Tobie Stamsta had a big 16th birthday. She got her driver’s license and also soloed in six different tailwheel aircraft all on the same day. What an accomplishment to have made. As a pilot myself I wish I'd been as dedicated as this young lady. She put in the time and effort to learn to fly and does an excellent job of it.
At 14 Tobie got serious about wanting to fly. She made arrangements with her Dad's help to work around the hanger at a local Wisconsin airport for the summer. Tobie traded her time for flying lessons. After the first summer she had to wait until the end of the next school year to start working at the hanger again and continue her flight training.
That second summer found Tobie's instructor looking for more tailwheel airplanes for her to learn to fly. By this time she was capable of soloing (flying the plane by herself) but the law won't let someone solo until they are 16. She made use of the time and had a great instructor who helped locate different airplanes for her to fly. She was able to become proficient in six different planes.
Finally her birthday approached and arrangements were made for her 16th birthday with 6 tail wheel planes lined up for her to solo in. Who needs candles? She had the privilege of soloing in these aircraft: J3 Cub, Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser, Luscombe 8E, Aeronca 7AC Champ, Porterfield CP-65 and a Taylorcraft BC12-D.
After another year of waiting Tobie was able to get her Private Pilots license on her 17th birthday. With these accomplishments behind her Tobie is planning on a career in aviation. I wish her all the best and applaud here dedication to the love of flying!
Image the confidence your child could have if they achieved something like this!
If you child has a desire to learn to fly help them out by visiting the Young Eagles site.
Photo Courtesy Flickr: WireLizard