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, January 28, 2014
What drives your decision making?On 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
Blending water with fire, air and earthWhat do pilots talk about at dinner? You guessed it.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
The airspace of the air show worldOne 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 carFlying 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
An air show pilot’s experience at the National Security SeminarI 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 groundAt 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 screenWe 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 wingHave 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
A game changer in the world of aerobatic competitionIn 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 aerobaticsAfter 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?If 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
Patrolling the national parksI love early mornings in Tsavo.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Pilots have a special relationship with the weatherRecently, I came across The Cloud Appreciation Society.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Flying For CAL FIRE AviationRush, 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
Pilots have the ability to find a way, no matter how great the challengeIf 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
Understanding trim, rudder and angle of attackThis 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 ageWhen I'm signing autographs on the flight line, people like to tell me their stories about flying.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
We need to take care of ourselves in order to be pilot in commandPilots 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 educationMy 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
It's your perception, not always reality, that causes fearI'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 birdWe'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 wayPilots are a conscientious group. We do preflights, use checklists, and respect our physical and technical limitations.