Jean O’Cuilinn’s flight to Terlingua Ranch Airport

Thank you to Jean O’Cuilinn for the great pictures and information about her recent flight to Terlingua Ranch Airport! This is where I flew for lunch a few days ago and is somewhere I fly to fairly frequently. The pictures are the approach to Terlingua Ranch, 1E2, Alpine, Texas. Terlingua Ranch Airport is a dirt/rock, one way strip (because of the gradient and you have a mountain at the south end of it.) Elevation 3800′. The pictures were taken by friend last year and show the lay of the land. It’s about 58 NM south from my Alpine airport and is very close to the Big Bend Natl. Park.  They have live music and dancing on Friday nights too and another friend will be part of a trio of musicians offering a concert, Mozart and Dvorak, this coming Sunday evening so we might fly down for that.  It’s pretty remote.  We’d be returning in the dark so I won’t go unless it’s clear out.  🙂 Justin took this pic of me by the 152 that I use for instruction right before we left as the wind was kicking up. The wind was 30 when we got back to Alpine but it was right down the runway.  ...

Marie Beaver & Big Bend Ranch State Park

Marie Beaver & Big Bend Ranch State Park

A big “thank you” to Marie Beaver of Houston, Texas for sharing her latest flying adventure. Another destination to add to the growing “bucket list”! Big Bend Ranch State Park Friday, February 10- Sunday, February 12, extended to Monday, February 13, 2012 Rain and low ceilings delayed our departure from Hooks Airport (KDWH), Houston, Texas until 10:00 a.m. We departed in our Maule, with friends along side in their Cessna 172 and flew to Fredericksburg, Texas (T82). We met friends that would be flying their C180 Skywagon with us. We all had lunch at the Airport Diner on the field before departing on the next leg. We left T82 as a flight of 3 and flew to Big Bend Ranch State Park via a fuel stop at Terrell County Airport (6R6). After fueling, we flew along the perimeter of Big Bend National Park, en-route to Big Bend Ranch State Park. We had a fabulous flight up Fresno Canyon arriving at Big Bend Ranch State Park Airstrip (3TE3). The air was calm, the canyon beautiful and the sky was crystal clear blue. We stayed at the Sauceda Big House with 3 bedrooms. Link, Big Bend Ranch We paid for breakfast, lunch and dinner to be provided by the park. We were impressed with the amount received and the quality (dinner-cheese enchiladas, brisket, sandwich (lunch sack), eggs. Mind you, no 5 star dining, but very filling. The house was nice, but could use some tlc. Saturday, February 11 The next day was the highlight of the trip. We toured a small section of the park with Blaine Hall, Ranger in the parks new suburban. When I say small section, Big Bend Ranch State park is the largest state park in Texas at 300,000 acres in the Chihuahuan Desert. Mr. Hall is not your average park ranger, he has been a geologist and professor most of his life and is well qualified, dare I say, overqualified to conduct this tour. His passion and love for geology shines as he explains about how the Solitario was formed and about all the formations in the park, and how it is such a special geological place. (I’m attaching the link for his article-Page 10) Geology at the Crossroads  We spent the day with Blaine and had a picnic lunch in Fresno Canyon. The most pleasant surprise of the day was fabulous blooming bluebonnets along the creek beds, especially near the Crawford Ranch Ruins. I had no idea this part of Texas had bluebonnets. Sunday, February 12 Departure day was met with a massive cold front that had freezing temperatures to the ground and low ceilings across a huge portion of Texas. We tried to depart (the Beaver’s and Snowden’s), however after 5 miles had to turn back due to the ceilings pretty much going to the ground and the plane building ice. The ceilings and temperature never rose for us to get out that day. Since our reservation had only been through Sunday morning, we relocated to the bunkhouse as they had guests for the Big House. Since they had no other guests, they put us all together in the men’s side of the dorm. Normally, the bunkhouse is divided with sleeping quarters for women on one side, and men on the other. We were the only ones in the bunkhouse so it was nice and cozy with the main living room, dining area, fireplace and TV (only VCR tapes).  Things only got more interesting as the night progressed. By 10 p.m. we had an incredible thunderstorm pouring overhead, with lightening, thunder rattling the windows, and then pea size HAIL! Luckily, the hail was momentary and no damage was done to the 3 planes. For a place that rarely receives any rainfall, this trip saw all extremes in the weather.  We awoke Monday morning to fog so thick you could not see the ranch houses very nearby. It finally lifted around 10 a.m. there and we departed together. The Nicholson’s and we headed back to Terrell (6R6) for a fill-up! The Snowden’s had enough gas so they flew direct to Mason, Texas so we split up. A good portion of Texas had low IFR that day that was lingering so I filed. We made it to Houston with great tail winds at 7000 feet to fly the RNAV (GPS) 35L approach at Hooks (KDWH) to minimums! We had to leave the Nicholson’s behind for them to pick their way here slowly with the low ceilings. He and the plane are VFR only. They finally got to hooks at about 6pm. It was a very long, stressful day for them. I cannot wait to return for part two of Mr. Hall’s tour of the inside of the Solitario. Marie Beaver...

