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Thread: I just got schooled.

  1. #1
    articfox's Avatar
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    I just got schooled.

    Artic here. I have been working really hard to get the Av-gas station up and running. (get your cheap gas here) Anyhoo, it was nice to finally get a break and go fly with some students. Ken, the boss called me and had me hussle over to Anderson Lake for a Flight-Review. He said a woman would meet me there with her Taylorcraft. I thought to myself this could be interesting since I like Taylorcrafts and I really like women. You know what I mean, right? So, I take the N-5 over and wait on the beechfront. Soon, this Super-cub shows up and floats over to the beach. Now, I try not to make assumptions about who I'm about to fly with. I mean how do you confuse a Tcraft and a Cub? I treat everyone with an equal amount of, well, whatever it is...

    So, the cub pulls up and the windows open. It is pretty damn windy and there are whitecaps on the lake. Frankly, I was thinking that the pilot had to be pretty darn sharp to even want to land today. So, I look into the airplane and I see this guy and what I later found out to be his wife in the front seat. My first impression was wow, this is going to be one of those long Reviews where we shoot the sh!#$ for one hour and then the real story will come out where the husband confesses that the wife never really flies and on and on and on. If you have ever been an active flight instructor you know where I'm coming from.

    Now frankly, I figured we would have to schedule another day since I couldn't imagine either one of the couple would want to return to the lake for a review. I mean by this time the wind was gusty, real gusty. But to get started I looked over her medical and logbooks. Everything was in order and we started with the ground portion. The whole time he was smiling like this woman really knew her stuff. It didn't take too long for me to figure out she did really know what she was talking about. In fact she knew more than most of the pros that come into the school. So did he. It was refreshing to see and it made me think that it may not be so bad to get her back into the airplane.

    So, I get in the back seat and the husband helps his wife delicately to get on the pontoons then into the cub. She had such a beautiful grace about her. It was like she had done this a few times before. While she strapped in I commented on how nice the fabric was on the old bird. She said, "thanks I recovered it myself a few years ago." Believe me when I say i'm hard to impress. This woman was starting to impress me.

    Now, like I said it was really howling. So, the husband says his wife, "l will push you off." He then gives us a push back into the water. Instantly the Cub weathervanes into the wind. He yells, "Get her started! Your headed for the fence." I was instantly seeing dollar bills being shredded. I told the woman that we were moving towards the fence and thats where the action started. I heard a click a and the cub was running. This woman had no hesitation to her. I have never seen anyone start a cub so fast ever. The water rudders fell into the lake and we were moving. I husband smiled at me and waved.

    Now, I am not the nervous type but was anxious as I haven't seen anyone really make a good takeoff in wind like this. I haven't seen anyone make a good step taxi down wind with this type of wind. I'm here to tell you I saw it today. She whipped that Cub into order immediately and stepped to the other side of the lake. Perfect. The next thing I heard was, "here we go." I was kind of waiting for a big splash with lots of noise but instead it was this perfect transition to flight with about a 20 mph crosswind. Folks, I was impressed. Once airborne the wind was beating the hell out of us. I was holding on but the nice lady in the front seat was talking about cooking, I think. She flew around, her turns were perfect. Her everything was perfect. Her perfect was perfect. She outclassed so many of the pilots I encounter that she instantly had my heart.

    When it came time to land I was very smitten. I was in love for many different reasons. She could fly, she could turn that Cub, she was in my opinion one of the best natural pilots I have met. It only took me minutes to figure it out. We landed in this perfect attitude and with that experience that only sheer time in Cubs can perfect. We motored up to the beach and I got out. Her husband was there smiling and said, "well, what did you think?" I got out and said she can learn nothing from me. It is hard to teach to a master.

    I swear it was one of the highs of my whole summer. Two hours of sheer joy. They had been married for over 60 years. She covered airplanes in WWII and got her license in 1960. She was born in 1926...

    My hats off to you Lavelle.
    Last edited by SJ; 09-12-2012 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
    eaglepilot's Avatar
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    What a beautiful story!

    Thanks for that, made my day.

  3. #3
    jjack's Avatar
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    Love that story!
    Im curious ? How many hours did she have?
    JohnnyJackson

  4. #4
    180Marty's Avatar
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    Great story. I sent it to a lady that I know that was born in 1928. While she's not a pilot(her brother flew B26's) she is better looking than most 20 year olds.

