Mary Conklin (Illinois)

Mary Conklin is based at Capron, Illinois (88IL) and flies a Cessna 180.

I own on a farm one mile north of Capron and have a RLA and hangar in my back yard. It is called Mary’s Landing and the identifier is 88IL. It is on the internet if you care to find specifics. The closest public airport is Poplar Grove Airport (C77) which is where I have my annual inspections and buy fuel.  C77 is where I met Tina Thomas and have known since I began flying planes.

Camping at Oshkosh with my Cessna 180.
Winston Alexander Conklin, Mary Conklin & Austin Call.

I got my pilot’s license in 1989 in a Citabria. I learned how to fly on a private grass strip in Marengo, IL. I got my instrument rating in 1990. I have always loved aviation and started out as a skydiver in 1975 and was a member of the Pelican Skydiving club in Maryland. Lynn O’Donnell flew the DC-3 that I jumped from many times in Maryland. I have known Lynn for at 35 years. I accumulated over 1000 jumps until I quit in 1986 when I had my first son. However, I do plan on jumping again as soon as the mid-west weather gets a little warmer this spring.

I teach Aviation Psychology for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Worldwide.

Actually, my entire family are pilots. My husband (deceased) was a Super 80 Captain for American Airlines for 16 years. My oldest son, Spencer (age 23) is a FO and flies the CRJ700 for United Airlines. My other son, Winston (age 22), is currently in college and has soloed a Cessna 140. Both sons learned to fly at C77 in taildraggers.

If anyone happens to be flying over, please feel free to land and say hello. Do a low pass down the runway to give me time to get outside and let you know I am home. The week before OSH, I will have my handheld tuned to 123.45 if you just want to say hello.

  • christina chapman
    Posted at 14:20h, 27 May Reply


    You have quite the aviation life and career. Awesome. I’m fascinated with aviation psychology. I retired after 23 years and my last 10 were private practice in Steamboat Springs Colorado. I’ve just opened my new business, now living in McCall Idaho, more as a personal consultant as I will do more retreats and training rather than treatment this time. When in Steamboat one specialty was sport psychology and I worked with Olympic athletes and Olympic hopefuls. Later I translated that work for backcountry pilots in central Idaho where I live. I worked for a flight training company on the field but left when I worried that safety wasn’t put first–just my opinion. I’d love to get some good references from you on aviation psychology. Who/what do you recommend? I enjoy reading anything on human factors. I’d love to talk to you about this sometime if you would care to do so. If it’s too much like work, I understand.

    Christina Chapman

  • Susan
    Posted at 21:37h, 15 May Reply

    Hey Mary!!

    Welcome to LLT!! How cool you up there near Tina, Steve and the gang at Poplar Grove! We rarely fly to OSH — but are there every year! Weather premitting we always fly over to Grassroots at Brodhead… do you go there? Maybe we’ll swing through your airspace on the way up to Grassroots this year!


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