Powell River, B.C. to Oshkosh 2010

Powell River, B.C. to Oshkosh 2010

I just received these pretty incredible pictures from Selina Smith, who I met while I was wondering around the Vintage Stinson rows at Oshkosh. Selina had flown in solo from Powell River, British Columbia in her Stinson 108 and shot some amazing pictures during her adventure. Thanks for sharing with us all, Selina! “I had a spectacular flight home from Oshkosh through the Canadian Rockies!” * * * * * * I hope you are well and looking forward to a good year. Selina Smith Powell River, B.C....

Winter Flying

Hope you’re staying nice and toasty this winter … in the pilot’s seat of your favorite taildragger! This is what Indiana looked like this weekend from the front of the Champ – at 15 degrees outside! * Judy and the Happy Champ. No problem keeping warm – got the heat wide open up front! * That’s what it’s all about this time of year. The people I know that are still out there doing it, have figured out a way to dress for it. If you’re warm, flying doesn’t get much better than the dead of winter! What a fabulous shot of a C185! * Nice shot from ’08, Diana Votaw flying toward Moab – bet she’s got the heat on! * More….Diana flying across the Continental Divide And from our European friends who know how to keep warm playing in the snow… Jodel glacier pilots impromptu Fly In Glacier du Talefre Mont Blanc 10’000 ft. Not every day you see 4 Jodels, especially sitting on a glacier! * Jodels are Snow much fun ! * Beaver on the Kahlitna Glacier * D-140 Mousquetaire Swiss Glacier Matterhorn...

Flavia Lonardi     (Italy)

Flavia Lonardi (Italy)

Welcome to Flavia Lonardi! Flavia is based at the Airport of Boscomantico (LIPN) and flies a PA-18-150 hp Super Cub. I fly my PA18-150, tail number I-GOLF. I love it very much! I got my license in 2006 and I hope to became a mountain pilot too soon… The following two pictures are of I-GOLF at the ERZBERG Fly-in 2008 (Germany). For some remarkable pictures, check out the link to more pictures from that fly-in; Erzberg Fly-in 2008 Since its always interesting to see the airports our gals fly out of, here are a couple pictures and info from the Airport of Boscomantico website. “Our airport, surrounded by the river Adige, is located north of the romantic town of Verona, where Shakespeare set the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, at the foot of the green hills of Valpolicella, famous all over the world for the quality of their wine.” “You will be welcomed with courtesy and hospitality and you will find the facilities our position offers; the airport is a few minutes from the centre of Verona and an hour of flight from the wonderful lagoon of Venice and the charming island of Elba.”...

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 *...

Fly it Forward Challenge!

Nicole I. in Longmont, CO flying with Gail Schipper Fly it Forward! is a grass roots, personal effort by Karlene Petitt to introduce more women to flying. She’s an airline pilot currently with Delta holding 6 type ratings and lives in Seattle. Karlene says, “In honor of the 100 years of licensed women aviators, I’m holding a drawing and giving a $100 bill to one “Man or Woman” who introduces a girl or woman to flying.” Earlier this year Ladies Love Taildraggers featured Mireille Goyer’s effort to introduce ‘2,010’ new girls and women to aviation through her ‘Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots’ Event. Quite a few of us participated and Gail Schipper received a Second Place award for “Most Unusual First Flights”. Karlene’s mission is to help Mireille reach her goal of 2,010 by the end of the year and there’s only a few weeks to go. PIC Rochelle in Washington State Ladies, here’s your chance to do something that really matters – and really counts! Only a few weeks left to help Karlene and Mireille meet their goals! Here’s the link to Karlene’s blog post & the link to Mireille’s site where you can find all the details ! Fly It Forward Challenge Centennial of Licensed Women Pilots Have a good time and don’t forget to register so your flight counts!...

Judy’s birthday fun!

