The list of LadiesLoveTaildraggers’ scholarship winners took a giant leap forward in 2019. This year we’re awarding an incredible 12 scholarships, amazingly twice as many as last year! As you know, the mission of our organization is to encourage more women to fly taildraggers and that’s exactly what we’ve focused this year’s scholarships around. We also want to encourage top-notch taildragger flying so advanced training scholarships have also been awarded. Here’s how it shakes out.
- 10 Scholarships went to well deserving lady pilots who will be earning their Tailwheel Endorsements in 2019
- 2 Scholarships went to existing lady taildragger pilots who will be receiving advanced flight training very soon
A Special Thank You
None of this would have been possible without the selfless volunteerism by several CFIs across the country and the unwavering support of individuals who donated to our 2018 GoFundMe Scholarship campaign.
Our new Approach
We changed things up this year with an entirely new approach to our scholarship program. After we announced we were looking for women CFIs willing to donate their instruction time, and if possible, their aircraft to help other woman pilots, the door cracked open. Those conversations led to women CFIs volunteering themselves and sometimes an aircraft. Although it was a little more complicated, this maximized the number of women we could support. We used our scholarship fund to cover the discounted aircraft rental, hugely discounted flight training, and travel expenses for scholarship winners as necessary. Unfortunately, due to proximity of applicants vs CFIs, and reasonably priced aircraft rental, not all CFIs could be utilized. This new system isn’t perfect, but still 100% better than last year. With a little luck and more volunteer CFIs, we can take this program even further next year.
Tailwheel Endorsement Scholarship Recipients and Their Instructors
Instructor: Dianne Wieman
Instructor Dianne Wieman donated her time and her aircraft, a 7AC Champ, to train two women pilots. Dianne is based at 1TE4, Zuehl Field, San Antonio, TX and is a CFII, ASEL with a CFIG (glider) rating and an A&P/IA.
Dianne will be instructing 2 Pilots:
Pilot Samantha Bledsoe, Charleston, SC will train with Dianne Wieman in San Antonio, TX. Samantha is 20 years old, a college student and assistant manager at Clean Juice Calhoun. “I believe that my dedication to aviation is what sets me apart from other scholarship applications. I am driven, so when I set a goal for myself I will do everything in my power to achieve it. My days start at 5:30 am, and do not end until 9 at night. These days are filled with work, classes, studying for aviation-related subjects, volunteering, and flying when I have the money.”
Pilot Anna Rusinowski, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada will train with Dianne Wieman in San Antonio, TX. Anna is 30 years old and is an Allocation Analyst at TJX Canada. “My long term goal is to become a flight instructor and I am currently working towards the completion of my CPL Ground school. I am an activist for women in aviation and hope to share my passion with others throughout my journey.”
Instructor: Laura Stants
Instructor Laura Stants donated her time and arranged for a deeply discount hourly rate in the Aeronca Champ she’ll use for instructon. Laura is based at a grass strip near Kokomo, Indiana, Glenndale, 8I3, and is a corporate pilot and CFI/CFII/MEI who gives tailwheel instruction in a variety of aircraft including the T-6.
Laura will be instructing one pilot:
Pilot Amy Hills, Avon, Indiana will train with Laura Stants, Kokomo, IN. Amy is 34 years old and currently working toward becoming a CFI/CFII. “A tailwheel endorsement will change my flying for the better. It will vastly improve my stick and rudder skills, and give me a great understanding of the history of aviation and allow me to move forward in my ultimate goal of becoming a CFI – I want to teach all manner of single engine planes, including tailwheel.”
Instructor: Christine Mortine
Instructor Christine Mortine donated her time and aircraft and will be instructing in her C140 at KOSU, Ohio State University Airport, Columbus, Ohio. Christine is a musician and former professor who is now a full time flight instructor and a MEI with a SIC Citation 500 rating.
Christine will be instructing one pilot:
Pilot Delaney Johnston, Chicago, IL will train with Christine Mortine, Columbus, OH. Delaney is 23 years old and an Environmental Planner at Ricondo & Associates, Inc. “As a young child, I was transfixed by old photos of my grandpa during his time as a pilot in World War II. I grew fascinated with flying, and by the age of 17, I was up in the air where I belong. Although my initial interest was sparked by my grandpa, it developed into a full-blown aviation obsession throughout my teens and late 20s due to feelings of liberation and pride every time I stepped into an airplane. The confidence, diligence, and sense of adventure Iâ€™ve gained from piloting an airplane has translated to many aspects of my life. Exciting cross countries out west, day trips to nearby towns, and introducing the world of aviation to my friends has solidified my passion, and I cannot wait to develop more skills in my future training.”
