Ellen Robbins flies with Carol Walker of Big Q Aviation!

I’m very happy to post this follow up from the winner of our Big Q Aviation, LadiesLoveTaildraggers Tailwheel Endorsement Scholarship, Ellen Robbins of Washington state.

“I had such an amazing time in Texas and am more delighted than ever that I won this particular scholarship. Carol was incredible!”

Tailwheel Endorsement complete! Scholarship winner Ellen Robbins with CFI, Carol Walker of Big Q Aviation, Texas

I have joined the ranks of taildragging pilots! Many thanks to LadiesLoveTaildraggers and Judy in particular! Also to Carol Walker and Big Q Aviation. My tailwheel training in Texas with Carol was spectacular, and I am now a more qualified and more enthusiastic pilot! My scholarship was for tailwheel training in a J-3 Cub, which is fun because it’s a classic, but even more fun because my great grandpa flew one of these in California for the CAP during WW2. Sentimental value added.

We battled strong winds (9-15 gusting 20-22) and hot temperatures (100 degrees feels excessive to this girl from Western Washington!) all weekend, but the training was really excellent, and I’m so looking forward to practicing my tailwheel skills in other airplanes. We did also fly the Citabria one afternoon when winds were too much for the Cub, and that was a blast!

Carol is a superb instructor, and I felt like the training I received was extra timely because of my recent CFI certification. Not only did Carol teach me how I should fly a tailwheel airplane, but she explained how to make concepts make sense to a student. I think I learned more about teaching and communicating than I did about flying a taildragger. And not once did she say, “wipe that silly grin off your face!”—she was enjoying it almost as much as I was!

Immediately following my tailwheel endorsement, I put it to use as a friend and I flew her 1946 Taylorcraft, which lives in one of Carol’s hangars, across the state to Plainview, learning so much about no radio flying, density altitude, hand propping in 102 degrees, headwinds, and so much more!

I’m now back in Washington State, resuming my flight instruction, and looking forward to flying a C185 next! My goals are to flight instruct for the next year or so, and then soon after be headed over to East Africa as a missionary pilot. Jesus Christ has given me hope in this life (and beyond!) and freedom from guilt, and this is too good to keep to myself. I’m excited to use aviation to spread the great news that there is a chance for each of us to live in this freedom and right standing with God. (Romans 10:9) What that position looks like is essentially a charter pilot—flying supplies, people, medevac flights, and more to isolated communities who have very little access to many resources any way other than by air. I may end up using my flight instructing skills over there as well, since the aviation community is almost all expatriates, and Kenya is really trying to increase the number of their own pilots flying in country. Who knows, maybe I’ll even end up flying tailwheels over there!


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