Interview with Patty Wagstaff Aerobatic Champion

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To Patty Wagstaff the sky represents adventure, freedom and challenge. A six-time member of the US Aerobatic Team, Patty has won the gold, silver and bronze medals in Olympic-level international aerobatic competition and is the first woman to win the title of US National Aerobatic champion and one of the few people to win it three times.

Patty's first experience with bush flying was not a positive one. The first airplane she chartered for her job crashed on their first flight. So Patty decided to learn to fly herself, hiring friend and later husband, Bob, to travel with her in his Cessna 185 floatplane. Since then she earned her Commercial, Instrument, Seaplane and Commercial Helicopter Ratings. She is a Flight and Instrument Instructor and is rated and qualified to fly many airplanes, from World War II fighters to jets.

Though she had never seen aerobatics, a lifelong curiosity led her to attend her first Airshow in British Columbia in 1983, where she saw aerobatic pilots perform and promised herself "I can do that!" By 1985, five years after gaining her pilot's license, she earned a spot on the US Aerobatic Team.

For the past ten years, Patty has traveled to East Africa to give bush, recurrency and aerobatic training to the pilots of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) who protect Kenya’s elephants, rhino and other natural resources from poachers.  

In 2010 Patty started flying for Cal Fire as an Air Attack pilot in the OV-10 Bronco.  Cal Fire pilots fly both the OV-10 and the S2T Tanker out of 13 different bases helping keep California safe from fires and supporting firefighters on the ground.

www.pattywagstaff.com

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