Lisa Kienholz (California)

Lisa Kienholz is based at KSZP, Santa Paula Airport, Santa Paula, California. 

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I fell for Taildraggers over 35 years ago during my first general aviation flight, in my friend Al Fisher’s Aeronca Chief. We even did some dog fighting with a friend of Al’s – I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. A few years later, Al bought and restored a Luscombe – that airplane stole my heart. Around that time I had the opportunity to join a flight club and take flight lessons through the Savings and Loan where I worked. By the time I was ready for my checkride, I was out of money, so I had to put flying on the back burner.

Lisa Kienholz

Fast forward three decades, one sailing and two raising my son, and I’m finally back to flying. Al invited me to come to the Luscombe fly-in in May of 2013, I drove up there as part of my vacation. Once again I was hooked and found every opportunity to go flying with friends. After a number of great fly days with friends in their Cubs and Taylorcraft I took the plunge and walked into CP Aviation at Santa Paula airport (KSZP) and signed up for lessons. During the fall of 2013, shortly after I started my lessons, I began looking online at Luscombes, mostly as an educational opportunity to learn about those wonderful machines and to dream a bit. Within 6 months I found my plane, N2660K, a Luscombe 8E. Even though I didn’t yet have my license, let alone my tailwheel endorsement, I couldn’t pass up this plane. I had to wait over a month for the weather to clear up enough to go get her from Washington State. Al was kind enough to help me fly her home – it was a great two days of flying.

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Another friend flew her with me to the 2014 Luscombe fly-in in May, where I was voted onto the Continental Luscombe Association board. I got my license this past July and have, unfortunately, been dealing with major family health issues ever since but I have managed to fly my amazing airplane about once a week. Santa Paula is an 80 mile drive from my home in Los Angeles, but well worth it. It is a great airport with lots of awesome planes and a great aviation community. Plus the Ventura County 99s are a great, enthusiastic, supportive group. I recently joined the board of the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula to do my small part to preserve and share the rich history of this unique airport and encourage the enjoyment of aviation.

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The ladies of “Ladies Love Taildraggers” and your posts have kept me going. You ladies do my kind of flying! I look forward to many years of following in your footsteps – flying my little Luscombe to as many places, especially small airports, as I possibly can. I look forward to the opportunity to meet my fellow Taildragger Ladies. Perhaps I’ll make it to your Texas fly-in this spring. If any of you find yourself in my area please let me know. I’d enjoy the opportunity to visit and introduce you to Santa Paula.

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