Emily Carpenter     (Ohio)

Emily Carpenter (Ohio)

Emily Carpenter is based at 57D, Ray Community Airport, Ray, Michigan. My name is Emily Carpenter, a.k.a. Miss Maverick. I am a student pilot and I am training in a Pitts S2B in my pink heels (so I can reach the rudders). I started flying because I was, and still am, terrified of flying commercially. I love flying because even though it frightens me, the fear has been my driving force. I was absolutely petrified of stalls in a Diamond DA-20 so I Googled places to do spin training and found an airport 2 hours away with a great instructor, Berz Flight Training.  I made that long trek, all the while sweating profusely, thinking about spins, but I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. I arrived and met my instructor. We were going to do spin training in a Citabria. We went up and just did a stall. It was the worst feeling. My instructor then proceeded to explain a spin. We went into a stall and barely went into a spin entry. My hands went flying and I screamed. My instructor could not stop laughing so we landed. I wanted a break before going up again. My instructor had another student come for their spin training in the Pitts. I was going to calm down while they flew then try again. Upon his arrival my instructor realized with full fuel in the Pitts they would be over weight and asked if I wanted to burn off some fuel in the Pitts. I thought ‘absolutely not happening’. It did though! We began putting the parachutes on and I’m thinking, this is not right. Not to be dramatic but I honestly thought I was a goner. We took off and I would not do anything aside from straight and level flight. Upon major encouragement, my instructor convinced me to let him do an aileron roll. I remember grabbing anything and everything in sight holding on for dear life and yelling “I’m going to throw up” repeatedly. LOL. I just wanted him to stop. After the maneuver I realized it wasn’t that bad and I asked him to do it again and again. I was hooked. It was very difficult in the beginning since I could not reach the rudders. My instructor and I brainstormed and I figured high heels. It’s such a challenge, not only learning to fly, but flying a tailwheel, high performance aircraft in heels – very difficult. Now I am training to compete. I have a Facebook fan page called Miss Maverick so people can see what it’s like to start flying from the bottom and work up. I want to share my experience and the hardships along with the laughs, in hopes of inspiring people to use their fear as a driving force. Emily Carpenter...

Carol Walker     (Texas)

Carol Walker (Texas)

Carol Walker is based at KJWY, Mid-Way Regional Airport, Midlothian/Waxahachie, Texas. Twenty six years ago I learned how to fly in tailwheel aircraft (Citabria and Champ) in Kutztown, PA. Ever since then I have made my living as a flight instructor and I presently own a school south of Dallas, TX where we teach exclusively in tailwheel airplanes and gliders. My husband Pete and I have a stable of aircraft, each with their own unique charm. This allows us to fly anything from a charming, slow J-3 Cub to an adrenaline-soaked Pitts S2-B and anything in between. Our primary students are taught to fly in a 150 hp Citabria. The students who desire aerobatic training begin in our Great Lakes biplane and then move on to the Pitts. And for those pilots who want to take in the world at a slower pace there is always the Cub! Ten years ago my husband Pete and I were married aloft in a beautiful DC-3. Pete loves taildraggers too! Carol Walker Owner Big Q Aviation I own this with my husband Pete. We teach people to fly taildraggers, to fly gliders, to fly biplanes and to do aerobatics. We tow advertising banners around the cities....

Kate Kyer     (Texas)

Kate Kyer (Texas)

Kate Kyer is based at 4TX3 Forest Hill Airport, Petty, Texas. My husband and I live on our little farm with a runway in North Texas. We have a rule that any airplane living here must have a tailwheel. I’ve been a taildragger pilot for most of my aviation days. Lots of BE-18 time, flying newspapers back in the 80s, towing gliders in a Citabria, etc. We’ve owned a Pitts S-2B for 16 years.  I’ve used it for competition and airshows. We also have a Cessna 180 & Call Air A-2 at the farm. Both of us fly for the airlines. Kate Kyer Texas  ...

Anne Wright    (Pilot update from Michigan)

Anne Wright (Pilot update from Michigan)

Anne Wright is based at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB), Michigan. On Sept. 10, I took an aerobatic flight in a Pitts S2B, with instructor Don Weaver. I was so nervous I almost cancelled, but once I got the parachute on I was ready to go. My only other experience with aerobatics was in a glider with world champion Lukas von Atzigan last summer at the Women’s Soaring Pilots’ Association (WSPA) annual seminar at Chilhowee Gliderport (owned and operated by LLT member Sarah Kelly Arnold). That flight was so gentle and smooth, I thoroughly enjoyed it. A Pitts has an engine, though, 265 hp, and I expected a bit more stomach-wrenching in the air. Don kept it to “baby aerobatics” for me, so we did steep turns to get me used to the airplane, then some stalls (of course), barrel rolls, and at my request, the difference between stalling in a slip and stalling in a skid. That last one showed me how pilots get in trouble when they overshoot the runway and try to rudder back while slowing down for approach to landing. Yes, a real eye-opener! Then a spin and recovery, and back home. I recommend that everyone do aerobatics at least once, even if it’s only “baby aerobatics.” Would I do it again? Absolutely! Anne Wright  ...

