YES! Share those toys!

YES! Share those toys!

I think Jeannie Phillips found the secret of passionate flyers…… sharing the blessings. She sent this note with picture and was obviously happy as heck to be on the receiving end of an amazing flight. “Thanks to a very generous DC-3 owner I got the unforgettable experience of flying it!” Jeannie Phillips Jeannie’s regular ride is a 1946 Cessna 140 based at Cape Cod Airport, 2B1. Fly a Champ? RV8? Tailwind? Beech 18? DC-3?!! Give somebody a thrill!...

Tony Buttacavoli: Random things I love about flying a taildragger

It’s MEN’s day on LadiesLoveTailddraggers with several guys telling us what it is they love about flying taildraggers! Tony  Buttacavoli is from Commerce, MI and flies a Douglas DC-3C/C47D 1945. Here’s Tony’s 8 random things he loves about flying the DC-3/C47D. Tony says “The DC3 and I go back 25 years, I flew them for love and money the first 10, now its just for love.” #1 Her Art Deco lines. #2 The way she starts up with a snuffle and a clatter wreathed in clouds of white oil smoke. #3 The way I feel like a true pilot when I fly her. #4 Sunshine reflecting off those long wings. #5 The way that crosswinds demand my full attention. #6 Her history, USAAC, then USAF, then aeronautical research, then the museum. #7  Sharing the cockpit with my 6 year old daughter. #8  The all encompassing bellowing baritone and bass round engine symphony of a full power 48″ takeoff.  ...

Nancy Warren     (Indiana)

Nancy Warren (Indiana)

Nancy Warren is based at KBAK, Columbus Municipal Airport, Columbus, Indiana. Many years ago I was checked out in a Citabria, 7-ECA (part-owner), also flew right seat in DC-3s and Beech 18s, currently fly a Cessna Cardinal 177. – I was a member of the 99s for 25 years, currently member of the United Flying Octogenarians (UFO), serve on its Board of Directors and as Area Director for the State of Indiana. I also write a monthly column (WOMEN IN THE SKIES) for www.aircraftowneronline.com. Nancy Warren Good news! This beautiful C195 will be at our Lady Taildraggers flyin and Nancy & Rusty will be in it!  Be sure and check out the upcoming February issue of www.aircraftowneronline.com. Nancy was so excited about our organization she suggested writing an article about LLT to her editor. It’ll be on-line soon!  Judy...

Ginger Davidson     (Indiana)

Ginger Davidson (Indiana)

