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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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Airport Etiquette

Good manners go a long way

Airport Etiquette Small general aviation airports around the country, indeed around the world, are the safest, most hospitable places I know.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Balance And Presence

Like everyone, I’m a mass of contradictions

Balance And PresenceSitting at home one recent weekend, I didn't have an air show, but I sort of wished I were at one.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Rewards Of Flight Instructing

Every day is a new adventure at aerobatic school

The Rewards Of Flight InstructingFor years, people suggested I start an aerobatic school, but I hemmed and hawed about it. It seemed like a lot of work for little money.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Loss Of Control

How to gain control of your aircraft

Loss Of ControlRecently, the NTSB came out with its 2015 "Most Wanted" list of transportation safety improvements. At the top of the list was "Loss of Control."
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Taking A Deeper Look

Airborne LIDAR mapping takes our pilot perspective one step further

Taking A Deeper LookMy happiest moments are spent in the sky surveying my kingdom.
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


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


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


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.