Thursday kickoff at the Lady taildraggers fly-in 2011

My Rans S7 took me on an incredible journey this past 4 days to the lady taildraggers fly-in. We didn’t fly far, just a short hop of 85 miles from Indianapolis to Dayton but it was a world away from life as usual. There’s nothing usual about a fly-in planned for lady pilots and surely nothing usual about one for ladies who love to fly taildragger airplanes!

Where's Summer?!!

Even though the fly-in officially started Friday, Thursday turned out to be the day to be there! There was MUCH anticipation as we all hung out in the big Waco hangar. Susan, Andy, me and a host of other people were waiting and watching, waiting and watching the huge wall mounted display screen tracking Summer Martell & her Student Prince biplane’s Spot accompanied by Jerry in his Super Cub.  We’d all been following Summer & Chrissy and Jerry since they departed Washington on Sunday. Days had passed and here we all were, Thursday evening, just before sunset, all anxiously waiting  their arrival. It was exciting as the sun was setting, everyone was gathered, anxious, every eye was focused on the western sky. All the planning, all the blogging, all the emails, all the tracking was behind us and we could finally see two tiny dots in the sky. We could hear the sound of Summer’s Kinner engine as the Prince and the Cub made their descent into Moraine just before twilight.

Waiting, waiting, waiting

It was thrilling to be there and share in the excitement. It was an amazing experience to be part of the crowd that had gathered to witness and welcome the arrival of a very special biplane and a beautiful Cub. We were there to welcome a very special pilot who dreamed about flying her 1931 biplane 2000 statute miles to the LLT fly-in and was on the verge of making it happen. We were there to welcome Summer’s adventurous friend Chrissy and to welcome Jerry who flew his yellow Super Cub along side the Prince.

Susan, greeting Summer & ChrissyÂ

The Prince was first to touch down. Our group was fixated on the site of the bright red biplane and the sound of the Kinner as it rolled out. The entire group burst out laughing when we heard loud whooping cries of excitement coming from the cockpit as it slowed down and the wheels were finally on the ground in Ohio.

A very happy group; Kathy, Sophie, Chrissy, Summer, Jerry, Susan & AndyÂ

This was a true celebration and Susan made sure there was a cold bottle of champagne ready and waiting for the excited threesome when they touched down!

Posing with the Prince!

And with Jerry & his Cub.



Chrissy & Summer

I think Summer was shocked and tickled to see our big board tracking their progress!

Judy, Chrissy, Jerry, Summer and Susan.


The hangar was a beautiful sight that night


And the Prince was in the limelight






Tucked in, no room to spare!


Summer & AndyÂ


"Lady Summer"

Looking back, Thursday really was THE day – a truly remarkable day for everyone lucky enough to be there and be part of it. Three new friends, 2 beautiful taildraggers, the culmination of a dream – it was a beautiful thing!!

Thanks to Mike Lucas and Patrick Ridenour for these photo and many more I’ll be showing you in the next few days.


  • Neroli Henwood
    Posted at 16:47h, 15 August Reply

    Oh thank you Judy for sharing the weekend with all the ‘distant’ pilots. It is fantastic to be able to follow everyone to all these great fly in weekends, even if it is remotely, through the web!
    Aren’t we lucky to live in this great technilogical age, it sure makes the world a much smaller place 🙂

  • Sharon Tinkler
    Posted at 16:19h, 15 August Reply

    Judy, Thanks for such a descriptive story! I took one look at that Student Prince panel and thought – Seriously? How many corporate pilots could possible fly with that panel.

  • Sneha
    Posted at 15:47h, 15 August Reply

    Loved the way you’ve written this one, Judy! 🙂 I felt as if I was there soaking in all the action! Lovely photos! 🙂

  • Lisa Martin
    Posted at 11:23h, 15 August Reply

    Thanks for making me feel the anticipation. Beautiful airplane. What fun you all had!

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