Feb 2011 Betty Stroud (Florida)
Betty Â Stroud Â is based at (28J) Palatka Municipal Airport, Lt. “Kay” Larkin Field,Â Palatka, Florida.
Ladies, I am tickled to post this particular lady taildragger and you’ll soon understand why. Betty and I have exchanged a few emails now and I’m including this one for you all. She inspires me!!
“The newest of these photos is about ten years old. Â There seems no reason to take photos any longer as we have boxes full. Â I think you realize that I am older, much older than most of the gals… at 81. Â I have been actively flying until this last June when I did not renew my medical. Â I can still fly if my husband is in the plane. Â We flew out of St. Augustine for years, but when the airport grew and needed a control tower, we opted for a quieter location to base our Citabria. Â We are now based at 28J, Palatka, Florida. Â Both airports are about the same distance from our home.”
In 1974 I learned to fly in a Citabria GCBC. I was 45 at that time, and my husband had just completed his primary flight training. After accompanying him on a local flight, I immediately thought, “I need to learn to do this.
Jim Moser of Aero Sport in St. Augustine, Florida, was my instructor. Jim’s family owned the local FBO, and he was also an aerobatic pilot who often performed in air shows. I trusted Jim with anything he did in an airplane. Because my husband wanted me to know and understand spin recoveries, Jim showed me spins before my first solo.
We have owned three Citabrias, all GCBC’s. The first, my solo airplane, burned in a hanger fire. We now own a beautiful yellow year 2000 GCBC.
Citabrias are the perfect airplane. They have great visibility, are comfortable, and are very safe. We have flown from Florida to Alaska three times in a Citabria. It is the perfect cross country. At our fuel stops, someone would always say, “Are you flying to Alaska in that little airplane?
I have never flown nose-wheel airplanes. My logbook shows time in Citabrias, Great Lakes biplanes, Decathlons, and a mid-wing aerobatic airplane (a laser), a forerunner of latest Walter Extras. I have flown several models of Pitts but never soloed. Several of my flights in Pitts were with the legendary Jim Holland, who instructed me in inside and outside spins. Jim also instructed me in aerobatics in my Citabria. Aerobatics are not easy in a Citabria as it is a little stick heavy in maneuvers.
I was really leery of submitting my profile. Â All your ladies sound young, and I didn’t know if a old gal would be of any interest. Â But, we all love taildraggers. Â Flying has been such an integral part of my life.Â I am probably older than most of the taildragger ladies at 81. You don’t ever lose your love of flying, especially in a great tail wheel airplane.