OK, so this isn’t exactly big news, but a great birthday that involves taildraggers just has to get some face time!  I’m actually amazed any kind of flying happened at all since I’ve been on jury duty all week, meaning I was calling in every evening to see if my number “13” was called.  I slipped by Monday and Tuesday with the last number called being “12”, knowing that on Wednesday, my birthday, they would call me for sure. Do you believe they jumped to “16” and I was off the hook, leaving me with one single obstruction to a perfect birthday – WORK! Well, one quick email and I got that checked off my list and finally, a fun day awaited. Perfect day – 2 Champs, 2 happy Champ pilots! I called my good friend Susan Theodorelos, Waco owner and pilot extraordinaire,  and suggested she take a long lunch so I could meet her at Moraine Airpark for lunch. Not only did she take a long lunch, she took the entire afternoon off, borrowed a 90 hp Champ and away we went for a 2-Champ, fun flying afternoon! Susan driving the Moraine Airpark courtesy car Well, maybe it has Susan’s name on the title but sure would be nice if every airport courtesy car looked this hot! So it’s not a Waco but  I think she likes it! * Hey, it’s me –  of course I like it!! * An aviation enthusiast on left with Susan T & Emerson Stewart at Red Stewart Airfield Here’s the Happy Champ doing what it does best! So the break down; MQJ…Shelbyville…Norris Field (quick grass strip visit)… Moraine Airpark… Red Stewart Airfield… Middletown… buzz Norris Field… back to MQJ. Wow, what a great day and made it home before the sunset so no turning into a pumpkin today! So sad, too much fun, so little time! Susan, let me know next time you borrow a Champ – I’ll be right there!...

Karyn Wiemers    (New Mexico)

Karyn Wiemers (New Mexico)

Karyn Wiemers is based at Cavern City Airport (KCNM) Carlsbad, New Mexico and flies a Cessna 180 Skywagon. I am a chemical engineer and have been flying a tailwheel for about 8 years.  Originally based in Washington my early tailwheel adventures took me to the Idaho backcountry. Now based in New Mexico I am exploring south of the border. My tailwheel is my magic carpet. What else is there to say? My husband and I & close friends will be spending January in Mexico/Central America; a flight of two taildraggers. I enjoy the website and look forward to reading  more of your members’ adventures. Karyn...

Cessna 120/140 Convention 2010

“Thanks to Terri Hull for sending us the scoop on her trip to the Cessna 120/140 Convention! Had a great trip in September to Spearfish, SD (KSPF) for the International Cessna 120/140 Association Convention.  I flew my 140 out there in one day logging 10.5 flight hours and five stops.  The return was a one day trip as well at 9.3 with 4 total stops. This first photo is “Charlie” a 140A that belongs to Ken and Lorraine Morris of Poplar Grove, IL as we flew by Devil’s Tower. Devil’s Tower * My husband Bob and I at Mount Rushmore This next photo is a fellow NetJets pilot that just happened to be driving by the airport and saw a 140 landing.  He learned to fly in a 140 so he stopped in and found himself in the middle of our convention. It was the first time we had met and I took him up for a ride in my plane. Fellow NetJet pilot Brian Arndt stopped in at SPF to see what was going on so we went for a ride in my 140 These last two are just a couple of photos taking off and landing at KSPF. Climbing out of SPF giving a ride * At least I know how to read a wind sock! Highly recommend a flying visit to the airport and area  just north of the Black Hills and Rapid City. Fabulous people and hospitality. Cheers! Terri Hull...

Its Better in the Bahamas!!

If it seemed like nothing much happened on Ladies Love Taildraggers last week its because I took a quick trip to Paradise! Actually, it was Staniel Cay, Bahamas but just about as close as I’ve ever been to paradise. No taildraggers involved here, just a really fast and efficient 4-place homebuilt called an Express that was built by friends Wayne and Kathy Norris. * Boyd and I met up with Wayne & Kathy and their Express in South Carolina, tied down our Mooney 231 and loaded up the Express for the next leg to Venice, Florida. The 300 hp Express is a workhorse that will carry 4 big people, 80 gallons of fuel and 200 pounds of luggage and cruise along at 190 mph at 65%. * Here’s Kathy and Boyd taping on the required 12″ N numbers at the Venice Florida airport before we headed over. Life preservers (check), life raft (check), passports (check),  beer (check), red wine (check) – good to go! * Next stop, Andros Island Airport to clear Customs. Nice people, quick turnaround… no problems, mon. Then flew down the chain of islands to Staniel Cay. Here’s the very small island of Staniel Cay and airport. The Staniel Cay Yacht Club rents one and two bedroom bungalows right on the water and gives pilots a 20% discount. This is off season so you get a little break right now too. The bungalows aren’t fancy but so cute!! I loved that the entry door was through the bathroom – between the toilet and the sink! 🙂 Here’s Kathy walking on a slightly submerged sandbar to get a better look at several stingrays. * More incredibly beautiful scenery. * On the flight outbound we spotted this submerged DC3 that’s been there for years. * And the approaches don’t get much better than on this short, private island strip we saw heading north bound. * Sure did hate to depart “paradise” but the world was calling us back. I can’t say enough good things about our trip and highly recommend you plan a trip of your own down the chain of islands. If you’re looking for a flying adventure, sunshine, private beaches, snorkeling, boating and great seafood better start planning now!...