New Charter Pilot & CFI, Sneha Harish

New Charter Pilot & CFI, Sneha Harish

WOW …. I received the following email from our very own lady taildragger pilot, Sneha Harish, formerly based in South Africa.  If you’ve frequented LadiesLoveTaildraggers for a while, you’ll surely remember Sneha because she LOVES to fly, loves to instruct in Bushbabys, bubbles over with excitement in her flying adventure updates, and happens to be one beautiful little lady. Here’s Sneha’s email – along with some great pictures – and it’s one AMAZING story. Keep reading, but I should tell you that I only know “Howard” through this blog and haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him or Sneha – yet! Judy “I am writing to tell you once more what an absolutely wonderful job you have done with the website! I have my own little selfish reason in saying so this time around though! I am now a charter pilot and CFI in Uganda, East Africa. And you will never guess how I found this job! Or how the job found me! One of your acquaintances/friends, Howard Davenport (and his girlfriend and now my colleague, Sanae Ishitani) found me through Ladies Love Taildraggers! 🙂 This is a job I hadn’t applied for even! He just found me on the site, wrote to me saying he’d like me to fly for them, I packed my bags, left South Africa and here I am! How amazing is that?! It’s been 2 months now and I am thoroughly enjoying it! We fly out of Kajjansi Airfield which is on the shores of gorgeous Lake Victoria. LOTS of flying and it’s a beautiful country! Howard flies a Great Lakes and a Bucker (upside down mostly!) and those are the only taildraggers here. We are looking forward to the arrival of a Chipmunk in the near future. Howard has a little message for you. He said he wants me to quote him in this exact fashion. ‘Judy, thanks to your website I found a darn good pilot to fly for us here!’ A BIG thank you from me too, Judy! I got to make it to the USA soon to fly with you and the rest of the fabulous women out there! Until then, Here’s to lots of time in the big blue yonder!” Cheers! Sneha  ...

Girl’s fly-out to Marble, Colorado

Oh, I love this one Lisa! You and Wendy and Victoria flying out for a  girl’s flying/camping weekend in Colorado — all of you in your own Cubs — you’re the envy of all of us. Beautiful Cubs, wonderful adventures, great fun! Good one girls!! From Lisa Martin;  Three of us from the Ladies Love Taildraggers group met at a private airstrip near Marble, CO for a fall camping weekend. * We had people driving, hiking and flying in to say “Hi” to “the Ladies Love Taildraggers”. This group seems to be gaining quite a name for itself! * We hiked, helped a poor guy who’s cub was damaged by a ground loop, was invited to supper at a lodge with a group of vacationers that included several pilots, was investigated by a local fireman seeking information about a reported UFO sighting, sat around a campfire and watched space junk falling from a crystal clear mountain sky. * It was awesome. I’m just being silly about the “Super Girls’ Cub Club”…we are Ladies (who) Love Taildraggers! Lisa Martin  ...