Instructor: Carol Walker
Instructor Carol Walker, owner of Big Q Aviation, Midlothian, TX, will be training two ladies in her 1940 J-3 Cub at Mid-Way Regional Airport, JWY, and has discounted her standard rate to make these scholarships available. Carol is a full-time flight instructor who teaches exclusively in tailwheel airplanes and gliders and flies J-3 Cubs to adrenaline-soaked Pitts S2-Bs and anything in between.
Carol will be instructing 2 pilots:
Pilot Nicole Lund, Omaha, NB will train with Carol Walker, Dallas, TX. Nicole is 20 years old and currently works three jobs to pay for her college degree and flight training; TAC Air- Customer Service Representative, Frontier Airlines- Gate/Ramp Agent, and NASA- Student Worker for Nebraska Space Grant Program. “I fell in love with aviation the first time I went to a military air show when I was five years old and knew I wanted to be a pilot. My parents told me that if I ever wanted to get my pilot’s license, I would have to pay for it myself. I began walking cornfields at thirteen years old and continued to detassel corn the following nine years. I put every penny I made into a savings account that I did not touch until I began my private pilot training as a Freshman in college.”
Pilot Emma Redfearn, Alisa Craig, Ontario, Canada will train with Carol Walker, Dallas, TX. Emma is a 21 year old college student. “As an officer in the Canadian Reserves working with the Air Cadets I work with youth between 12 and 19. Part of the mandate of Air Cadets is to provide youth with opportunities in aviation. As an officer with the cadets, I have the opportunity to act as a tow pilot for gliders which fly exclusively taildraggers. I would be able to give back to the aviation community and provide young people with the chance to fly.”
Instructor: Sarah Rovner
Instructor Sarah Rovner donated her time and her aircraft, a Supercub, to train two women pilots. Sarah is a CFI/CFII and flies for United Airlines. She is also founder & CEO of Full Throttle Aviation, a company that offers ferry pilot services and aircraft delivery.
Sarah will be instructing 2 pilots:
Pilot Katelyn Ebdon, Pasadena, TX will train with Sarah Rovner, Philadelphia, PA. Katelyn is a high school senior who will be 18 this spring. “As a H.S. senior I spent all of my savings on my private pilot certificate so that I will save a year’s worth of tuition at ERAU. I was able to obtain my PPL, complex, high performance, and began working on my tailwheel endorsement while working at Texas Aviation Academy this summer, but now that I have taken out 2 college loans my mom prefers me to pursue paying for college, and not additional endorsements. My family is unable to financially support my aviation endeavors.”
Pilot Kaitlyn Ciomperlik, College Station, TX will train with Sarah Rovner, Philadelphia, PA. Kaitlyn is 23 years old and Director of Customer Relations at Brazos Valley Flight Services. “You know that flying is a passion when the highlight of a vacation is not the actual vacation itself but the flight to and from your destination. As I earn hours towards my Commercial minimums and eventually work towards my CFI rating, I would love to continue my training in tailwheel aircraft so I can be one of very few tailwheel instructors at the flight school I am employed at.”
Instructor: Lisa Martin
Lisa will be instructing one pilot:
Pilot Stephanie Frazier, Chandler, AZ will train with Lisa Martin, Phoenix, AZ. Stephanie is 25 years old and a flight attendant. “Since my first flight in a 1943 Piper J3 Cub I have been in love with tailwheel planes. I strongly believe, as many others do, that flying tailwheel builds important stick and rudder skills, making for a better pilot. My goal is to build up my tailwheel time and skills once I get my endorsement and commercial certificate with a job flying tailwheel planes by banner towing or dropping skydivers. I plan on pursuing aerobatics once I reach my goal of becoming a commercial pilot as well.”