Herb Stachler (by Susan Theodorelos)

Sometimes things happen in life that, at first glance, start out “normal” and you then realize, how truly special they are!   We had the good fortune, through friends, to meet “Lil Herbie” — or Herb Stachler who, at 92 years old, looks and acts more like someone in his 70’s!  We met at our hangar as Sunday was the day we would take Herbie for rides in the Wacos.  We planned to take him for a ride in Andy’s cabin as it is much easier to get in and out. We spent probably an hour before listening to stories Herbie was telling us that are nothing short of remarkable. Herbie flew P47’s in the 366th Fighter Group.  He spoke very fondly of the P47 — despite its penchant for guzzling fuel (100 gals per hour in normal cruise) with only 400 gallons on board.  He spoke of how their limited fuel range allowed them to escort the “heavies” (B17’s) out over the English Channel and in to France before having to turn back.  It was chilling to hear him tell how they would radio the pilots in the B17’s that they were starting to get low on fuel and needed to turn back.  The B17 pilots would always ask — “Stay just a little longer please?” as everyone saw the swarm of German fighter planes waiting up at higher altitude a little further along.  But eventually, Herbie and his squadron mates could wait no longer, low on fuel they had to turn back.  He said you could hear the radios light up with the B17’s chattering about the German Fighters beginning their runs.  There was a chill in his voice and a few cracks as he told this story.  “There were so many losses; those boys really took a beating.”  Herbie soon turned the conversation to a bit more light-hearted topics about the P47. He told of a time when he was flying recon and relaying messages over the English Channel and was up at about 30K feet when he thought, “Let’s see how fast I can get this thing going…”  He did a split S and nosed over the P47 and reached over 600 mph!  He said fought like hell to pull it out of the dive, with a mental note not to do that again.   His squadron was flying cover over the beach at D-Day +5 and he was “Tail End Charlie”.  “I was flying along at the back and looking in amazement at all the ships in the Channel, when I heard this ‘clink, clink, CLINK!”  Sure enough — just about the time he heard the squadron leader say, “Break away – you’ve got a ‘Gerry’ on your tail!”, he said the cockpit was filled with bits of shrapnel from a 20mm shell that had burst into the cockpit.  Covered in fluid, Herbie said, “I knew I wasn’t hit because I didn’t hurt, but I was sitting on top of the fuel tank and I reached down got some on my fingers to smell to make sure it wasn’t gas!”  Luckily, (maybe) it was hydraulic fluid.  He had just heard that the allies had captured an airfield and he headed that direction, unsure whether they “really” had captured the field or if it could even be used. Heck, he wasn’t even sure he was landing at the correct field, but without flaps or brakes, and a shot up plane he needed to land somewhere, now!  He managed to get her down and stopped before running off the end of the runway.  The maintenance crews quickly replaced the engine on his ship, and Herbie took her up to do “slow time” as he called it when at about 10K feet, the engine quit.  “It finally started running again after about losing 5000ft and I landed.  They didn’t have time to trouble shoot so they just yanked that engine off and put another one on!”  Herbie told meeting some of the Glider pilots that managed to survive the invasion.  “They told me they were never getting in another airplane without an engine!”  Herbie gave rides to the guys in his ship – but putting them in the seat and sitting on top of them! But time came for him to get back to the action so he took off from that little air strip and headed back to his squadron.   Although not completely verified, he said, “Story is I was the first Allied Plane to land in France and fly back out after the invasion began.” We could have sat and listened to Herbie’s stories for hours, but the primary objective of our mission was to give him a ride in the Wacos.  Herbie did not fly after the war.  He said he flew a little bit when people gave him rides, but, like a lot of WWII veterans, he got busy with working and raising his family (10 children!)  So a ride in the Waco was a big excitement for him. He had no trouble at all getting up on the wing of the Cabin and he and Andy took off with me in the RNF on their tail.  We joined up and flew a formation pass down the runway for Herbie.  Andy said he was laughing and enjoying the ride immensely.  Andy took him over UD’s Welcome Stadium.  Herbie had been there the night before as a friend of his just turned 90 and they honored his friend at the football game as a former alum.  They flew over Carillon Park and then back to the airport.  I had landed before Andy and kept the RNF running juuuust in case Herbie wanted to go for a ride. He had spoken so fondly of his Stearman training in Primary Flight school at the start of the war I wanted to give him every opportunity to go for a ride. Andy asked him before he even got out of the Cabin, “You want to go for a ride in the RNF?”  To which Herbie responded, “Heck yes!”  