Greetings from the Gulf Coast from Sheila Mabbitt

Sheila Mabbitt has been working in the gulf coast area full-time with the clean up efforts pertaining to the oil spill. She will most likely be demobilized  later this week, however, before heading home she sent us these amazing pictures to post on Ladies Love Taildraggers.  These are incredible pictures – thanks Sheila for forwarding these and the information about your experience.

DC3T Spray Sortie

I was contacted by a company on Tuesday, June 30 and offered a position down here to fly DC-3s and a turbine DC-3 doing aerial spraying as well as some spotting and recon work in a twin (turbo) commander. They needed my answer within 24 hours and required that I be in position by Saturday, July 2 if I accepted their offer due to the urgency of the matter.


After much thought and consideration and many prayers, I called them Wednesday morning June 30, and accepted their offer and informed my current (now previous) employer that I would be leaving effective the next day. I spent the next day organizing things at home getting ready for this new endeavor and packing my car with bare necessities and headed for Louisiana on Friday, July 2.

Photo Op

It took me 9 hours to drive down with only 2 fuel/facility stops and I arrived at the airport at 16:00 fully intending on my first day on the job being Saturday, July 3, but ended up being wheels up (on a flight mission) just 20 minutes after my arrival.

We have been on duty 7 days a week and when not flying spray missions are doing training sessions, training flights, or computer training for incident command systems & emergency response, etc.

Recon Emulsifying


Early Recon Slick



DC3T tank


Photo Op


Spotter DC-3 Spray

It’s no secret these are the same planes used in the BP commercial that’s been playing over the last month or so across the nation.


Turbine Spray

If we get released before the weekend, I may try to get up there still for at least part of the weekend to meet you and the rest of these amazing women, so perhaps I will see you then.  Have a great time either way, and thanks again for all your efforts.

Blue Skies,

Sheila Mabbitt

  • Anne Wright
    Posted at 19:05h, 12 January Reply

    I finally got around to reading the November 2010 issue of AOPA Pilot, and saw the article about GA helping on the Gulf. Congratulations on making the article (pictures, too!), and on being able to help there. Maybe you can come to this year’s fly-in, and like Susan says, it would be great to hear your stories!

  • Susan
    Posted at 14:43h, 10 August Reply


    Wow — what amazing photos! What a cool job! YOU GO GIRL!!!

    I so hope you can make it up to the fly-in! Bring the DC-3!! That would be so cool! We have a spot picked out for you if you do! We can park the two little Pitts under the wings of the DC-3 for a great photo shoot! LOLOL

    Seriously – I hope you can make it — it would be wonderful to hear your stories from all this!

    Warmest regards,

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