrips! I look forward to flying the Citabria with and without skis, and, of course, upside down. A lifetime of learning and fun ahead!    ...

Ladies really DO love taildraggers!

Ladies really DO love taildraggers!

Guest Blogger: Michelle Agee Based: KMQJ Indianapolis Regional Airport My mother has always been highly enthused about my flying and so supportive. She’s flown with me several times, but she really wanted to do some ‘fun’ things. As I did not have my taildragger sign off, I arranged a flight in a Citabria at KFNL for her. I certainly had some ‘fun’ in that airplane and I was pretty sure she would too! The flight was a great success. It’s been 8 years and we still smile when we talk about it. The smiles were even bigger after the flight!...

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