Madeline Norcross      (Missouri)

Madeline Norcross (Missouri)

Madeline Norcross is based at KSTJ, Rosecrans Memorial Airport, St Joseph, Missouri and was introduced to me by her dad in the following email; Dear LLT, My 15 year old daughter is in the beginning stages of getting her license.  She is CRAZY about Wacos!  She has taken a few lessons in everything from a Piper Tomahawk to a Pitts.  I think she would like to get involved in an organization like yours.  I would like to surprise her with your lunch at Oshkosh on the 29th.  Would it be appropriate and acceptable by LLT to bring her by. Please let me know. Many Thanks ! Tracy Norcross St. Joseph, MO   Turns out that Madeline is a pretty smart girl and found out her dad was setting her up for lunch with the lady taildraggers at Oshkosh. I hear she’s pretty excited and will be meeting us for lunch that Friday. I love your “goal”  Madeline and believe you can make it happen. Can’t wait to meet you at Oshkosh! Here’s the info Madeline provided when she registered on LadiesLoveTaildraggers. Hello! My name is Madeline Norcross. I am 15 years old, and love everything about aviation! I have trained in a Pitts and a Decathlon, and have taken rides in an T-6, BT-13, PT-19, and a RV-8.  I have one love and that is bi-wing airplanes.  There is something about them that I LOVE! They’re old, graceful, and original. My absolute favorite is a Waco. I prefer the old classic Wacos over the redone ones.  I saw my first one at my first airshow. There was a wing walking act that made me want to be just like them. Ever since, I have been an airshow junky and an airport bum. Over the summer I have been working at my local airport just to be around more airplanes. My goal is to solo by 16 and have my license by 17, and an FAA approved fly by at my senior year homecoming following the national anthem. Madeline Norcross Missouri...

Jacquie Warda     (California)

Jacquie Warda (California)

Jacquie Warda is based at Danville, California and flies an Extra 300. When most people turn 50, they figure it’s time to relax and settle into neutral while coasting toward retirement. Not Jacquie Warda! When she turned 50, she launched her solo aerobatic career with her one-of-a-kind Pitts Special biplane. Why not? “The sky never runs out of up!” she says. During the centennial celebration of powered flight in 2003, Jacquie finally quit the humdrum of a white collar profession and realized her dream as an air show performer, becoming the first female pilot to enter this business at the age of 50. Jacquie traces her love of flying her to her earliest days, when, as a newborn, her first outing was to the Los Angeles County Airport Air Show. Her father’s interest in airplanes and flying inspired Jacquie to want to ride the wind. Jacquie spent many years dreaming of flying but was unable to do much about it until years later after working and saving her money. By the time she was 32 years old, she decided she had waited long enough. She enrolled in ground school and the rest is history, as they say. She earned her Private Pilot certificate in 1986 and shortly thereafter was introduced to the world of aerobatics. A friend offered her a ride in a Pitts Special and she jumped at the chance to do a different kind of flying. With that first flight of loops, rolls, spins and a few other very scary maneuvers, she was instantly hooked on aerobatics. “I was so bored with the time between take-offs and landings, I just knew there had to be something to do in between”. Once she discovered aerobatics, there was no question in her mind she was destined to learn a new kind of flying. It took a few years longer to save enough money to take aerobatic lessons, but save she did and finally took her first “formal” aerobatic lesson in July 1997. She entered the International Aerobatic Club sanctioned competition in August 2000 and rapidly progressed to the Advanced category. Aerobatics is Jacquie’s passion, but her love of flying does not stop there. Jacquie competed in the 2001 Reno Air Races in the biplane class, finishing with an impressive sixth place in the Bronze class. The following year, she advanced to the Silver class and again finished sixth. Jacquie continued to race at Reno in 2003 and 2004, finishing in the middle of the Silver class. Jacquie has flown a variety of aircraft, including Cessnas, Stearmans, AT-6, T-28, Beechcraft Duke, Dutchess, King Air, Baron & Bonanza, Aeronca Champ, Citabria, Decathlon, Lancair, Sukhoi, Aircoupe, Baby Ace, Beaver on floats, C-172 on floats, Supercub on floats, Yak 52, Nanching CJ-6, Piper Arrow, Yak 52 and Extra 300L. She holds a Commercial certificate in land-based aircraft as well as a seaplane rating and holds an unrestricted, Level 1 ACE card. But no aircraft compares to her new Extra EA-300 monoplane. Jacquie has made the switch from a biplane of many years to something new. Her Extra is faster, more capable of gyroscopic maneuvers and has two seats! She can now give rides and share her love and passion of flying with others across the country. One year ago, Jacquie was flying her beloved Pitts S1T home from an airshow in Idaho and suffered a catastrophic engine failure at 1600′ agl. Read the harrowing account of her “blind” decent and landing in the high desert; Jacquie Warda Survives Blind Crash...

