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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, 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.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Art And Science Of Formation Flying


The finer side to flying lead or wing

The Art And Science Of Formation FlyingHave you ever wondered what it's like to be flying in close formation with another airplane, seeing the tiniest movement of an aileron, the heat curling from the exhaust?
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monoplane Revolution


A game changer in the world of aerobatic competition

Monoplane RevolutionIn 1984, I trained with air show pilot Duane Cole at Luck Field in Burleson, Texas, for the Intermediate category of the U.S. National Aerobatic Championships.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Summer Of Opportunity


Making the move into competition aerobatics

A Summer Of OpportunityAfter going to an air show in Canada and a competition in Wisconsin in 1983, I knew that flying aerobatics was what I was meant to do.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Life Of An Air Show Pilot


When you love what you do, is it work?

The Life Of An Air Show PilotIf you love what you do, you're not really working, but being an air show pilot is a mixture of hard work and hardly working.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kenya


Patrolling the national parks

KenyaI love early mornings in Tsavo.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Clouds


Pilots have a special relationship with the weather

CloudsRecently, I came across The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chasing Fires


Flying For CAL FIRE Aviation

Chasing FiresRush, Serpentine, Robbers and Mill are names of some of the fires I've flown. Fires are usually named after a geographical landmark at the origin of the fire—a road, town, river or a creek.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Being Resourceful


Pilots have the ability to find a way, no matter how great the challenge

Being ResourcefulIf one thing serves us well in life and in aviation, it's the art of being resourceful—intelligent and creative problem solving and making the best use of time and available resources.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pre-Aerobatics


Understanding trim, rudder and angle of attack

Pre-AerobaticsThis summer, I've had the good fortune to fly OV-10 Broncos out of the Chico Air Attack Base.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks


Learning to fly is about discipline, desire and skills—not age

Teaching An Old Dog New TricksWhen I'm signing autographs on the flight line, people like to tell me their stories about flying.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Staying Healthy


We need to take care of ourselves in order to be pilot in command

Staying HealthyPilots sit on their butts a lot. We might want to stay in shape.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Oh My God! There’s No Man In The Cockpit!


Change perception through education

Oh My God! There’s No Man In The Cockpit!My friend Mark Magin, Onboard Images President, recently told me a hilarious story. Sitting in first class on a commercial flight, he noticed there was an all- female flight crew.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Perception


It's your perception, not always reality, that causes fear

PerceptionI'm constantly asked about my unique line of work as an air show pilot, "Do you get dizzy?" or, "Do you wear those earrings when you fly?" But probably the question I'm most asked is about fear—"Aren't you afraid when you're diving toward the ground?"
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birds Of A Feather


Flying with your bird

Birds Of A FeatherWe're all part bird, aren't we? We have wings, but unfortunately they're only a steely imitation of the real thing.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

When Procedures Fail


Learning the lesson the hard way

When Procedures FailPilots are a conscientious group. We do preflights, use checklists, and respect our physical and technical limitations.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Include, Don’t Exclude


A look at some of the deterrents to flying and what can be done to reverse them

Include, Don’t ExcludeWe all love stories of how people are seduced by aviation, but it's just as interesting to know what keeps them out.