I am thrilled to announce this year’s LadiesLoveTaildraggers’ Scholarship winners!
SIX taildraggers scholarships, all made possible by your generous donations.
Thank you from me, and thank you from these very happy ladies!
Scholarship #1: Tailwheel Endorsement by Carol Walker of Big Q Aviation, Dallas, Texas
Winner:Â Ellen Robbins fromÂ Ferndale, Washington
Present Employment: College Student, Part-time Nurses Assistant
- Commercial, Instrument Rated Pilot
- My goal is to use aviation overseas, supporting small, isolated communities via missionary aviation. The tailwheel endorsement will help me to be a better pilot all around, as well as a better instructor and a better missionary pilot eventually!
- Instructing is a big part of my aviation plan, using it both here in the US, and then overseas to train up a generation of indigenous pilots in places like Kenya (my target country). I also hope to do some instruction in Alaska where I have connections with multiple training facilities. Tailwheel instruction is a big part of their training programs. Not only is tailwheel flying a blast, but I’m really excited to use it to improve my overall flying skills.
Scholarship #2: Tailwheel Endorsement Training with Debby Rihn-Harvey, Texas
Winner:Â Summer Papple fromÂ Seaforth, Ontario, Canada
Present Employment:Â I am self-employed in our farming operation. My husband and I grow corn and soybeans, with cover crop rotation, and we dry our crops using our home-built wood-fired furnace. I am also self-employed in our new business, Papple Aviation, offering scenic flights, air taxi, crop scouting, and other similar services. I fill all roles in the business except Chief Pilot, which I will take over by this spring when I reach the required 500 hours.Â My husband and I are both self-employed farmers; with all the aviation training Iâ€™ve done in the past few years along with the expense of starting my own aviation business, and the related aircraft maintenance expenses to bring our 172K up to required commercial standards, our finances are stretched very thin.
- Commercial, Instrument Rated Pilot
- Iâ€™m always looking for opportunities to sharpen and improve my pilot skills and learning to fly tailwheel aircraft will be a great way to further fine-tune my skills while also opening possibilities in both my professional and personal flying. Having a tailwheel endorsement will make me a more versatile pilot and as I gain experience flying tailwheels there may be opportunities to expand my business to include tailwheel aircraft. I have aviation contacts in the spraying, cover crop seeding, and tree-seeding fields, all of which use tailwheel aircraft.Â With tailwheel experience I could add a tailwheel aircraft to my business.
- There are tailwheel clubs within 100nm where I could gain further flying experience. Iâ€™ve joined the Fleet Canuck Flying Club, started through a neighbouring 99s chapter, and I had an introductory flight last spring. With a tailwheel endorsement and more experience in the Fleet Canuck I would be able to become a check pilot and introduce other women to the experience of flying taildraggers. One of my future plans is to learn to fly gliders, as I feel this would be a real asset to my skills as a powered aircraft pilot. The tow planes at nearby gliding clubs are taildraggers and with a tailwheel endorsement and additional experience I could also be involved in a glider club by flying the tow planes.
Scholarship #3: Spin Training by Catherine CavagnaroÂ ofÂ Ace Aerobatic SchoolÂ Tennessee
Winner:Â Kimberly Kanapeckas,Â Charleston, South Carolina
Present Employment: Assistant Scientist for SC Department of Natural Resources
- Private Pilot
- My studies in Africa required fixed-wing aircraft to access field sites and immobilize wildlife. Witnessing the pilotsâ€™ skills in these situationsâ€”identifying species, maneuvering in difficult areas and conditions, reading a herdâ€™s behavior to position the aircraft properlyâ€”inspired and continues to motivate me along my career path as a pilot-biologist. Sound decision-making, safety, precision, and adaptability characterize the best wildlife survey pilots, and I see this frequently when I am a biologist on aerial surveys.
- Commonly I perform outreach as a biologist for aerial surveys. These surveys are typically flown below 400 feet with the stall horn constantly going off, so knowing how to instinctively recover from spins is invaluable to me when I shift roles to pilot (single pilot resource management). As a private pilot endorsed to fly tailwheel with over 180 hours total time (70+ hours tailwheel) and learning basic aerobatics and emergency maneuvers, my short-term goal is to achieve proficiency in advanced aerobatic techniques and spin training as I concurrently earn my commercial certificate to build the experience Iâ€™ll need as an eventual aerobatic and tailwheel flight instructor. My longer-term goal is to lead airborne research programs and teach tailwheel and aerobatics as an instructor. These funds will also help me learn techniques to teach spin endorsements as an instructor (long-term career benefit).