Cathy Page    (Arizona)

Cathy Page (Arizona)

Cathy Page is based at Ryan Field Airport, (KRYN) Tucson, Arizona and flies an RV6. I found out about your site from my friend Summer Martell who flew her Student Prince out to Ohio from West Washington last summer for the LLT fly in. Looking forward to meeting some as time goes on. I may even be able to piece together coming out to the fly-in coming up next month, if the stars align. Maybe even find a willing passenger to share the adventure. – Thank you,  Cathy Page RV6 in Tucson (KRYN)  ...

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...

Lorrie Penner’s winter update!

Lorrie Penner sent in this update on her winter flying fun! Lorrie flies out of Red Stewart Airfield, Waynesville, Ohio. Lorrie flying “snow tows” in the Pawnee “Well, its that time of year… snow…  But we’ve been fortunate enough that it doesn’t stop us from flying!  Had my first experience taking off and landing on a snowy grass field in the Pawnee.  What a great weekend! Perfect time to practice soft field landing technique.” Tow time “Snow was only 2-3inches deep and light & fluffy.  Our club at Caesar Creek got in 17 glider flights this day and I got to give 4 of them a tow!” Champ flying with hubby, Gordon. “A couple of days later, flew around in the Champ with my honey Gordon. He wanted to do some practice landings from the backseat in preparation for his new Pitts which he flew home the day after his birthday – happy birthday present to himself!” 🙂 This ground shot is from around Waynesville looking west toward Middletown, Ohio * The runway is Dayton Wright Brothers Congratulations, Gordon! Hard to beat a birthday like this one!! (Judy) Birthdays don’t get any better than this!!...

Carri Hoagland    (Wisconsin)

Carri Hoagland (Wisconsin)

Carrie Eve Hoagland is based at Bayfield County Airport (Y77), Iron River, Wisconsin. I have owned the Tcraft since 1979 and I bought the Pitts last summer. The Pitts belonged to my daughter at one time and we raced it to a 4th Place at Reno in ’06. Unfortunately she was killed in ’08 racing a Cassut so I will fly it in honor of her. I have also enclosed a picture of my 18 month old granddaughter, named after her aunt, sitting in her Mom’s (my daughter) lap and flying the Tcraft. I am addicted to real planes with the little wheel in the correct place. Thanks so much. See you at Osh. Peace, Carri Hoagland...

Pilot Update; Freya Shiller

Freya Shiller from Texas writes; Landing at 81D “I’m in Peru for work and there are paragliders going by my window.  Nice weather here but a cold snap in Texas. I sent a picture of the 81D All Stars; my S2B, a friend’s S2A and Bruce Bohannon’s Legend Cub.” Freya’s red S2B  and friends’ S2A & Legend Cub “I don’t know if you have a link on your blog but if anyone is looking for a “tailwheel experience” Bruce Bohannon (of Fly’n Tiger fame) is offering gift certificates for the holidays at his flight school.  $99 for a Legend Cub ride/intro lesson and $199 for an acro thrill ride in a Pitts.” Bruce Bohannon & his highly modified RV-4 * Bruce’s Legend Cub “Nice time to fly in south Texas!” Freya Shiller Link to Freya Shiller’s April 2010 Pilot Profile Bruce can be reached at flyalegend@gmail.com or 832-621-5004....

