Ellie Carter (UK)

11 Year old Ellie Carter is one determined little lady who knows what she loves. Welcome to LadiesLoveTaildraggers, Ellie! Ellie has an incredible story, has received time in a  J3 Cub and has flown out of Lower Upham Airfield, Southampton, Hampshire, UK. AND she loves the mother-load taildragger, the U-2.  🙂

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, shows off her U-2 solo flight patch, the only one ever given to someone who hasn't flown a U-2 solo, at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year's show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, shows off her U-2 solo flight patch, the only one ever given to someone who hasn’t flown a U-2 solo, at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year’s show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

I love science and maths and physics and when I was 5 years old I became fascinated with how aeroplanes fly and always dreamed of what it would be like to fly. (as I had not even been on an airliner then) I started to read more about flying and became fascinated with U2’s, mainly because I was fascinated with all the physics of flying that high and pilots breathing oxygen and wearing pressure suits.

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, tries on a U-2 pilot's helmet with USAF flight physiologist Sgt Muhlecke at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year's show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, tries on a U-2 pilot’s helmet with USAF flight physiologist Sgt Muhlecke at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012.

My mum and dad thought I was strange but encouraged me by buying me books and then taking me to airshows. But when I had just turned 9 I still had not seen a U2. So I thought I would write a letter to them and ask if they could bring one to the air tattoo I was going to so I could see one.

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, tries on a U-2 pilot's gloves and tries some of their food at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year's show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, tries on a U-2 pilot’s gloves and tries some of their food at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

The USAF were awesome to me, they didn’t take one to the airshow but they invited me to Fairford to see one and meet them. The pilots were amazing and kind and let me see their plane and let me chase it in a chase car and gave me some really lovely gifts which are my special things in my room. I got into lots of papers and T.V and things at the time and if you google me as Ellie Carter and spyplane you will see some really embarrassing pictures of a very little me.

A chase car carries nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, as a USAF U-2 spy plane lands at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year's show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

A chase car carries nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, as a USAF U-2 spy plane lands at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012.  Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

I was really sad when the day was over as I knew I wouldn’t see them again (probably) and they were the first people I met that understood my interest and I think I surprised them too as I don’t just like planes I love how they work too.

I had an e-mail from Major Cabigas and he said the U2 pilots had said wonderful things about me and he would like to encourage me and has been amazing helping me and telling other people about me ever since. It was Major Cabigas who told his friend Martin about me. Martin lives in England and runs a test pilot schools and he said he would take me for my first flight and has been teaching me ever since 🙂 and I have some good hours now.

Ellie Carter  4

Major Cabigas is awesome he teaches me real grown up stuff and Martin teaches me the science parts of flying as well as how to fly and we have done some gravity experiments too. I like Cabi very much and he invited us to stay with him and his really nice family and I spent time at Beale with the U2 crews. And then went flying with another U2 pilot and Cabi over the Sutter buttes and along the rivers and I met some famous old pilots, which was amazing and I didn’t want to come home.

Since then I have done some talks for charity which I like, I am a bit quiet sometimes and I find it scary to do (but used to it now)  but I like it as it helps people and if the U2 pilots and Martin didn’t bother to help me I would still be dreaming of what it was like to fly 🙂 so I know how important helping people is.

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, gets into the cockpit of a USAF U-2 spy plane at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Ellie wrote a letter to the Royal International Air Tattoo saying how she hoped to see the U-2 spy plane in this year's show. The letter was spotted by US pilots on the website and they arranged for her to see the plane in person. See PA story DEFENCE U2. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

Nine-year-old Ellie Carter, from Devon, gets into the cockpit of a USAF U-2 spy plane at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 6, 2012. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

I saved up all my money for my first flying jacket and bag and I am very proud to be able to fly, I also like meeting other pilots and learning from them! Christy Liechenstein is cool – she is a really skilful pilot :-) so I like to meet people too 🙂  Thank you very much for reading my letter.

Ellie x

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