Tina Leatherwood 2013

A very nice update from Tina Leatherwood of Paso Robles Airport, California.

I enjoyed the holidays and for the second year invited a local swing dance group to use my hangar for their annual Christmas party which is a pot luck. Of course I got to invite my friends and family. Even though I don’t dance, I enjoyed this groups enthusiasm.

This event reminds me of my teen years when I rode my bike to Paso Robles Airport. A group of us had a Wednesday night potluck and rode our bikes in the summer evenings around the airport. It was a social break for those embroiled in an airplane project. It created a opportunity for significant others who didn’t share our craze for all things flying to hang with us.

Tina’s Stinson 108-3

It was common to make a plate of leftovers and to deliver it to whomever was on duty at our FSS on the field. (Anyone else remember those?)

Being a practical joker………my friend was restoring his Luscombe. The wings were off but the engine freshly hung…… about 20 minutes after we delivered our leftover plate to the FSS guy on duty and while he was distracted by his meal,  we stealthily positioned the Luscombe in view of his window to the runway at dusk and fired it up. I called in on the radio expressing I had made a rough landing and was asking if he could check my plane for damage as I taxied by……..of course we laughed and enjoyed our cleverness……I sure miss the old timers who had a environment on a airport where there was room to have healthy fun and laugh.

Approach to L52

PRB has fences and gates but they are not locked down yet…….San Luis Obispo is shut up tight…..yesterday I avoided my filthy hangar floor and planes yet again to get airborne……I restrained myself from sightseeing over the Morro Bay coast which was severe clear to investigate a old fun stop. I ended up at Oceano hoping for a lunch at Old Juan’s Cantina.

View from the dunes

It was closed on New Years day so I settled on a deli sandwich from the liquor store and headed to the dunes…… had a marvelous picnic overlooking the beach and low flying aircraft coming and going. JR and his Stearman was hoping rides…..very surreal and I am kicking myself for not having this experience more often…….

We ride our Wiggle cars from Walmart when we need a break from cleaning. This is my 17 year old daughter Morgan.

Lately I have been feeling like a freak of nature…..a mother, a 40 something female who would rather drink a beer from the bottle and clean her hangar floor than go to the spa…….

Upon my return to the airport a lady walked out to my plane from JR’s hangar. I am used to young fuel boys approaching me like HiItler youth telling me I cannot be on the ramp unless accompanied by airplane personnel or my pilot……..ugh little buggers……Well this lady told me she was coming out to see my pretty plane and she was working for JR in exchange for a chance to go flying………!!!!!!! Yea a soul sister……..

My girlfriend customized this ornament for me. I love it!

I got hooked with the fellowship at the airport in my teens. I loved GOING flying but never thought of learning to fly. When my friends who took me flying moved out of state, I took my first flying lesson to go flying. I was a little angry the pilot made me perform the take off. I just wanted to look out of the window.

Well the woman I met yesterday made my heart sing and I don’t feel so kooky today. She may have been blessed by my little red plane but her desire to set foot on the airport and hang…….to make the effort to approach a stranger and enjoy a nostalgic plane blessed me.

I am happy today to know there is a little airport close by that people who have a desire to experience aviation can get access to.

Happy New Year! I hope to display my Stinson at Cable Air Show this January and at the Cactus Fly-In in March…….weather, kids…..and work permitting. Please say hello if you spot me there.

Best Regards and as my favorite old timer Channing Clark would say “Maintain Airspeed”.

Tina Leatherwood

  • Wayne Lyons
    Posted at 01:16h, 24 January Reply

    Tina, your the best, Great article. Paso Airfield is still a blast from the past, all the gated and fenced airports drive the new people away before they can learn enough about flying to get interested in it.

  • Linda Melhoff
    Posted at 00:49h, 12 January Reply

    Hi Tina,
    Thanks so much for sharing your post. I SO relate to it all.
    I’m lucky to have a hangar at a great airport with a grass strip beside the pavement and a clubhouse where we get together often. Most of all, I’m grateful for the women I’ve met through the airport. I like flying with my husband but there is nothing like being to talk aviation and experience the fun of flying with other women.
    Stop and visit if you’re ever headed north near Portland, Oregon. We are at 7S9 Lenhardt Air Haven. We would love to meet you and your daughter.
    Linda Buroker-Melhoff

  • Sharon Tinkler
    Posted at 08:40h, 08 January Reply

    Tina, I love your posting and really love your beautiful airplane. I hope to meet you one day at an Antique Airplane Assoc event. That’s where I hang out 🙂 Any chance you can make it to Blakesburg this year?

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