Patsy Meridith     (Tennessee)

Patsy Meridith (Tennessee)

Patsy Meridith is based at 0A9, Elizabethton Municipal Airport, Elizabethton, Tennessee. I’ve fallen in love w/ flying!!  I’m 62 and got my private in 2009, my instrument rating in 2010, my commercial in 2011 and my taildragger endorsement just a few weeks ago.  My husband and I just purchased a Just Aircraft Highlander (factory is in Wahala, SC).  I’m a newbie at taildragger flying, but have over 700 hours in a Piper Warrior & Archer. I fly out of 0A9 Elizabethton, TN (northeast corner). Our dream is to fly across the country in our new taildragger, so we’re very excited to meet others who’ve had that experience.  So glad to get to come to your fly-in.  Sounds like a lot of fun!!  See ya’ there! Patsy Meridith...

Amanda Rutland    (New Zealand)

Amanda Rutland (New Zealand)

Amanda Rutland is based at CHC, Christchurch Airport, New Zealand. Pictures included are the C185 and the Tiger, as that’s what I’ve done the bulk of my flying in over the years. We have a lot of female pilots here in NZ, but unfortunately taildragger pilots in general (male or female) are becoming exceedingly difficult to find. If you want to get a rating on a new type it’s very difficult to find an instructor capable of training you. Women do seem to be more determined to give it a go here; it’s in the’ too hard’ basket for a lot of men who have their minds set on becoming airline pilots. Haven’t flown much in the last few years, had a change of career so have been doing a lot of study. (: Got my private licence at 17, commercial at 19. Learned to fly a Piper Cub first, then worked in Wanaka flying a Tiger Moth and a Pitts Special, then flying a Cessna 185 dropping skydivers. Have also flown an Auster and a Harvard, albeit briefly. Have around 1400 hours, 800 taildragger. Take care. Amanda Rutland New Zealand  ...

Pat Ohlsson     (Florida)

Pat Ohlsson (Florida)

Pat Ohlsson is based at 7FL6, Spruce Creek Airport, Dayton, Florida. I started flying in 1974 at Islip Airport, Long Island, New York. Since that time I have had a great time flying and over the years earned Commercial SEL, SES, (Instrument) MEL, (Instrument) Glider, Instructors license and ground instructor. Also ground school for DC8 flight engineer. Passed with a 98%, higher than a friend of mine who worked for Pan American World Airlines for years, and always a personal joke between us, getting a score 11 more than him. I am a Life Member of the 99s International Organization of Women Pilots since 1976 and was awarded the Amelia Earhart Scholarship for my Multi Engine rating in 1983. Recently purchased a 1940 J-3 Cub and my friend Lynn O’Donnell signed me off on my tailwheel endorsement in N30937. Lynn taught in J-3’s at Williamsport, Pa where the Cubs were manufactured and recently retired from United Airlines as a 767 Captain. I’ve owned a 1976 Grumman Tiger, N74359, since February 9,1979 (only owned by a woman). – Currently I am in real estate sales at the Premier Residential Airpark, Spruce Creek Fly-In, Daytona Beach, Florida (east coast of Florida) with Spruce Creek Fly-In Realty. Would love to share information about where we are or just take a look at http://www.fly-in.com/ for the fun of it. Where can you sit or show property as airplanes taxi by your window as you work. I would love to share experiences with other Lady Taildragger Pilots. We are so fortunate to be able to fly. The very best to all. Pat Ohlsson...

Colleen Keller     (California)

Colleen Keller (California)

Colleen M Keller is based at KSEE, Gillespie Field Airport, San Diego/El Cajon. I got my private pilot’s license in 1992 after several flights in Navy jets as a civilian analyst convinced me that I wanted to be a pilot. While I was “too old” to join the US Navy to fly, I quickly found that there is a lot of commonality in all types of flying and it was great fun. While still a student, I purchased a 1971 Cessna Cardinal RG (*nosedragger*) in which I got my instrument and commercial tickets. I also went to night school for my A&P mechanic’s rating to better understand what I flew. Shortly after graduating from A&P school, I bought a partially completed Steen Firebolt project with the hopes of building a fire-breathing biplane for aerobatic competitions. I also took tailwheel instruction in a little 100-hp Citabria on my home field, and flew my “graduation flight” in a 1947 Stearman owned by my instructor. I was so hooked after that…the project was not going along fast enough, so I sold it and bought a flying Steen Skybolt and flew it back from Tennessee in September 2009. I’ve put about 120 hours on the Skybolt to date and have been taking aerobatic instruction with the intent of competing in IAC contests. I’ve also completed an extensive rebuild of the aircraft, which I call the Red Tumbler, including a complete engine overhaul after a loss-of-oil-pressure incident which resulted in a dead-stick landing into a local airport. The engine work was done by me with Adult Oversight and is something I am particularly proud of. I enjoy every minute of every flight in the Red Tumbler, whether its going 5 minutes away to practice spins, pattern work, or a cross-country flight for lunch with friends. I’ve never felt such freedom as I experience when its a warm summer evening, marine layer moving in over the coast, and the setting sun just lights up the plane’s red starburst colors. I have the wind in my hair, I can smell the cut grass below me, and I am playing among the mountaintops. This must be heaven. Colleen Keller...

