Sep 2016 Liz Sommers ‘On the tailwinds of Hermine’
I’m happy to report that Liz Sommers fromÂ Alameda, California is the latest pilot to receive her tailwheel endorsement compliments of the Amundsen’s @Â Tailwheels, Etc. & a LadiesLoveTaildraggers scholarship for expenses. Please give yourself a big pat on the back if you’ve ever donated to our scholarship fund. Congratulations Liz!
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.
On the tailwinds of Hermine, I arrived in Lakeland, Florida, with the hopes that she would blow through.Â Although tropical storm Hermine passed through Florida, she decided to head north of my flight path, and depart my airspace a day early.Â In her wake, she left me sun, scattered billowing cumulus clouds, heat greater that Iâ€™m use to, and lots of typical humid air.Â At KLAL, the sunshine state yellow Citabria waited patiently in the hangar for my eagerly anticipated pilotâ€™s caress.
Flying bright yellow Fife Mike Sierra aloft, she danced to my touches.Â With guidance from my back seat teacher, Fife Mike Sierra and I went from a jig to a waltz. Â We lazily flew boxes in the skies of Florida, getting my feet accustomed to her controls.Â We waved through some gently flowing Dutch rolls, further experiencing the docile and gentle Fife Mike Sierra.Â She let me take her back to the ground, to try my hand at three point and wheel landings.Â She let me abuse her, but was so forgiving.
Two days later,Â Fife Mike Sierra and I were getting along grandly.Â Several airborne adventures, and the good, bad and ugly times kissing the ground in the pattern, left me with a new appreciation of stick and rudder skills. Fife Mike Sierra felt like a glove.Â From her sleek look, to her gently ways and her forgiving nature, the joys of being with her every day will be with me for a long time, and leave me longing for more.
Afterword: Â My instructor(s) deemed me a proficient pilot in the conventional gear type aircraft and awarded me the distinct honor of joining the ranks of tailwheel-endorsed pilots.
Acknowledgements:Â Iâ€™d like to thank the following generous sponsors, for without whom this adventure in learning and flying would not have been possible:
LadiesLoveTaildraggers, Judy Birchler
Tailwheels, Etc., Jonathan Amundsen and John Amundsen