  5. #5
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Articfox

    Great story, well written. Thanks for sharing that. It is fun to instruct someone who is just naturally gifted. MMR and Dave (flymore) come to mind in my small circle.

    Bill
    Very Blessed.

  6. #6
    SJ's Avatar
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    Fantastic!

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
    ------------------------------------------

  7. #7
    WindOnHisNose's Avatar
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    Keep 'em coming, Articfox. What a great way to start my day!

    Randy

  8. #8
    Brenda K's Avatar
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    I think it's going to take a few minutes for the lump in my throat to go away. That was an AWESOME read. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  9. #9
    WanaBNACub's Avatar
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    That was awesome! I could sit and listen for hours to the older cub pilots!

  10. #10

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    Thanks for sharing that. Very heart warming. Aviation is hits you good from so many directions. A great read on this one. Thanks Greg

  11. #11
    JP's Avatar
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    Now that just rules!
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

  12. #12
    dave's Avatar
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    Inspiring story... we eagerly wait for the photo.
    Physics always bats last.

  13. #13
    CubDriver218's Avatar
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    That's awesome!
    Fast or slow, always low, freedom of flight soothes the soul.

  14. #14
    articfox's Avatar
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    Thanks. It was awesome. Oh, I did mean WW2 vs. the great war. Don't know what I was thinking. Anyhow, she had tons of time. I don't want to get too into her affairs but she had tons. Her husband said he remembers her landing the Cub in every slough, river, stream and strip around Sqwentna.

  15. #15
    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Part of the greatest generation that many self absorbed people don't know about. Great story about a great lady.

  16. #16
    DesperadoPilot's Avatar
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    Sounds a lot like Joy Bowden, an elderly lady who owns Texas Taildraggers at Houston Southwest Airport near Houston. She must be near 80 years old, and is a MASTER taildragger CFI, also a float plane pilot. Anyone who has ever flown with her knows she is nothing less than an Angel, and when she spreads her wings, how beautiful are those wings.....

  17. #17
    cafi19's Avatar
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    I love to hear stories like that....whether it be about a man or a woman....just the joy of flying and the appreciation of others.

    Very cool!

    cafi

  18. #18
    LoriF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenda K View Post
    I think it's going to take a few minutes for the lump in my throat to go away. That was an AWESOME read. Thank you so much for sharing!!
    What a great experience for you and yes, thank you for sharing! Inspiring. Don't you just love it when people surprise you - in a Good way?!

  19. #19
    akconor's Avatar
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    I happen to know this couple. They were friends of my grandparents, and my parents... and friends of mine today. They both are great pilots, people and truly classic Alaskans.

  20. #20
    Patrol Guy's Avatar
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    articfox - that story will get you $500 in any of the magazines, and maybe in each of them? So how many hours did she have??

  21. #21
    aksledder's Avatar
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    Great Story, inspiring. Just reading the story wants to make me get out and fly more.

  22. #22

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    Thank you for sharing this with us. I wonder.........did they also own a Taylorcraft?

  23. #23
    JPachl's Avatar
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    Great story!
    "If you want to be successful,it's just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And beleive in what you are doing." Will Rogers

  24. #24
    articfox's Avatar
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    I'm not sure she knew the exact time. Her husband told be and it amounted to a few careers. I know it was more than I had in a cub. Her handling of the aircraft put her in the "knew what she was doing with the outcome never in doubt" class. I would get in the back seat with her any time. Thanks for reading the story. We have to keep these folks in airplanes as long as we can.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by articfox View Post
    I'm not sure she knew the exact time. Her husband told be and it amounted to a few careers. I know it was more than I had in a cub. Her handling of the aircraft put her in the "knew what she was doing with the outcome never in doubt" class. I would get in the back seat with her any time. Thanks for reading the story. We have to keep these folks in airplanes as long as we can.
    Wow awesome story! I hope someday to be that good of pilot and still flying. Really great aviation pioneers we have!

  26. #26

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    So proud of my mom!!!

    Thanks for telling the story. So blessed to still have both of my parents alive and well and able to fly the cub. It is the only way to see Alaska! I feel so privileged to have grown up flying in Super cubs. And yes, my folks did own a T-craft years ago, but bought the first cub in 1957. They had two cubs for a long time, but scaled down a few years ago. They really are amazing!!!