Helen Brennan     (Ohio)

Helen Brennan (Ohio)

Helen Brennan is based at OH15 , Minerva Airport, Minerva, Ohio. I have been flying since 1993, progressing through the customary 152’s, 172’s and Cherokees.  Back in those days (has it really been 18 years already?), ground schools were always full of student pilots and the flight school planes were booked weeks in advance.  That led to the first airplane purchase, a Piper Cherokee, which was a kind, gentle airplane.  There were many great flights exploring the region, supporting every eatery within walking distance of any airport and taking friends and relatives for rides.  But there was more to flying, more purpose and more benefit which led to a satisfying several years of being a Search and Rescue pilot and DEA pilot for the Civil Air Patrol.  Those years honed the skill of flying low and slow in all kinds of VFR weather over frequnetly inhospitable terrain, often never in the same aircraft twice and with many different faces on board.  Even as the hours mounted in my logbook, the experiences became invaluable. These experiences led to wanting to hone more skills, try new things, and what better way to do that than to get a tailwheel endorsement!  After searching as many sources as I could, I finally accepted the fact that I could get the training and ultimately the endorsement, but would not be allowed to solo the airplane – insurance stipulations I was told. Determined not to be discouraged, in 1997 I bought N43759, a 1946 Taylorcraft BC12-D.  She had a recent fabric job but was all white, except for the oil streaks on her belly from the engine and the fuel stains down over her cowling.  So while the A-65 engine was being overhauled, I designed some color graphics for her.  She got a new interior, new tires, new paint on all metal parts, new tailwheel and a new pilot – me!  I was fortunate to have a great tailwheel instructor who made sure that I was as comfortable on concrete as on grass. Since then, the little white plane and I have had many adventures together, seen many places, met many new friends, and continue to share the skies and chase clouds when we choose.  I took a break in 2007 to get my IFR license and another in 2008 to get my Commercial license and am now studying for my CFI written exam. I am looking forward to meeting all of you lady taildragger pilots and hope to see you at Moraine in August! Helen Brennan...

Jennifer Treese     (Arizona)

Jennifer Treese (Arizona)

My name is Jennifer Treese and I live in Tucson, Arizona and fly out of the Marana Regional Airport (AVQ). I’ve been flying for just over three years now and received my private in July 2008. I started tailwheel training in January 2009 in a friend’s RV-6 but didn’t finish my training because the plane had to go back to Oregon where her parents live. I finished my tailwheel endorsement in June of 2010, this time flying an Aeronca Chief that my flight instructor had access to. Shortly after this I started working on my instrument rating and wasn’t doing much tailwheel flying. There are no flight school in Tucson that have tailwheel training or anywhere to rent! Last August, right before my instrument checkride my flight instructor and friend passed away in an aircraft accident and although I didn’t stop flying, I didn’t have access to the Chief anymore. That is, until recently. A couple friends just bought a 1946 Cessna 140 and we created a type of flying club for the three of us. The plane is absolutely beautiful and so much fun to fly! I just recently finished my checkout in it and I am so excited to fly it all the time! Finally, I have a taildragger to fly! I’ve also flown a 1941 Piper Cub and a P-51 Mustang, “Betty Jane”, which was awesome! In addition to flying the 140 now, I am working on my commercial certificate and just finished my masters degree in Aeronautical Science. Jennifer Treese...

Summer Martell     (Washington)

Summer Martell (Washington)