From Faith D on the Blakesburg, Antique Airfield Fly-in

More from Antique Airfield and the Airpower Museum at Blakesburg, Iowa sent in by Faith D. FYI ladies, she had a great time and wants to see more LLT’s there next year. Let’s make it happen! I’m putting together a list of 2012 fly-ins all across the country that would be great destinations for us gals to meet and Blakesburg will be on the list. If you have an event in your area that we should also consider please contact me at www.ladytaildraggers.com. Judy —— Judy, Blakesburg really was fantastic; this was my first time and it surely was worth the trip. Hope you can make it next year! I had to work in Nashville the week before Blakesburg, so I was stuck arriving into DSM on Delta and driving down to IA27. However, a friend of mine flew up in his Piper Warrior, so I arranged to ride back home to Florida with him. We both arrived on Friday evening, met up with another gal pilot friend, and spent a fantastic Saturday making new friends and wiping our drool marks off of our favorite antiques. Saturday night saw a cold front passing through Iowa, bringing rain showers to frantically send the evening movie indoors, and cooling things off quite significantly. I sure was glad not to be camping that evening! – – On Sunday we had a hard decision to make: back to Blakesburg for some more fun, or try to beat tropical storm Lee before it stalled and prevented our trip back to Florida. We opted to make a beeline south as the cold front seemed to be keeping Lee at bay, but unfortunately Lee crept northward enough to leave us stuck in Little Rock for 36 hours while we waited for the storm to pass. We entertained ourselves as tourists, visiting the Peabody to watch the ducks march and finding the little rock for which the town was named. – We headed back to Florida on Tuesday afternoon with the aid of excellent tailwinds, and arrived just in time to appreciate a beautiful sunset and Florida’s first taste of fall weather. – It was a memorable experience to be sure, and I am already hatching plans to be back next year! I’ll admit I got a bit over-excited and took fewer pictures than I would have liked, but I’m attaching a bunch of photos in hopes of enticing some more gals to come!  It would be great to have a big Ladies Love Taildraggers turnout next year! -Faith  ...

Summer Martell is counting the days to departure!

You’ve heard by now we’ve got a very special guest coming to the Lady Taildraggers Fly-in next week and Susan and I are incredibly happy about it! Oh, make that THREE special guests! #1 Summer Martell – the pilot, #2 Chrissy – the co-pilot, ……. and #3 the 1931 Student Prince Bi-Plane they will be flying! OK, now let that soak in. A 1931 aircraft.  Lindbergh flew his historic transatlantic flight in 1927. It’s hard to wrap your mind around it, I know, but you must to totally appreciate what these two women from Washington state are about to do.  I’ve been following Summer Martell’s new blog and want to make sure you all have a chance to too. Summer is planning on departing her home airport in Washington state Sunday, August 7 and begin her cross country journey to Moraine Airpark in Dayton, Ohio. Here’s a recent post from Summer’s blog. When I said yes to this adventure, there was never a question of whether or not I’d take someone with me. When the front cockpit of the Student Prince is not occupied, I find it such a waste of an experience for someone as well as for myself. It’s always better when good times are shared! Because I am flying across the country to attend a fly in hosted by lady pilots for ladies who own and fly vintage, tailwheel airplanes, I also knew immediately that it would be perfectly appropriate to take another woman. A dear friend of mine, one of the most dynamic and fun loving souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing was my first choice. She and I are both pilots (we’ve actually flown business jets together!), we get along like a house on fire, and we had talked about doing a trip together in the Prince. I pitched the idea to her and she was enthusiastic but alas, carving the time to take the trip was not possible and she had to decline. Quite honestly, there were very few people who fit my ideal criteria for this trip: Female, adventurous, fun, flexible, capable, and able to take off for an unspecified amount of time. I also wanted to take someone that I share a certain kinship with. The kind of person who will not only wade headlong into some crackpot scheme with me, but when we laugh together and look at one another while tears roll down our cheeks from hilarity, we are really reveling in the experience of feeling alive in the moment and connected. It was a tall order, and fortunately for me there was one such person who fit the bill to a T. Chrissy and I have had most of our adventures while riding our horses together. We have bonded deeply through many fantastic miles covered on horseback and our common philosophies and ideas around the care and well being of our beloved animals. I enjoy and appreciate her homespun commonsense, her fantastic wit that is all her own, her sharp intelligence, and her keen sense of adventure. When I asked her if she’d like to fly across the country with me, I was tickled when she shouted, “YES!!!” while jumping up and down. If she were a dog she would have been wagging furiously. Her husband Javan kindly agreed to part with his wife for a couple of weeks. Since he has been severely afflicted with the flying bug for quite some time, I think that possibly the hardest part about letting Chrissy go was the fact that he had to stay. Happily, he will begin flying lessons this fall, and his wife will return with stories from the sky to inspire them both. I am fortunate indeed to have such wonderful souls in my life and I look forward to sharing this experience with my good friend and making memories we will never forget, nor will we want to…. Follow Summer on her blog  Summersky 2011 Follow Summer’s cross-country flight on her Live Spot link Summer’s Spot        ...