Ginger Davidson lives at 64I, Lee Bottom Airport, Hanover, Indiana. Although not one person in my family flies, I acquired a sense of adventure from my parents since we had traveled as a family to every state except Hawaii (via car) by the time I had graduated from High School. That’s just one of the stories that I tell when asked why I learned to fly. The others involve rebellion and are probably best told over a glass of wine after a long day in the sun at Oshkosh. –   While at Blakesburg a couple years ago, Rich went flying in some neat airplane and I got to ride on a motorcycle with Paul Poberezny. After receiving a nomination and appointment to the US Naval Academy (in the 80’s), I made a political statement by turning down this prestigious school because at this point in history they were not letting women fly fighters and I felt that the rules needed to be changed. I went on to study accounting and computer science and once established in my career, was able to finally explore my passion for flight. Captivated with flying and the challenge of learning more, I expanded on my initial goal of only obtaining a private pilot certificate with additional ratings: glider, instrument, commercial multi-engine, commercial single-engine and CFI. I even went a step further by learning how a human can actually fly like a bird by obtaining a Class A Sky Diving certificate and can tell you that it is the most fun a person can have with their clothes on. I bought my first airplane – a Citabria – to gain experience in tailwheel airplanes. I had heard that they have a special magic about them and had to find out what it was all about. Once checked out in my favorite bird, I went on a trip to Frankenmuth Michigan. Why? I don’t know because Michigan is cold in November! But, I was determined to camp under the wing of my very own plane. The men at that little airport are probably still talking about that crazy girl that wouldn’t come inside that very cold night. But, I was living my own dream! The little green airplane that was affectionately called “The Grasshopper” took me around the country and eventually led me to find “the man of my dreams”. This barnstormer of a pilot, Rich, owned an airport and was just as much in love with flying as me– probably more. Today, we own, operate, and manage the airport, have expanded the runway to be among the longest public use grass runways in the country, and are incorporating a museum to remember the airports of yesteryear. We host the largest fly-in event of its type, publish an online aviation publication that has over 7000 subscribers, and have many other dreams and plans for the airport known by most general aviation pilots in the country as Lee Bottom Flying Field. Although enamored with the freedoms associated with flying, I feel most at home in the middle of the woods. I could spend hours watching nature and often wonder why everyone looks right past the small things in life. In my late 30’s, I took 3 months off from my career and hiked over 1000 miles of the Appalachian Trail from just north of Atlanta, Georgia to Harper’s Ferry just outside of Washington DC. This experience taught me a lot about myself and others. Because of my countless hours spent backpacking and GPS experience gained from aviation, I was recently chosen from thousands of applicants to help Backpacker Magazine on a mapping project of the Continental Divide Trail. My love for the outdoors has also led me to have hobbies in gardening, beekeeping, maple syrup production, and I have recently started raising sheep which help me to mow the grass at the airport. Today, I consider myself “semi-retired” which means that I’m working harder than ever while being under-appreciated, under-utilized, and under-paid. I have been involved in the 99’s, served on the executive board for the Indianapolis Air Show, flown WWII trainers to airshows dressed as a WASP, ferried airplanes to Alaska, held the Wing Leader position for the Indiana Wing of the CAF, and been a member and leader of many other aviation clubs and organizations. I am also involved in Rotary, DAR, our local Chamber of Commerce, Indiana BeeKeeper’s Association, Gun Owner’s of America, American Sheep Industry Association, our local Girl’s Inc affiliation, and the Jefferson County Republican Women’s Club. I have rebuilt car engines, worked in an aircraft restoration shop, rode motorcycles, and started my own business from scratch. My duties at the airport have put me on a batwing mower instead of behind the stick of my Piper Cub, Champ, or RV-3. For the past 10 years, I’ve spent all my spare time ensuring that others have a place and a reason to go flying. My resolution for 2012 is to find others to take over some of these responsibilities so I can get back into the air. I’m hoping that by meeting more ladies who love taildraggers, I will be more motivated to accomplish this goal. I am excited that women are now flying fighter jets and I look forward to the next stage in my life which my husband lovingly dubs my ‘silver fox’ days. – Thanks! Ginger Davidson www.LeeBottom.com  ...

Aileen Watkins     (Texas)

Aileen Watkins (Texas)

Aileen Watkins is based at David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, (KDWH) Houston, Texas. I am definitely a taildragger girl and made my living early in my flying career as a taildragger pilot. When it was difficult to find a full-time flying job, my experience in conventional gear aircraft allowed me to fill a need at a couple of local flight schools where this skill was needed but hard to come by. As my client base grew, so did my opportunities. Having started my flying career flying aerobatics with my first competition at 83 hours total time, my passion for doing something out of the ordinary and that required stick-and-rudder skills allowed me to “make my bones” in the flying world. My enthusiasm for the sport, and for aviation, carried me through my financial shortcomings to keep me in the air. I don’t have a favorite taildragger, as I love them all, but the DC3, Pitts, Decathlon and Cub have very special places in my heart, and in my hands. They truly represent the romance of flying, and the kinship of the “ladies” that carry my heart though the sky. My first two instructors were ladies and mentors who were both very accomplished taildragger pilots. I thank them for instilling in me the qualities of safety, professionalism, and the want and need of striving for excellence in flying, and in delivering quality flight instruction. They truly believe in the “safety” attitude, and having fun doing what we love. Some of the taildraggers I have flown: Cub, Pitts, Citabria, Decathlon, Taylorcraft, Extra, Sukhoi, Luscombe, Stearman, Bird, Great Lakes, Skybolt, Waco, Cessna 120/140/170/180/185/195, Maule, Husky, and the DC3. Aileen Watkins...

Lynda Lee LaBerge    (Georgia)

Lynda Lee LaBerge (Georgia)

Lynda Lee LaBerge is based at (GA75) Meadowlark Airport, Concord, Georgia. Learned to fly in a Piper Cub and Piper Pacer. Owned a Globe Swift with a 210 Continental. Flew King Air and Diamond Jets for charter company with my husband. Now operate a glider flight school with my husband and do all of the towing in our 260hp Piper Pawnee. *...