Every so often a new pilot comes along & joins our merry band of lady taildragger pilots and her aircraft… its history… her story… are so remarkable that I can’t wait to share it with you all. This is one of those times. I hope you join me in welcoming Summer Martell to Ladies Love Taildraggers and enjoy her beautiful biplane and remarkable story! Summer is based at 0S9, Jefferson County International Airport, Port Townsend, Washington. One of 6 Student Princes ever built by the Aircraft Builders Corporation in Portland, Oregon, my father’s airplane N10686 s/n 103 was the third and last certificated airplane to roll out of the factory doors before the company folded due to the Depression.  Three incomplete Student Princes were donated to a local A&P school to be assembled by the students as “Experimental”.  There are currently 3 Student Princes flying. Two factory built and one Experimental. All 3 in Washington state.  What follows next is a love story…… I hadn’t spent much time with my father due to my parent’s divorce and my living in Alaska and he in Washington.  But that all changed when I began receiving enthusiastic letters from him describing his flying lessons and then, the purchase of a 1931 open cockpit biplane.  He even had an artist paint “Lady Summer” on its cowling for my 15th birthday.  Intrigued by his letters, pictures of his biplane, and books by Richard Bach, I asked him if I might come to stay with him and learn to fly. He sent me a postcard with a line drawing of a Waco ASO on which he’d written “Come on down!” And I did. I began flying lessons in the Student Prince, and soloed in August of 1985 at the age of 16.  Dad and I spent time together barnstorming on the Pacific coast. We’d land at small airports, hang a banner and start hopping rides.  We’d sleep under the wings at night.  It was a magical time….. Two weeks prior to my private checkride, my father died unexpectedly. I received support from our local airport community when everyone, even the fry cook at the airport cafe, donated and raised enough money for me to complete my training and earn my pilots license.  At age 17, I had become the unlikely owner of an extremely rare airplane.  Even though it was a struggle to support, I never once considered selling the Student Prince. I pumped avgas, I waited tables, and fished commercially in Alaska.  I lost count of how many times I was threatened with hangar eviction due to late payments, but I always managed to squeak by.  It astonishes me now to look back on it all.  Youthful bliss coupled with determination I suppose….At 19 I earned my commercial license and promptly put the Student Prince to work hopping rides as Dad and I once did.  So many strangers put their trust in my youthful hands and it was my privilege to introduce them to the thrill of open cockpit flight.  I met so many people, had so many adventures, and learned so much from the Student Prince. 25 years later, the Student Prince has recently emerged from a several years long complete restoration.  It is better than new, and I am rediscovering it again.  As with any first love, there is the exhilaration of reuniting, the ease of familiarity, and the reconnecting with a deep love gained over so much life that it is poignant beyond words. As always, when it comes the two of us, I am the student, and it is my Prince. I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with my story. And that’s the Readers Digest short version! At any rate, I also own a 1946 Cessna 120. I am an international corporate jet captain, qualified in 3 different jets.  And I am also a designated pilot examiner.  But really, I’m still just a messy haired, greasy jean wearing, biplane pilot!  Thank you all for such a fun organization, I look forward to meeting some new “sky sisters” soon! Tailwinds, Summer Martell...

Amal Ajmi     (Alaska)

Amal Ajmi (Alaska)

Amal is based at AK28, Chena Marina Airport, Fairbanks, Alaska. Am an avid hunter and fly fisher. I love anything outdoors, especially if I can fly there. I have flown mostly tail “dragger” aircraft, my latest and most favorite being a PA-11. My whole summer revolves around where I can go exploring and fishing. Am working on my instrument and commercials at the moment, so am flying even more!!! –   Blue skies!!! Amal  ...

Kim Ewing    (Georgia)

Kim Ewing (Georgia)

Kim Ewing is based at Gwinnett County Airport (KLZU) Lawrenceville, Georgia. I began flying in 2006, right after I graduated from high school. My aunt and uncle own and operate Bermuda High Soaring School in Lancaster, South Carolina and I learned how to fly in gliders with my uncle as my CFIG. After that, I was definitely “bitten by the bug”. At the time, I was attending college in SC, but I transferred to Embry Riddle Aeronautical University down in Florida to pursue flying as a career! In the summer of 2008, my aunt and uncle purchased a 1965 Aeronca Champ (7GCA). Its 150 hp and a blast to fly. I earned my taildragger endorsement and have been in love with that little airplane ever since, flying it every chance I get. I am a CFI and MEI and a commercial pilot w/ single engine land, multi engine land, single engine sea and instrument airplane ratings. I also have my private in gliders, and hope to earn my CFIG soon. My eventual goal is to fly the big jets for the airlines, but my roots will ALWAYS be in “real” flying, tailwheel flying!! 🙂 My fiance occasionally does photo flights in the 210 and if my schedule permits I am lucky enough to tag along and grab some photos of my own! This shoot was in November 2010 down at Homestead ARB in Florida with the Geico Skytypers and the Blue Angels!! Definitely an amazing opportunity to be there for that! I just can’t say enough how happy I was to find your site!! Please include me on it, I can’t wait to meet more like minded lady pilots!! Also, I flew the 2010 Air Race Classic representing Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, and am dying to do it again in my Champ if at all possible!! Now if I could just find a partner…..!! 🙂 Blue Skies, Kim...

Lisa Haag    (Texas)

Lisa Haag (Texas)

Lisa Haag is based at Covey Trails Airport (X09) Fulshear, Texas and flies a Stearman and Cessna 140. “I have my Commercial, Instrument, Multi, and Single Engine Land and a Commercial Single Engine Sea rating.” I got my taildragger sign-off 10 years ago in our Stearman N2S3, and I also have a Cessna 140. I have flow a little bit corporately, but mainly just fly for fun. I live at a grass runway airpark outside of Houston, and I love it. I also put on the ‘End of the Season’ Stearman fly-In in Jennings, LA, with the help of the city....

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