    Quote Originally Posted by articfox View Post
    Artic here. I have been working really hard to get the Av-gas station up and running. (get your cheap gas here) Anyhoo, it was nice to finally get a break and go fly with some students. Ken, the boss called me and had me hussle over to Anderson Lake for a Flight-Review. He said a woman would meet me there with her Taylorcraft. I thought to myself this could be interesting since I like Taylorcrafts and I really like women. You know what I mean, right? So, I take the N-5 over and wait on the beechfront. Soon, this Super-cub shows up and floats over to the beach. Now, I try not to make assumptions about who I'm about to fly with. I mean how do you confuse a Tcraft and a Cub? I treat everyone with an equal amount of, well, whatever it is...

    So, the cub pulls up and the windows open. It is pretty damn windy and there are whitecaps on the lake. Frankly, I was thinking that the pilot had to be pretty darn sharp to even want to land today. So, I look into the airplane and I see this guy and what I later found out to be his wife in the front seat. My first impression was wow, this is going to be one of those long Reviews where we shoot the sh!#$ for one hour and then the real story will come out where the husband confesses that the wife never really flies and on and on and on. If you have ever been an active flight instructor you know where I'm coming from.

    Now frankly, I figured we would have to schedule another day since I couldn't imagine either one of the couple would want to return to the lake for a review. I mean by this time the wind was gusty, real gusty. But to get started I looked over her medical and logbooks. Everything was in order and we started with the ground portion. The whole time he was smiling like this woman really knew her stuff. It didn't take too long for me to figure out she did really know what she was talking about. In fact she knew more than most of the pros that come into the school. So did he. It was refreshing to see and it made me think that it may not be so bad to get her back into the airplane.

    So, I get in the back seat and the husband helps his wife delicately to get on the pontoons then into the cub. She had such a beautiful grace about her. It was like she had done this a few times before. While she strapped in I commented on how nice the fabric was on the old bird. She said, "thanks I recovered it myself a few years ago." Believe me when I say i'm hard to impress. This woman was starting to impress me.

    Now, like I said it was really howling. So, the husband says his wife, "l will push you off." He then gives us a push back into the water. Instantly the Cub weathervanes into the wind. He yells, "Get her started! Your headed for the fence." I was instantly seeing dollar bills being shredded. I told the woman that we were moving towards the fence and thats where the action started. I heard a click a and the cub was running. This woman had no hesitation to her. I have never seen anyone start a cub so fast ever. The water rudders fell into the lake and we were moving. I husband smiled at me and waved.

    Now, I am not the nervous type but was anxious as I haven't seen anyone really make a good takeoff in wind like this. I haven't seen anyone make a good step taxi down wind with this type of wind. I'm here to tell you I saw it today. She whipped that Cub into order immediately and stepped to the other side of the lake. Perfect. The next thing I heard was, "here we go." I was kind of waiting for a big splash with lots of noise but instead it was this perfect transition to flight with about a 20 mph crosswind. Folks, I was impressed. Once airborne the wind was beating the hell out of us. I was holding on but the nice lady in the front seat was talking about cooking, I think. She flew around, her turns were perfect. Her everything was perfect. Her perfect was perfect. She outclassed so many of the pilots I encounter that she instantly had my heart.

    When it came time to land I was very smitten. I was in love for many different reasons. She could fly, she could turn that Cub, she was in my opinion one of the best natural pilots I have met. It only took me minutes to figure it out. We landed in this perfect attitude and with that experience that only sheer time in Cubs can perfect. We motored up to the beach and I got out. Her husband was there smiling and said, "well, what did you think?" I got out and said she can learn nothing from me. It is hard to teach to a master.

    I swear it was one of the highs of my whole summer. Two hours of sheer joy. They had been married for over 60 years. She covered airplanes in WWII and got her license in 1960. She was born in 1926...

    My hats off to you Lavelle.

  27. #27

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    It kind of runs in the family. Your brother is a heck of a pilot too.
    Do you still get out to Shulin?

  28. #28

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    Haven't been in a few years. My brother is a great pilot...so glad to be related to him.
    Quote Originally Posted by StalledOut View Post
    It kind of runs in the family. Your brother is a heck of a pilot too.
    Do you still get out to Shulin?
    Last edited by jlgonzal; 09-24-2012 at 09:00 PM.

  29. #29

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    Mom has 4, 795 hours.

  30. #30

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    Mom has 4,795 hours.

  31. #31
    WanaBNACub's Avatar
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    That is awesome! I sure hope I can continue to live the dream at that age!

  32. #32
    Little_Cub's Avatar
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    Great story Artic.. I share your joy!

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