Liz Smith (California)

Liz Smith is a private pilot based at Reid-Hillview Airport, San Jose, California.

I just saw the website and would like to join. I’m a private pilot but only have a couple hours in a Decathlon – but I am HOOKED! I’m saving up to do my official tailwheel transition. I got my license in San Diego, but am now based in Mountain View, California. It looks like I’ll probably be learning out at Reid-Hillview – it would be really great to meet some ladies out here!

Unfortunately, I haven’t flown since May. It’s been really hard to not fly, but I spent 3 months at sea working on a research vessel out in Montenengro, and now that I’m back, I can’t afford it at the moment. I’m applying for several scholarships to help get my tailwheel transition completed. I started in May doing some aerobatic lessons in a Decathlon, and I’m hoping to start up again in the spring by going back to basic and doing the transition first.

I also made it out to the Reno Air races a few weekends ago. It was amazing! I got to meet one of the lady racers who flies in the biplane races. There were only four lady pilots flying at Reno! It made me want to set my eyes on biplane racing, but first I need to get up in the air again at all. πŸ™‚

And… here’s the little aerobatic video I made. It’s kind of fun!

I’m a member of the 99s and learned of your new site from Heather Gamble. It’s great!

Thx,
Liz Smith

clear skies,
Liz

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4 Comments
  • Faith
    Posted at 17:33h, 04 March Reply

    Awesome video Liz! Your facial expressions are great – that’s just how I feel every time I go up in my Decathlon! Good luck with the transition – you’ll never go back!!
    -Faith

  • Liz
    Posted at 21:20h, 07 February Reply

    Hi Vanessa and Ann,
    Thanks for taking a look at my video and saying hello!
    The racer I met at Reno was indeed Marilyn Dash. My dad is such a sweetheart – he contacted Marilyn without telling me and then surprised me that morning by taking me straight to meet her in the pits – with her Pitts! It was amazing, and very inspiring.
    As for lessons – I’m on hiatus right now due to scheduling and cost. It looks like I’ll be traveling on expedition April-August, so my plan is to get back in the tailwheel starting in September and bust out the transition and then some (just in time for my first biannual review.)
    Ann, I’ll contact you when it’s time. I can’t wait!! Thanks again.
    clear skies,
    Liz

  • Ann Elsbach
    Posted at 14:17h, 04 February Reply

    Hi Liz! Have you gotten your tailwheel transition yet? I’d be happy to do it with you. You know I learned how to fly at RHV, too. It was with Amelia Reid in 1973…now it’s 12000 hours later and I still love to fly and instruct in tailwheel aircraft. πŸ™‚ Let me hear from you. Thumbs up! Ann

  • Vanessa Nelson
    Posted at 19:18h, 04 November Reply

    WOW! Liz – that’s one AMAZING video of your aerobatic lesson! Yee-haw! I was laughing so hard watching it – great facial expressions!

    You said you had fun at Reno, and enjoyed meeting a female biplane pilot. I wonder if that was Marilyn Dash, as I think she usually flies a Pitts Special in the biplane races there. I had fun at Reno, too, a few years ago, being in the pit crew for Mary Dilda when she won in the T-6 category, although that’s not a biplane. We got up at the crack of dawn and waxed that airplane, “Two of Hearts,” so she’d go faster.

    I had a full-on aerobatic lesson in a T-6 a couple of years ago, in Oregon, doing rolls and a bunch of different stuff. My dad used to do double loops with me in the J-3 and I never got sick, so as I expected, I LOVED the lesson in the T-6, but right after getting out of the plane I didn’t feel so good, and so I laid down for about 15 minutes first, before getting in my car. Then about 45 minutes later, while on my way home, I pulled over, and lost my lunch by the side of the road.

    So from my perspective, you must have a stomach of steel, Liz (haha)! Thanks for sharing your story, and I hope to see more great videos so I can enjoy aerobatics vicariously.

    You go, girl!
    Vanessa Nelson
    P.S. You’ll be fine. Just remember that the little wheel goes in back πŸ™‚

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