Freya Shiller: 8 Random things I love about my taildragger

Freya Shiller is based in Texas and flies a shiny, red, 1988 Pitts S2B. Check out Freya’s cool pictures and 8 Random things she loves about her taildragger. #1 My taildragger is a biplane! #2 My tail dragger really enjoys “going for a spin”. #3 I have to use a rubber hose to fill it with gas, a step stool to check the oil and several coushins to reach the rudders all of which are a pain in my Butt but worth it for the experience. #4 I have no idea how to operate the Nav “thing” and since I only can only carry an hour or so of fuel it’s difficult to go far enough to get lost. #5 I have a unique security system.  ( the dog) #6 It took me two years to convince the previous owner to sell me N6034U. #7 The gentleman who allowed me stewardship of my tail dragger flew it to celebrate his 80th birthday. #8 My childeren’s names are on either side of the passenger seat. *...

Judy Phelps     (California)

Judy Phelps (California)

Judy Phelps is based at KSZP, Santa Paula Airport, Santa Paula, California. I am the co-owner of CP Aviation, a flight school located in Santa Paula California. I am a CFII and specialize in Tailwheel and Emergency Maneuver Training. My career in aviation began while working at the local airport restaurant where I met my husband Clay Phelps who owned the flight school next door. This was the beginning of an amazing journey and a life changing experience. – In 1999 I earned my Private Pilot Certificate and in 2003 I became a Flight Instructor. I own a variety of taildraggers starting with my favorite a Pitts S2B. In August of 2011 I flew my first airshow, something I thought I would never do. I also fly Decathlon’s, Citabria’s and a Cessna 180. – – It’s official, I am now a part of Ladies Love Taildraggers! Judy Phelps, Master CFI-A, CFII Vice President CP Aviation, Inc www.cpaviation.com “2011 National CFI of the Year”  ...

S2-B: Freya Shiller

Jill “Raggz” Long     (Pennsylvania)

Jill “Raggz” Long (Pennsylvania)

Jill “Raggz” Long was born in Michigan and raised in Oregon and has called many places home; Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan; Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; the United Kingdom; South Korea; Tucson, Arizona; Columbia, SC, Wichita Falls, Texas, and Italy… she, husband Chuck, and faithful dog Jackson, recently returned from active duty in Vilseck, Germany.  Hi there, I’m an active duty Lt Col currently stationed in Germany and am the commander of the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron. I learned to fly in an old, beat up, BEAUTIFUL Talyorcraft when I was 15 and have been soaring ever since! My husband Chuck and I started flying airshows in a Pitts S2B about 5-years ago…I fly, he does all the hard work, like smoke oil , fuel, keeping me on track 😉 We call our airshow business “Ragged Edge Aviation” and our mission is to inspire others to Dream Big! This year, because of our work in airshows and with Women Soar of EAA which takes place during Airventure, I received the NOAA Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Mentorship Award…an absolute honor! Judy, Thanks for putting together a great website that will surely help create more “real pilots” (said jokingly).  Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you promote it. Raggz...

Chelsea Engberg  (California)

Chelsea Engberg (California)

Chelsea Engberg is based at Mesa Del Rey Airport, (KKIC) King City, California. I’m a CFI and MEI focusing on aerobatics now. I typically fly an Extra 300L and sometimes a Pitts S2C and S2B. I also have opportunity to fly a J3 Cub and am in the process of selling a Cubcrafters Sport Cub for my company. I think taildraggers are the best aircraft out there and am absolutely enthralled with aerobatics. I decided about 4 years ago that I wanted to dedicate my life to aerobatics and am working towards my goals of becoming a full-time aerobatic instructor and airshow pilot. I spend almost every waking moment at airports and every dime goes towards training…what can I say…I’m in love! My job includes flight instruction & managing of a flight school, ferrying an airshow team’s ride Extra 300L around the country along with lots of other odds and ends! I love meeting people who love flying and introducing those who haven’t gotten the bug yet to our wonderful world! *...

Freya Shiller  (Texas)

Freya Shiller (Texas)

Freya Shiller  is based at KLBX, Brazoria County Airport, Angleton/Lake Jackson, Texas. I learned to fly in a 1947 C140.  I was lucky enough to think everyone flew one.  My first and only instructing job was in tailwheels. I came up thru the ranks as a CFI, ferry pilot and commuter pilot to find myself flying 757 and 767.  I tell people that pays for my AVGAS.  Currently I own a M20E and a Pitts S2B....