Andy and our friend Mike went off to see if they could find a box for Herbie to stand on to help him on the wing, but they looked over and Herbie was already about to climb on the wing — so they rushed back over to help him in but he was halfway up the wing and surely didn’t need any help from us!  We got him buckled in and despite the chill in the air and the wind sitting behind the spinning prop — he was ready to go! We taxied out and I did my pre-flight checks and said, “Are you ready Herbie?”  And he came back over the intercom — “Oh YES!  Let’s go!” I pushed the throttle forward and the Warner kicked to life and we were off in about 200 feet.  We came back around and made a pass down the runway and Herbie was waving at everyone on the ground.  After we pulled back up to altitude, I just sat and listened to Herbie “oooh and ahhh” and watched him take pictures as we flew over the surrounding area.  I could have stayed up there all day with him, but I’ve been up front in my plane on a cool day and I didn’t want him to get chilled to the bone.  So we came back around and set up for landing…. the wind was rather squirrely — but I slipped the plane in and thankfully pulled off a smooth landing.  As we taxied back, Herbie said, “Oh I can’t thank you enough for this!  I haven’t been up in an open cockpit biplane since my primary training in 1943!”  I had tears in my eyes as I told him, “Herbie, it was my honor and such a privilege to take you for a ride and you can be my co-pilot anytime!”  As I pulled up to the hangar and shut the engine down, Andy asked him, “So how’d she do?” Herbie replied, “She did a great job!” Andy asked him if I was ready for a P47 and we all laughed when he said, “In time!” Needless to say — it was also Herbie’s first time riding with a female pilot!  I’m sooo lucky!! Getting in the front cockpit of the RNF can be awkward — getting out even more so — but Herbie with his short stature (he had to stand on his tiptoes to make the height requirements to fly!) and being so nimble — he had no troubles at all getting out of the RNF.  As soon as I got out, he came up and gave me a big hug saying again how much he loved being out in the air again in an airplane.  We took lots of pictures and in front of the planes and the hangar for him to share with his buddies.  Needless to say, this is a flight I will never forget.  We invited Herbie to come back on Tuesday night (Airport night!) to meet more of our friends and tell more stories! Herbie arrived about 6 pm and our usual Airport Night group of 17 people were there waiting to meet Herb Stachler!  Just about the time Herbie arrived, brother Pete Heins arrived with the CRG!  Herb was really amazed by that Waco!   It was to be a special night because Herbie brought his dress uniform, leather flying jacket, helmet, goggles and gloves for us all to see!  Herbie graciously answered all our questions about flying the P47 and the exciting (heck, downright scary) things he experienced.  He recounted stories about the Battle of the Bulge and the German Tiger tanks which were darn near impossible to stop.   Herbie’s flight jacket was amazing.  One of the guys in his squadron painted his P47 on the back and he had the markings for all the fighter sweeps, and bomb runs he had made along with markings for the tanks, trucks, and planes he had taken out.  There was even what looked like a barn!  Herbie told us how he and another pilot had been sent in on a mission to destroy an ammo depot.  “I guess we did a pretty good job because we got the Distinguished Flying Cross for that mission!”  Everyone around the table was slack-jawed in amazement.  Herbie then reached inside his leather jacket and pulled out an envelope containing about four or five passport photos.  “We carried these in case we were shot down and were lucky enough to picked up by the Underground, then they could make passports for us to help get us out of enemy territory.”  He also had a little tin containing some of the shrapnel from that 20mm shell that invaded his cockpit and his little button compass that pilots would sew on their coats.   Another amazing award Herbie had decorating his dress uniform is the Croix de guerre which may either be bestowed as a unit award or to individuals who distinguish themselves by acts of heroism involving combat with enemy forces. For the unit decoration of the Croix de guerre, a fourragère or aiguillette is awarded which is suspended from the shoulder of an individual’s uniform.  Herbie’s unit was presented this award by the Belgians for their acts during the Battle of the Bulge.  It was truly breath-taking to be sitting there listening and seeing all this history.  Thankfully, our friends John and Linda LeBarre had set up their video camera and about an hour and a half of the conversation is recorded. Our friend Brad had been busily cooking up a fabulous grilled dinner and we all sat down and enjoyed a great meal with all the Wacos as a backdrop.  Herbie has said he will come back to visit and fly with us again.  How lucky are we? I may have confused some of the facts about his stories — but if you want to read more about Herbie — here is a link:http://pages.prodigy.net/rebeljack/Herbie-and-others.html...

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