Lady Taildragger pilot Tenea Kear is based atÂ YADG,Â Aldinga Airport, Aldinga, South Australia. This is Tenea’s Love Story.
Thirteen years ago, 8-year-old me stumbled into our local, little, dusty, country airfield, where unbeknown to me I was to meet the two loves of my life. This great love story has 2 parts:
Part 1: “Honey”, VH-ONY a Waco Classic YMF 5C
The lady at the airfield who is now my boss, took me by the hand out to the hangar and introduced me to the most beautiful, elegant plane I had ever seen. “Honey” she is a cream and burgundy Waco Classic YMF 5C open cockpit biplane sitting two side-by-side in the front and the pilot flies from the rear seat. The Waco is a modern build with all the romance of a 1930’s based design. A real Marilyn Monroe of the sky! I instantly fell head over heels.
As I laid my head on the pillow to sleep that night I vowed to myself that I was going to fly and become a pilot. At age 10 I had my first lesson and have been flying ever since. Majority of course in a taildragger, starting in a Cubcrafters Sport cub to a Piper Super cub and currently flying an American Champion Super Decathlon. My favourite thing to do in the sky is aerobatics.
Part 2: Jack
As I was spending nearly every weekend at that little country airfield I noticed there was a boy… Jack was gentle, and very quiet but with a bright intelligence in his eyes. We used to look at each other but then turn away, not speaking. Ten year old me was incredibly shy and so was he.
So it was over a couple of years that our friendship developed. The more reserved Jack was, the more determined I was to make him be my friend. We spent weekends together at the airfield and nights chatting on MSN planning our flying trip around Australia for when we both had our pilot licences. Jack was two years ahead of me and patiently waited for me to catch up.
He became my best friend. No matter what was going on in my life I knew I always had Jack to rely on. Through my early and mid teens, on and off I would catch myself crushing on Jack and would quickly push those feelings aside. By my late teens I could not deny it any longer. Luckily he felt the same and we started dating.
We have been inseparable ever since and for our anniversary he took me for a dinner flight on a Douglas DC-3 and popped the question. I was too distracted by the flight to realise what was going on! Of course it was a yes!
Jack and I both work together at that same (now not-so-little) country airfield, with Jack being a flight instructor and commercial pilot. We are currently organising our aviation themed wedding and plan to use “Honey” the Waco as our arbour- she played a big part in our love story. We are also hoping to use a Tiger Moth, and either a Boeing Stearman or Waco Great Lakes as our backdrop to our ceremony. Both of us feel very fortunate to work with these amazing planes and having the opportunity to utilise them.
It all feels like a fairy tale to me and love truly is in the air!
Wow, what a great love story! If you’d like to share your love story too, I’d like to post it also. Please complete this form AND email several photos to LadyTaildraggers@gmail.com. The more pictures the better!