Today’s “Hagerstown Flying Circus” Visit

I got to zip over to Hagerstown, Indiana in the S7 late this afternoon for the yearly gathering of antique & vintage aircraft. Yep, I know it’s strange having a flyin on a Tuesday, but this is the 4th year they met on the Tuesday before Oshkosh for a gathering loved by the locals and held at the small town, grass strip. Led by Andrew King, the pilot from the movie “Fly Boys,” vintage & antique aircraft descended on Hagerstown in preparation for the big fly-in to Oshkosh. “The Hagerstown Airport is great,” says King, “We loved it the past three years. It’s not often we get to see such a large airport that’s also a grassy airport. Old planes like grass because that’s what they were built for.” I have to say, I got a little concerned when it departed downwind to please the crowd that was gathered on the north end of the strip. Hagerstown has about 4,000 lovely feet of grass so a downwind departure in about 8 kts normally wouldn’t be a big deal in most aircraft but this reproduction with an O-360 Lycoming still struggled to get up and around (not over) the trees! It came back around for a slow speed flyby and then headed back to Dayton before sunset. So, I’m hanging out, minding my own business at Hagerstown and surprise, up comes this happy lady asking me, “Is your name Judy?!” Holy cow, turns out to be lady taildragger pilot, Juliet Lindrooth, from Pennsylvania who flew in solo for today and the rest of the trek to Oshkosh. Now it was getting very interesting! Juliet owns and flies a very special antique airplane, a 1932 Brunner Winkle Bird BK. Sadly, she wasn’t able to bring it on this trip but I was happy to see her in her Grumman Tiger. But not to despair, she WILL be flying a taildragger for the next 2 weeks courtesy of a friend – and it’s a Champ so she’ll have a wonderful time! OK, new and old tailwheel pilots beware, I learned tonight you can mow down some nice looking Indiana corn if you’re not prepared. This Luscombe made his approach and landing a little too close to the corn on the east side of the strip and somehow ended up doing a quick ground loop through the corn. No damage though – just a lot of corn stalks hanging from the tail feathers and down the runway. Juliet and I sure enjoyed finding ourselves at a grass strip in middle of Indiana tonight, surrounded by corn and bean fields! It was kind of a fluke that I even flew over there tonight but so happy I did. Sure was great meeting you, Juliet, and look forward to catching up with you at OSH! Don’t forget ladies, we’re meeting for lunch on Tuesday, July 26 at the Hilton Terrace Restaurant past the north 40 at 11:30 for lunch – join us lady pilots – tailwheel or nosewheel! It’s also lady taildraggers day in Vintage on Wednesday, July 27,  so be there to support your taildragger pilots at 11:00!! Judy  ...

