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Let It Roll

Air show pilot Patty Wagstaff won the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships three times and is a six-time member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team. She's a flight instructor, and after three years of flying an OV-10 Bronco for Cal Fire as an Air Attack pilot during fire season, she is back to full time airshow flying, consulting, coaching, and instructing aerobatics. Patty also runs Patty Wagstaff Aerobatic School based at Southeast Aero, the U.S. dealer for the Extra Aircraft, in St. Augustine.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Florida Flying


I moved to Florida for great weather, a small town and an aerobatic box

Florida FlyingFor a pilot, South Florida is just a stepping stone and a 60-mile hop across the water to the Caribbean.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

See Better, Fly Better


Life-changing eye surgery—could it be for you?

See Better, Fly BetterOver the past few years, I had become increasingly dependent on my annoying prescription glasses.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Slips And Skids


Put a little rudder in it

Slips And SkidsIt's kind of a joke that most pilots don't know how to use their feet, especially jet jocks whose feet are flat on the floor most of the time they're flying.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Flying The Bronco


In the OV-10 cockpit at Cal Fire

Flying The BroncoThe prototype for one of the world's coolest airplanes was built in a garage.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Air Show Season Wrap-Up


Looking back on 30 years

Air Show Season Wrap-UpExcuse me while I toast myself, but it has been 30 years since I flew my first air show.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Truckee


Honoring women in aviation

TruckeeI was faced with the decision to cancel an air show I had booked the winter before—the Truckee Tahoe AirShow and Family Festival.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Your Engine Talks To You


A mid-season engine change

When Your Engine Talks To YouIf you drive down Sheridan Road just outside the perimeter of the Tulsa International Airport, you'll find a row of small industrial buildings housing aviation engine, machine and hose shops.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Energy Management


Turning science into art

Energy ManagementEnergy management is a pilot's most important task.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Instant Family


The benefits of joining flying clubs

Instant FamilyI've never thought of myself as a joiner.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Intuition


How much of it plays a part in aviation?

IntuitionAviation might be where we feel most alive. Maybe that's why intuition plays such a key part in it.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weather And FBOs


The art of trying to get to the next air show

Weather And FBOs I love flying cross-country. It's almost the best part of my work because there's nothing like the freedom of flying a small airplane from coast to coast.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Importance Of Sponsorship


You can live with them, but you can’t live without them

The Importance Of SponsorshipHow do you make a million bucks in the air show business?
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Memory Of Red Dirt


Flying from the Arctic to the equator

The Memory Of Red DirtThere's another highway "up there," one in which pilots fly airplanes across great expanses of water and time, across the sharp edges of continents and the less sharp geographical boundaries of politics and countries.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Upset Recovery Vs. Aerobatics


How upset do we have to be to get good training?

Upset Recovery Vs. AerobaticsThese days, whenever I pick up an aviation magazine, I catch an article about how important stick-and- rudder skills are in primary flight training.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Control Failures


Learning to fly with trim can save your life

Control FailuresControl failures and foreign object damage (FOD) aren't something that GA pilots often think about.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ego


What drives your decision making?

EgoOn a spring morning several years ago, I was doing touch-and-goes in my Extra, flying the rust off after a long winter, an annual and an engine overhaul.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flying Floats


Blending water with fire, air and earth

Flying FloatsWhat do pilots talk about at dinner? You guessed it.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Aerobatic Boxes


The airspace of the air show world

Aerobatic BoxesOne of the best things about being a pilot is we can choose where we live, especially aerobatic pros who like to live close to their work.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

One Trip, 85 Suitcases


The logistics that go into a big GA flight might leave you wondering where you left your car

One Trip, 85 SuitcasesFlying is the least of what air show pilots do. For our 10 minutes in the air, we pay the price of executing the logistics that gets us there.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013

War College


An air show pilot’s experience at the National Security Seminar

War CollegeI was with several hundred students, faculty and guests at the Army War College's 59th National Security Seminar (NSS) in June of this year.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Shut Up And Fly


There’s no excuse to stay on the ground

Shut Up And FlyAt a recent hangar party, I met a woman who owns a very nice Piper Cherokee.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mind Over Matter


Visualization on the ground is as important as flight in the air to the screen

Mind Over MatterWe can't be flying all the time, though some would prefer it. I admit I'm a lousy spectator.