Nov 2014 Emily Carpenter (Ohio)
Emily Carpenter is based at 57D,Â Ray Community Airport,Â Ray, Michigan.
My name is Emily Carpenter, a.k.a. Miss Maverick. I am a student pilot and I am training in a Pitts S2B in my pink heels (so I can reach the rudders).
I started flying because I was, and still am, terrified of flying commercially. I love flying because even though it frightens me, the fear has been my driving force.Â I was absolutely petrified of stalls in a Diamond DA-20 so I Googled places to do spin training and found an airport 2 hours away with a great instructor,Â Berz Flight Training.Â Â I made that long trek, all the while sweating profusely, thinking about spins, but I didn’t want to be afraid anymore.
I arrived and met my instructor. We were going to do spin training in a Citabria. We went up and just did a stall. It was the worst feeling. My instructor then proceeded to explain a spin. We went into a stall and barely went into a spin entry. My hands went flying and I screamed. My instructor could not stop laughing so we landed. I wanted a break before going up again.
My instructor had another student come for their spin training in the Pitts. I was going to calm down while they flew then try again. Upon his arrival my instructor realized with full fuel in the Pitts they would be over weight and asked if I wanted to burn off some fuel in the Pitts. I thought ‘absolutely not happening’.Â It did though!
We began putting the parachutes on and I’m thinking, this is not right. Not to be dramatic but I honestly thought I was a goner. We took off and I would not do anything aside from straight and level flight. Upon major encouragement, my instructor convinced me to let him do an aileron roll. I remember grabbing anything and everything in sight holding on for dear life and yelling “I’m going to throw up” repeatedly. LOL. I just wanted him to stop. After the maneuver I realized it wasn’t that bad and I asked him to do it again and again. I was hooked.
It was very difficult in the beginning since I could not reach the rudders. My instructor and I brainstormed and I figured high heels. It’s such a challenge, not only learning to fly, but flying a tailwheel, high performance aircraft in heels – very difficult. Now I am training to compete.
I have a Facebook fan page calledÂ Miss MaverickÂ so people can see what it’s like to start flying from the bottom and work up. I want to share my experience and the hardships along with the laughs, in hopes of inspiring people to use their fear as a driving force.