Scholarship #4: Emergency ManeuverÂ Training by Jeanne McPherson, Montana
Winner:Â Â Shalyn ApplegateÂ from Scottsdale, Arizona
Present Employment:Â Flight Instructor
- Commercial, Instrument Rated Pilot,Â CFI, CFII, MEI
- My family. Iâ€™m a third generation pilot. I literally grew up on an airport. My earliest memories are in my fatherâ€™s hangar, as he was polishing. However, when I was 17 years old, I met an incredible woman, Molly Littlefield. Molly is a captain for United Airlines, and watching her showed me that girls can do it too, and I began to pursue commercial aviation.
- As a flight instructor, I try to teach my students every skill they need to handle any situation they might encounter. This training would allow me to become better educated in Emergency Manuevers, and allow me to pass that knowledge onto my students. Being able to pass that knowledge down to my students and hopefully make them safer, would mean the world to me.
- Iâ€™m sure the other women who are applying for this scholarship are amazing, but that being said, this scholarship and the training wouldnâ€™t just help me out, it would help my students out.
Scholarship #5: Mountain Flying Course with Jennifer Watson, San Jose, California
Winner:Â Melissa (Missy) Martin fromÂ Polaris, Montana
Current Employment:Â Montana Air National Guard
- Â Instrument & Commercial Single & Multi Engine Land
- I recently completed C-130 training in Little Rock, Arkansas for the Montana Air National Guard. I am a part-time guardsman looking for a full time civilian flying job. At 34, I am starting my aviation career later than most. I have lived the last 19 months in my camper to save up for an airplane and my tailwheel endorsement, which I completed in January.
- I wanted to learn how to fly after watching the movie Apollo 13 at age 12. I grew up in the mining town of Butte, Montana and had zero exposure to aviation of any sort. Apollo 13 was my first introduction to the thought of a life outside of a small mining town. After cracking open my familyâ€™s World Book Encyclopedia set and reading everything I could about astronauts, I realized they were all pilots. I then started to research what it took to be a pilot and immediately fell in love with the idea of flying. My parents were not willing to let me take flight lessons so I didnâ€™t have my first flight until college but I was hooked. Life took me on a different path over the next 16 years but I finally got back to my original dream. I have been extremely fortunate to complete my ratings over the past 2 years with the determination of a life-long aviation career ahead.
- Taking a mountain flying course is absolutely essential for my continued flying career in Montana. Montana provides a unique flying challenge with high altitude fields and mountainous terrain. In addition to starting a rural school aviation program, I would like to fly contract work for the Fish & Game conducting game counts. I am also a member of the Beaverhead Search and Rescue and would like to volunteer my skills as an airborne search platform. All of these flying goals require a very solid understanding of mountain flying of which I do not have. This course would be the foundation of my mountain flying skills, allowing me to be a safe and contributing member to aviation in the years to come.
Scholarship #6: International Stinson Club’s Tailwheel Endorsement Scholarship, CFI of winner’s choice
Winner:Â Danielle Maniere from Missoula, Montana
Present Employment:Â Raft Guide / Substitute Teacher
- CSEL / CMEL / Instrument Rating
- After six years of working as an engineer, I was released during the economic downturn in 2015. I have since moved to Montana and returned to my initial passion for aviation and made it my next career goal. In the past two years, I have worked my way through Instrument, single and multi-commercial ratings. I am currently working on my CFI. I have been supporting myself through working as a white water rafting guide in the summer and a substitute teacher in the winter. My goal is to be a back country charter pilot in the mountains of Idaho and Montana.
- My ultimate goal in aviation is to become a back country pilot while I am currently working towards my CFI. I live in Montana and am an avid outdoors woman. Backcountry skiing, multi day white water rafting trips, and mountain biking have brought me to some very remote parts of the north west, often only accessible by small aircraft, pack horses, rafts or on foot. My soul is happiest when I am in the mountains and I am aiming to combine my love of flying with my love of the wilderness. I respect and understand the dangers and realize that a mastery of flying is an essential part to becoming a successful back country pilot. Learning vital mountain flying skills, emergency maneuvers, and getting my tailwheel endorsement I feel is essential to my future as a successful back country pilot as well as a CFI.