Sneha Harish-  South Africia Bush Fly-in

Sneha Harish- South Africia Bush Fly-in

Hello Judy and all you lovely ladies! 🙂 An update from South Africa after ages! Last weekend, my students, boss, friends and I were at a fly-in at All Days Ex-Military Airfield, (in the middle of the bush!) Limpopo Province, South Africa. It was the most fun I’ve had in a while! Lots of planes (over 120), aerobatics, food stalls, shopping, jumping castles, camping and even lion and tiger cubs (YES!!!) – Sadly, also heard my first ever MAYDAY call over a hand held. 🙁 4 Gyrocopters took off on day 2 for a pleasure flight in loose formation and one of them went down on a dirt road next to the airfield, exploding on impact and we lost both pilots to the fire that ensued. But still, a FANTASTIC fly-in! We used FL085 and FL075 there and back, respectively. 8 hours flying time there and back from our’s. Near perfect flying weather up north in South Africa this time of the year. Oh, I love winter! 🙂 – – – – – – That’s it from me!  Hope you all are spending lots of time up in the air! Sneha Harish Based at Komatipoort Airport (FAKP), Komatipoort, South Africa  ...

Linda & Me Play Day by Vanessa Jump Nelson

It’s such a treat to hear when girls from Ladies Love Taildraggers find each other through the blog. This is a perfect example of two taildragger gals meeting and spending what looks to be a great day flying together!! This was sent in by Vanessa Jump Nelson from Oregon. Friday, Linda Fore and I went flying in her Supercub.  We took off from Twin Oaks, flew to Lenhardt’s Airhaven (paved AND grass options) where there is a weekly Friday morning gathering of pilots for coffee & donuts. There are several lakes near it so it made a beautiful downwind photo on such a sunny day. We saw lots of friends there including my late father’s friend Bob B. with his beautiful silver biplane, which I captured in a photo. Bob K. took a photo of Linda & I with her plane.  We also dropped in on Linda Melhoff’s hangar.  She wasn’t there but her husband, who is taking some taildragger instruction at Twin Oaks, showed us their beautiful Waco project in the hangar at Lenhardt’s, and I picked up another couple of copies of Linda’s mother’s book from him. Linda’s mom was a wing walker, pilot, etc. and her book is entitled “Wind in My Face.”  (Linda Fore pointed out that it was Linda Melhoff who got us together by telling Linda Fore about your website, Ladies Love Taildraggers, and when Linda F. got on the site she saw me listed as flying at the same airport. So Linda F pointed out that it’s Linda M’s fault that we are flying buddies!) Linda Fore & I flew alongside Bob K. to a beautiful private grass strip owned by a friend of Linda’s, where they parked their Supercubs side by side and I shot a photo of the two red & white beauties. Coming back to Twin Oaks I took a fun shot of our favorite “hang” from the air.  Twin Oaks offers a pancake breakfast for $5 the first Saturday of every month and lots of taildraggers come in with hungry pilots, including lots of female pilots! Vanessa...

Coby Sena   (California)

Coby Sena (California)

Welcome to Coby Sena, another lady taildragger pilot from Reid-Hillview Airport! (KRHV) San Jose, California. I gave myself flying lessons for my 50th birthday, 5 years ago. Although I learned in tricycle gear (and own a Cessna 182), I wanted to learn tailwheel. My instructor and good friend has a Cessna 180, and I learned tailwheel in that plane. I absolutely love flying the C180 and do so every chance I get. I’m aiming to take my CFI checkride in June, so everyone – send good mental vibes my way. It’s a lot of work (and I’m not a youngster anymore) but I love sharing my passion for flying and look forward to instructing. I am also a mission pilot in Civil Air Patrol and highly encourage more women pilots in the USA to become involved in CAP. We are greatly under-represented in that organization and need to change that.  See Coby Sena’s Flight to Copalis State Beach Airport...

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