Pick up the latest edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine, the January 2017 issue, and you’ll see a surprising sight; an aerial shot of a worn, old Cessna 180 Skywagon, not the usual award winning aircraft you’re expecting. The beautiful old bird is polished aluminum with faded and chipped black & aqua blue paint – and it is magnificent. When I saw it, my interest soared and completely pegged when I realized a woman was flying it. Wow, this was going to be a great story!
The pilot is Katie Pribyl, a LadiesLoveTaildraggers member, Embry-Riddle graduate, former Canadair CRJ200 pilot and today the Senior Vice President, Communications, at AOPA. The article titled ‘A Daughter’s Homecoming’ is the story of Katie’s return to her roots in Montana, the 8,000 acre ranch where her parents still live, and her lifelong dream of landing her own plane on the ranch.
What better plane than a Cessna Skywagon to fly into a short, high elevation, alfalfa patch strip?! I think you’ll agree, Dave Hirschman has written a beautiful article that comes full circle and is a must read for every lady taildragger pilot.
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Article by Dave Hirschman
AOPA article photography by Mike Fizer