AOPA Pilot Magazine Article on Gulf Oil Spill

You may want to check out the November 2010 issue of AOPA Pilot Magazine and read the article “Above the Spill”.  Lady taildragger pilot Sheila Mabbitt is mentioned on page 70, and pictured on page 68.  The article is about GA flying the Gulf oil spill. Link to August 2010 post: Gulf Oil Spill *...

Lorraine Morris    (Illinois)

Lorraine Morris (Illinois)

Lorraine Morris is based at Poplar Grove Airport (C77), Poplar Grove, Illinois. I started flying in 1980 and started flying taildraggers in 1987 when I met my husband.  He had a 1950 Cessna 140A that he had learned to fly in, so he taught me to fly again (in the 140A) after not flying for 5 years before I met him. We have kept the 140A and I think I will go before it goes as it has been in the family since 1968, but other taildraggers have come and gone, including a bunch of Cessna 140s, a 150 taildragger conversion, a Spartan Executive (Ken’s Mistress), a Commonwealth Skyranger, and a Culver Cadet. All of these we bought as some form of basket case and fixed up or restored to flying condition. We are working on another Cessna 150 tailwheel conversion right now as that is the plane I had a lot of fun with.  The early 150s with the straight tail and straight back are the best when converted using Cessna 140 gear. I fly the B-777 for United right now, and started an interior business about 15 years ago.  I sew and install complete interiors for people, preferably in old airplanes.  My husband Ken is an A&P and IA so between the two of us we do lots of complete restorations for ourselves and others. We got our DC-3 type ratings, and that also allows us to deliver all kinds of planes all over the US.  I have to say it is always a team effort! Thanks for the great website! Lorraine Morris...

Greetings from the Gulf Coast from Sheila Mabbitt

Sheila Mabbitt has been working in the gulf coast area full-time with the clean up efforts pertaining to the oil spill. She will most likely be demobilized  later this week, however, before heading home she sent us these amazing pictures to post on Ladies Love Taildraggers.  These are incredible pictures – thanks Sheila for forwarding these and the information about your experience. After much thought and consideration and many prayers, I called them Wednesday morning June 30, and accepted their offer and informed my current (now previous) employer that I would be leaving effective the next day. I spent the next day organizing things at home getting ready for this new endeavor and packing my car with bare necessities and headed for Louisiana on Friday, July 2. Photo Op It took me 9 hours to drive down with only 2 fuel/facility stops and I arrived at the airport at 16:00 fully intending on my first day on the job being Saturday, July 3, but ended up being wheels up (on a flight mission) just 20 minutes after my arrival. We have been on duty 7 days a week and when not flying spray missions are doing training sessions, training flights, or computer training for incident command systems & emergency response, etc. Recon Emulsifying * Early Recon Slick * * DC3T tank * Photo Op * Spotter DC-3 Spray It’s no secret these are the same planes used in the BP commercial that’s been playing over the last month or so across the nation. * Turbine Spray If we get released before the weekend, I may try to get up there still for at least part of the weekend to meet you and the rest of these amazing women, so perhaps I will see you then.  Have a great time either way, and thanks again for all your efforts. Blue Skies, Sheila Mabbitt...

Kelly Jeffries   (New Hampshire)

Kelly Jeffries (New Hampshire)

Here’s an update from Kelly Jeffries who is based at NH69, Windsock Village Airport  in West Ossipee, NH.  Thanks, Kelly, for sending in this incredible pic!  What a blast for both you gals and your husband – and how cool to see your very own RV right there beside you! “Here’s a picture that was taken in 2006 at Sun-n-Fun.  My husband is flying my RV but I’m flying co-pilot in the DC3, the Captain was Sheila Mabbitt.” For more information about Flagship Detroit log on to: Flagship Detroit Flagship Detroit Foundation, P.O. Box 96137, Southlake, TX 76092 Here’s the link to Sheila’s pilot profile also; Sheila Mabbitt —————————————— From Kelly; “I live in the best airpark in NH and fly a beautiful RV-8 that my husband built.  I fly big airplanes for work (767 American Airlines) but my love is my RV.  My tailwheel experience includes a few hours in a Stearman and various hours in Super Cubs”. “This picture is me and my dear friend, Lisa.  Lisa was one of my flight attendants who unfortunately, lost the battle with cancer over two years ago.  Though not a pilot, she loved flying and it was very special to be able to take her places.” I have Fifinella on my airplane as a tribute to the WASP.  Many ask me about Fifi and it’s great to be able to tell people about the WASP and their contribution to our country....

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