Jessy Panzer     (California)

Jessy Panzer (California)

Jessy Panzer flies a Pitts S1 out of Reid-Hillview Airport (KRHV) Santa Clara County, San Jose, California. I’m a corporate pilot out of San Jose, CA flying a King Air-350 and Gulfstream G2b.  I own a Pitts Special S1 model, and I fly taildraggers because they are the most fun type of airplanes around! 🙂  Plus, they just look good too! 😉 * * This cute little note was sent in by Jan Johnson, also based at San Jose Airport. “I love the blog update  featuring Jessy Panzer. I saw her perform this weekend at Watsonville Air Show and Fly-In. What a great gal and awesome pilot. The tail number on her Pitts is 616LY. The sixes are painted to look like Gs, so it reads GIGLY. I could hear Jessy giggling all weekend from her hangar. Such a fun girl!”...

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! *...

Karen Greenfield     (Maryland)

Karen Greenfield (Maryland)

Karen Greenfield flies a Pitts Special from Annapolis, Maryland. Portions of an article in the Baltimore Sun by reporter Jonathan Pitts June 14, 2009 “Sometimes, people would say things like, ‘Why are you here? Why aren’t you home with your family?’ ” she says, sounding less bitter than intrigued. “It did make you kind of angry for a while. But you learn to let it roll off you. The best thing is to show you know what you’re doing. Then it’s just not an issue. I suppose I did that.” She retired a year and a half ago after a 31-year career. One day in 1984, a workplace colleague told Greenfield he was a flight instructor. She’d always thought she might like flying, and when he told Greenfield he could take her up that afternoon, out of Dulles International Airport, she jumped at the chance. She loved the feeling of soaring, of controlling the small plane, of being able to see as far afield as Sugarloaf Mountain to the west, so much she went up twice more that week and did the same for the better part of a year. She got her license  in a mere four months. “That’s unusual,” says Finigan. “It shows a real passion for this.” As she developed her new interest, Greenfield says it never seemed to bother anybody that she was usually the only female at the airfield or at the four contests she usually enters each year. It certainly never bothered her. “She can be a woman on her own time,” says Finigan with a hearty laugh. “Around here, she’s just one of the guys.” Greenfield says she’d gladly take you up in her latest airplane – a $50,000, fire engine-red Pitts Special biplane with “Karen” on the side – but can’t, as it’s a mere one-seater. But as Pipers, Cessnas and Pitts Specials chug up and down a Lee Airport runway, taking off for flights across the Chesapeake Bay, she and fellow pilots Finigan and Wes Jones, 50, of Annapolis, offer a verbal tour of their avocation. Aerobatics “means we’re not going to fly a straight line,” Finegan jokes. More specifically, aerobatic pilots fly different maneuvers such as loops (circles created in vertical space), rolls (rotations of the plane on its axis) and “hammerheads” (flying straight up, turning sharply, and flying straight down again). At contests, pilots carry out an assigned sequence of such maneuvers, and judges on the ground, eyeballing the figures, assess points to each just as figure-skating judges do for lutzes or triple axels. Four or more times a year, the pilots fly their planes to contest sites where they must carry out their routines within a specified “box” that measures 3,300 feet by 3,300 feet. (They may fly no lower than 1,500 feet.) Judges award points, with 10 the highest score per figure. Last month, Greenfield placed second in the Carolina Boogie, percentage points behind Jones in the “sportsman” category. “It was a razor-thin margin,” says Jones, who flies a factory-built two-seat Pitts Special he says cost him about $230,000 – and which, unlike Greenfield’s, allows the pilot to rotate the propeller to alter the “bite” taken out of the air. Greenfield says it was the pure love of flying maneuvers that drew her from generic piloting to aerobatics in the mid-1990s. Working largely with Finigan, a retired Navy admiral, she commuted to Lee at least twice a week and, sitting in the forward cockpit of his two-seater, boned up on the basics. None strikes her as harder to execute than the others, though the violent, downward g-force of loops nauseated her at first. Today, she especially enjoys hammerheads. “There’s something fun about flying straight down,” Greenfield says....