Inaugural “Haunted Flying Tour” by LadiesLoveTaildraggers!

After riding a wave of 8 amazing LadiesLoveTaildraggers fly-ins hosted at a variety of airports, I’ve decided it’s time for a shake up. And I mean a monumental shake up! I loved each and every one of our LLT flyins, all unique and spectacular in their own way. There is nothing not to love about a mass of ladies who LOVE to fly taildraggers gathering to celebrate their birds and the art of flying them.

But the truth is, after each fly-in was said-and-done, I always had one minor regret – we flew our taildraggers very little. Don’t worry, I am not forgetting that some ladies flew many hours just to get to our fly-ins, myself included ~ But  beyond that, there was not a lot of flying happening. Weather may have played a part but it’s still the one thing I’ve not found peace with. We’re Ladies Who Love Taildraggers and that means burning 100LL. Let’s just do it!

So this year there will be no LLT Fly-in at a host airport. Instead, I’m opting for something much bigger, much more expansive, much more fun and exciting than 2 to 3 days gathered at one single airport. This year I am hosting a 7-Day Flying Tour. Better yet, a “Haunted Flying Tour” that crosses 5 states (for those that choose to begin on Day 1). 7 Days of Flying Fun that begins at my home base in Indiana, crosses through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, but at the heart, highlights the Great State of Texas. I’ve brought in the big guns, Gayla Maas from Texas,  and we’ve designed it so pilots can join our Flying Tour when able then fly back home when they must. Fly along for the full 7 days or join in and out with the Tour as your schedule allows.

This is THE ultimate Flying Tour sandwiched into the best time of year to fly. Gayla and I agree, mark your calendars for September 30 thru October 6, 2018 for the best of Texas flying. Join us and learn about the “Haunted History of Texas”, maybe a little tongue-in-cheek but brace yourself for some scary-as-hell revelations! I’ve also hand-picked some incredible, historic airports, wonderful restaurants, several aviation museums and one very special fly-in we’ll attend. 7 Days will zip away while we make new friends, visit new places and share the fun of flying taildraggers.

What you need to know: This is the BETA version of the “2018 LadiesLoveTaildraggers Haunted Flying Tour”. Your comments, suggestions and participation will morph this suggested flight schedule into our final, fixed itinerary. Please read through this first draft that we can build on. I am counting on local lady pilots to help and assist where possible. We’ll need ground support, ideas for camping, motels, food, tours, transportation, etc. to make this work. It’ll be a loosey-goosey tour that can go with the flow of weather and questionable number of participants. It will be an adventure! If you would like to help, please fill in the Comments Form at the end of this post. As always, I make zero dollars from this or any of our fly-ins and it is completely free to participate. Your only costs will be the same as I incur; motels, food, tours, fuel, etc. There is no “tour fee”.


Our route is subject to change but, just for fun, plug it into your iPad. KMQJ, KSIK, KARG, KPBF, 3F9, T82, KAQO, KBPG, KSWW, F23, KMWL. Then start planning your adventure!

Me! Judy Birchler & my Decathlon.

Saturday, September 29, anytime. Meet at my airport, KMQJ and overnight at my house for Sunday morning departure to Sikeston, MO. I have 8 extra beds, two already spoken for. I’ll find a room with friends for anyone else who wants to join us for the first leg of our 7 day flight. There’s no limit to how many we can host so please come to Indy!

Lambert’s Cafe, Sikeston, MO

Sunday, September 30, Noon. Meet at KSIK Sikeston, MO for lunch at Lambert’s Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls. Do not miss this amazing, fun restaurant!! Lambert’s Cafe

Walnut Ridge, Arkansas

Sunday, September 30, Overnight KARG, Walnut Ridge Airport, Arkansas. Stay at our “Haunted Hotel” or camp on the field. Saturday Wings Of Honor WWII Museum Tour. Monday Breakfast at the Parachute Inn Restaurant

Mineola Weisner Airport Museum

Monday, October 1, 3F9, Mineola Weisner Airport, Mineola, Texas. Overnight. Aviation Museum Tour on the field. Tour of  Haunted Beckham Hotel. Camp on the field or overnight at area B&B’s or Best Western. “The Beckham Hotel has been the source of spooky stories, folklore and the home of colorful characters for decades at its prominent position in downtown Mineola. Exact historical information on the hotel is scarce, but it is believed to have been built in the late 1880s, said Lou Mallory, Wood County Historical Commission chairwoman. Mallory said there are no clear records on who built the original structure, but it was purchased by Mr. Beckham in the 1920s.”  Mineloa, Texas, Haunted Beckham Hotel

Hangar Hotel at Fredericksburg, TX

Tuesday, October 2, T82, Fredericksburg, TX . Lunch stop & tour. SILVER CREEK SALOON AND RESTAURANT – ROBERT STRIEGLER HOUSE. Dating back to 1905, the historic house is now a restaurant and saloon. The place is haunted by a female apparition in period clothing, perhaps the wife of the original builder. Silver Creek Saloon and Restaurant

Tuesday, October 2, KAQO, Llano, Texas. Overnight. Dabb’s Railroad Hotel and lots more. The hotel dates back to 1907, and was situated near the railroad to draw in weary travellers. Apparently, some were so tired that they never left, according to the current owners. During the renovations, a lot of ghostly activity was reported, although it settled down after their completion. Nowadays, whether it be the wife of a former owner or a phantom silver prospector, a spook has been known to leave the porch light on for guests arriving in the hours between dusk and dawn.

Wednesday, October 3, Big Springs Texas, Hotel Settles. Overnight. Hotel

Hotel Settles, Big Spring, TX

Settles was known as a place for Big Spring residents to commit suicide in the past. Now, their ghosts still haunt the lavish hotel, scaring guests.. A gem in the heart of Big Spring, Texas, Hotel Settles is a historic 1930s-era hotel that has been beautifully restored to its original elegance, with stylish details that evoke the charm, craftsmanship and architectural details of an earlier era. This full-service independently owned boutique hotel has a wonderful combination of true Texas hospitality and relaxed elegance, with 65 guestrooms and 15,000 sq. ft. of function space including the opulently restored Grand Ballroom and Lobby.

WASP at Sweetwater, 1944

Thursday, October 4, Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas. Overnight. IN HONOR OF THE WASP’S, WE’LL HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON ON OUR HAUNTED TOUR DURING OUR VISIT TO AVENGER FIELD. Over fifty years ago, Avenger Field earned the distinction of being the largest all-female air base in American history. It is now Sweetwater Airport as it was prior to World War II. The Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, or WASP as it was known, actually began training women pilots in November 1942 at Howard Hughes field in Houston. In February 1943 Avenger Field became an all-female installation except for a few male instructors and other officers. Avenger Field remained a WASP training base until December of 1944 when it closed having fulfilled its mission. During its existence, 1,074 women pilots were trained at the facility including the thirty-seven that gave their lives in the service of their country. WASP MUSEUM

Ranger Flyin

Friday, October 5, Ranger Field Fly-in. Have a great time at this awesome fly-in then fly on to KMWL where motel rooms will be more readily available.

Friday evening & Saturday, Mineral Wells Airport, KMWL, Texas, Haunted Walking Tour Saturday night and rock climbing at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. The fourteen story Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells has been closed and abandoned since 1972.  Some say old residents still haunt the old place and can be heard or even seen from time to time. Much to see and do at this fun stop.

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