Instructor: Brian Lansburgh
Instructor Brian Lansburgh, CFI from Tailwheel Town, Sisters Airport, Oregon has happily agreed to return to the Ladies Love Taildraggersâ€™ scholarship program. Brian returns with both a new airplane and a new training syllabus. Training is now being done in a Piper PA12 â€œSuper Cruiser” with an 0-320 engine. Brian says the new trainer is one that Piper only built for a couple of years and which is simply a three-place Super Cub. Equipped with ADS-B, the new Super Cruiser is a great tailwheel and back country bush trainer. Brianâ€™s precision airmanship flight training methods have made him a leader in the world of tailwheel flying.
Those who win a scholarship to Brianâ€™s â€œTailwheel Townâ€ will receive a ten-hour course, rather than a six-hour course. The flying at Tailwheel Town is quite varied and students may choose to get experience in Mountain Flying, Bush Flying, One-wheel work and Spins, with attention paid to â€œGâ€ force, one wheel work and unusual attitude recovery. Attention will be paid to each applicantâ€™s comfort and no one will be expected to undergo anything but fun flying and some applicantâ€™s will even have a chance to test their accuracy in the famous Duck Box Crash!
Brian will be instructing two pilots, one Tailwheel Endorsement and one Advanced Training scholarship winner:
Pilot Kendra Hart, Phoenix, AZ will train with Brian Lansburgh, Sisters, OR. Kendra is 24 years old and a remote agent at Aira Tech Corp. “As a military spouse, my need for any additional endorsements and ratings is critical as I move around the country applying for jobs at each new station. I am also resilient and dedicated, relentless in pursuing aviation! After marrying my husband and in the middle of my commercial training, we moved to a rural area in Texas where flight training was not available but I knew it was a matter of when – not if, I would finish my commercial rating. While we were there, I found a flight school that was an hour and a half drive each way and I made the drive five days a week to do a CFI ground class and move closer to finishing my commercial training.”
Advanced Training for existing Tailwheel Pilots
a.k.a. Name Your Own Scholarship
Advanced Training Instructor: Lynn Gardner
Instructor Lynn Gardner is a professional corporate pilot, CFI/ CFII and back-country pilot with an emphasis on off-field/hostile environment emergency landings. She is also an experimental aircraft builder and has completed two Just Aircraft Highlanders and a Rans S7.
Lynn will be instructing one pilot:
Pilot Karen Ewart, Fayetteville, NC will train with Lynn Gardner, in north-central FL. Karen is a 53 year old stay at home mom with CFI and CFII ratings. “I want to review basic flight maneuvers, especially stalls and unusual attitude recovery and then move on to refining my short field and spot landing techniques.” Karen’s goal as a CFII who has not instructed in many years, is to get back into active flight instruction.
Advanced Training Instructor: Brian Lansburgh
Instructor Brian Lansburgh returns to LadiesLoveTaildraggers and will be training in a Piper PA12 â€œSuper Cruiser” with an 0-320 engine and a great tailwheel and back country bush trainer. New scholarship winners will get the chance to practice landings in a turn, Dead Stick Landings and spins, among other innovative training maneuvers. Those who win a scholarship to Brianâ€™s â€œTailwheel Townâ€ will receive a ten-hour course, rather than a six-hour course and will soon be looking down their noses at those who are graduates of what Brian refers to as â€œAcmeâ€ flying schools.
The flying at Tailwheel Town is quite varied and students may choose to get experience in Mountain Flying, Bush Flying, One-wheel work and Spins, with attention paid to â€œGâ€ force, one wheel work and unusual attitude recovery. Attention will be paid to applicantâ€™s comfort and no one will be expected to undergo anything but fun flying and some applicantâ€™s will even have a chance to test their accuracy in the famous Duck Box Crash!
Brian will be instructing:
Pilot Christie Osburn, Kotzebue, AK will train with Brian Lansburgh, Sisters, OR. Christie is a 30 year old wildlife biologist. “I live and work in northwestern Alaska where roads barely exist and access in and out of communities is limited to travel by air, boat or snow machine. Aviation is the lifeblood of these small, rural villages.Â My aviation goal is to be a pilot-biologist and my goal is within reach; however, many more hours of training and experience will be necessary to conduct research flights both safely and effectively. Many wildlife survey are flown at low airspeeds and low altitudes where safety margins are slim. Having upset recovery training would not only help prevent upset conditions in the first place but also provide for efficient reactions in situations when time and altitude are limited. Pilot-biologists are routinely flying in new terrain and variable conditions; adaptability and an intimate knowledge of the functionality of the aircraft (and oneâ€™s self) are essential for the safety of pilot and observers.”