Ila Moses-King (Texas)

Ila Moses-King is based at KDAL, Dallas Love Field Airport, Dallas, Texas.

Thank you Ila for sending the picture of your new plane. As far as I know, you are the only member of LadiesLoveTaildraggers who owns a Swift. Correct me ladies if I’m wrong!

Ila Moses King, gifted Globe Swift

Ila Moses, gifted Globe Swift

My new plane was my father’s but he is 89 and gave it to me as a gift. It is a project for sure but hopefully I can get it flying next year.   Ila Moses


The following post dated October 31, 2012:

Hi! I love taildraggers and think that it makes you such a better pilot and is way more fun!

My father started teaching me to fly when I was 13 in a …brand new A36 Bonanza…I know, right! Oh well, almost 500 hrs logged later, I soloed on my 16th birthday but still no time in a taildragger. I went on flying Cessnas and Pipers. One day a few months later my father showed up at the barn where I was riding my horse. Dad never came to the barn…he said come with me I have a gift for you! It was cold and there was snow on the ground. Across the road from the barn was a little airport that was rarely used…and there it was, a beat up, paint peeling off, 1947 Luscombe 8E! I was speechless…I had never even ridden in a taildragger.

My Dad said to get in the left seat and he would tell me what to do. He gave me a briefing on what to do and when he got to pushing the nose forward …I was getting concerned. Being the SHCP ( sh_t hot cool pilot) I thought I was, I said “got it” and away we went…rolling down the runway with freezing air coming through the windows I was NOT impressed but the door big deal…I just pushed the window open and as Dad said “rotate” I slammed the door shut and the window smashed my ice cold hand. I was not impressed. I did like a stick instantly though! At this point, until we landed, I was excited and horrified but very grateful that Dad found me my 1st very own airplane. Then we landed…and landed and BOUNCED…OMG so much for my SHCP ego…it was now gone! I was in tears as now as I decided my Dad was tired of me and was turning me loose in this death trap. It would surely be the end of me!

2 years later, and still scared to death of the Luscombe, I still had not soloed it. I certainly understood how it could get beat up but I never put one dent in it…or me! I grew up at Love Field in Dallas and everyone knew me. It was so embarrassing every time Dad would force me to try to taxi really fast…I finally asked if we could go practice at another airport so we did. We took the Luscombe up to my Dad’s hangar up on a grass strip and left it. No building time for me. Dad was sad. I was mad…very normal for that age! It always bothered me that I never “got it”-  the taildragger thing – so one day I decided that little airplane was not going to beat me. I skipped school one day, went to the hangar by myself and taxied up and down that grass runway until I had it! I told Dad I was ready to solo the Luscombe and he couldn’t believe it.

We went and I did it!!! The Luscombe and then Swift, Vagabond and Citabria have become my greatest passions. I LOVE TAILDRAGGERS!!!!

I decided to take the airplane apart and make it my airplane…4 years later and buckets of money, sweat and tears it was done and beautiful!

I flew it to Sun n Fun and then Oshkosh. It did perfect. That little Luscombe taught me so much …like recovering from a real stall…no mushing!

Anyway, I am glad to know about this website and look forward to reading more.



  • Linda Melhoff
    Posted at 11:56h, 13 November Reply

    How cool to read the exchange above. I’m happy for you.
    I just wanted to compliment you on your story and wish I could share it with every young woman encountering obstacles in their life. Your Luscombe bit you (smashed your hand) and kicked your ego but you didn’t give up. You’ve experienced great rewards because of your tenacity. A great life lesson. Bravo!!

  • Judy
    Posted at 16:47h, 02 November Reply

    Ila and Sharon, it’s so cool to see you both find each other AND your mutual love. I hope one of you buys it and takes it home with you. Sounds like destiny to me.

  • Sharon Tinkler
    Posted at 15:02h, 31 October Reply


    I am so excited to see your post!! And now I know the rest of the story 🙂

    I bought your airplane from a lady based at Reigle Field in Pennsylvannia, changed the tail number back to her original tail number of N1955K, and flew her all over the place. She was named “Gracie” (for Child of grace) and I loved her to death. She and I were based at Lee Airport in Annapolis, MD. From there she flew repeatedly to Antique Airfield in Blakesburg, Iowa, and back once a year for a few years. She has also been down the Mississippi River from Iowa to Houston, and home to Annapolis from there via the southeastern states.

    Check my page on LLT and you will see me and her in Mattoon Illinois. I had a picture once of her completely hidden by her coloring on the ramp at Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay. Wish I could find that. She had a ball that would have liked to slide all the way out to the passenger side if I so much as looked down at a sectional. One side didn’t match the other. Aluminum tank on one side, plyocell on the other. Ski strut on one side – none on the other. One I developed a flat tailwheel tire over on the Eastern Shore of Maryland but didn’t know anything was amiss until AFTER my roll out on the grass back at Lee and then I tried to taxi on the asphalt. Wow! But she took care of me until it was safe to reveal her situation 🙂 Never knew there was a problem from the landing. She was one of a kind and I loved her very much. She had a very sweet spirit.

    She now lives at Mallards Landing Airpark SE of Hartsfield outside of Atlanta. New Daddy is Charlie Weems. I think I saw her for sale on Barnstormers briefly, but I don’t think she sold.


    • Ila Moses-King
      Posted at 09:35h, 02 November Reply

      Sharon…I can’t believe it!!! I have been looking everywhere for “my” Luscombe….thank you so much for sharing your story. I am glad you love her…she was very good to me too. I would die to have her back. If you know where she is or hear of her for sale PLEASE let me know. I will check out the information in your letter.

      Ila 214-364-0664

      • Sharon Tinkler
        Posted at 16:28h, 02 November Reply


        I believe you CAN get your baby back. Shoot me an email at and we can communicate off list. She really needs to fly and I don’t think she has been getting much of that for the past few years. She is such a sweetheart and I bet she misses her Mommy….. or one of them anyway 😉

    • Ila Moses-King
      Posted at 14:33h, 02 November Reply

      Sharon…thanks to you I found “our” Luscombe! I sent Mr. Weems a message and he called back. I still can’t believe it!!!! He was as excited as I am…Mr Weems said that he didn’t sell the Luscombe and that he loves to fly it and does twice a week. He is 85…how cool is that? He asked me if I had put Gracie on it and I told him no but you had and I told him the story about it. I told him that I had my sons names on the right wheel pants saying “Copilots Brian & Geoffrey”….you must have seen that too because I was shocked when he said that the wheel pants are safe in his hangar and the names are still on it! Wow! I never expected that but my sons are so excited to hear that too.

      I am forever in debt to Ladies Love Taildraggers for posting my silly note and finding the pictures on my FB…I may have never found this special little taildragger. Thank you Sharon. Something else that will stay if I ever get it back is Gracie….my grandaughters name is Gracie!!

      • Sharon
        Posted at 20:01h, 02 November Reply

        Okay, that gave me goosebumps :). Of course I saw your sons names! And the Gracie part? Girl, we are sisters who just ain’t met yet. I will fly to Atlanta when you go to pick her up one of these days in hgr future :). We will 2 ship it part of your way home !!

  • Jessie Fisher
    Posted at 14:12h, 31 October Reply

    Ila welcome to LLT! If you’re not a member of CLA (Continental Luscombe Associate) you should check them out – great group of folks. They have a Columbia, CA Fly-in every year in March that is a ball. I’m at Bulverde airpark out in San Antonio area. Let me know if you’re ever in the area!
    Take care,

    • Ila Moses-King
      Posted at 09:38h, 02 November Reply

      I will! Thank you 🙂

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