Mount Shasta Chapter Ninety-Nines, Inc.
History 1975 to 1994
Yesterday and Today
Peggy Patton Smith
One day in 1975 a flight instructor by the name of Hazel “Lee” Agnew set out on a journey to Fresno, California. Her purpose was to attend a seminar for flight instruction. Little did she know that her experiences during this trip would eventually lead to the formation of the Mt. Shasta Chapter of the 99s.
The Fresno Chapter of 99s was helping with a flight instructor’s seminar. During the course of the day, Lee had her first encounter with the 99s. She was very impressed with this group of women pilots. Lee conversed with several members from the chapter and thus became very enthusiastic about getting as much information as possible that might help her start a 99s chapter in her Northern California area. At this time Lee was a flight instructor at Redding Sky Ranch.
Upon returning home, Lee contacted the Sacramento Chapter and arranged to meet with Thelma Cull and Barbara Goetz, who were in Red Bluff with other chapter members, handling the overnight stop for the well-known Palms to Pines Air Race. Thelma and Barbara were very helpful and gave Lee the necessary information for getting a chapter started. One thing for sure, five members were a must.
The move was on. Lee set out to find interested licensed women pilots in the Northern California area north of Sacramento. The airports were called to find the names of licensed women pilots. These women were contacted and told there was
interest in forming a chapter of 99s and a meeting would be held at Redding Municipal Airport. There were about five or six women attending the first meeting. A second meeting was held at Enterprise and two well-known women pilots, Nina Rookard and Marion Barnick attended the meeting and talked to the prospective members. What a shot in the arm as Donna Taylor recalls: “Marion was just great. Her love of flying and her participation in the 99s was the story of a love affair. I was hooked and so was everyone else.”
Enough of the women were interested in starting a 99s chapter, Now a name had to be picked and because most other chapters were named for geographical locations the Mt. Shasta Chapter evolved.
The Mt. Shasta Chapter was chartered on June 19th, 1975. The Chapter was officially presented to the chapter members, Lee Agnew, Bobbie Morris and Ginger Strange in Bakersfield at the 1975 fall section meeting held on September 26, 27 and 28th. The first officers were: Lee Agnew, Chairman; Jane LaMar, vice-chairman; Lorna Lockwood, secretary; and Evelyn Dempewold, treasurer. There were fourteen charter members.
The chapter began meetings at Enterprise, then moved the meeting place to Benton Field at Cal-Todd Aviation, Taylor Motors, and back to Municipal when Cal-Todd also relocated there. We are presently meeting at Hillside Aviation now at Benton Field. The chapter when first started covered an area north of Sacramento to Yreka and east to Chico.
Several charter members are still in our area. The following is a BIOGRAPHICAL HISTORY on them:
LEE AGNEW: the first chapter chairman received her private license in 1968 in a Cessna 150. Her instrument and commercial ratings were in a Piper Arrow and her multi-engine rating in a Piper Apache. She became an instructor in 1970. Lee also received her instrument and advance ground training in 1975. Lee’s strong love for aerobatics lead to a low level waiver and on to an aerobatics demonstration flight at Fall River Mills, California in a Citabria. Lee taught a beginning aviation course at Shasta College and was chief instructor for Northstar Aviation’s pilot training center at Municipal Airport for ten years, from 1973 to 1983. She is presently a flight instructor at Benton Field, Hillside Aviation. Lee has flown in the Air Classic in 1984 and the Palms to Pines Air Race in 1981, 1986 and 1987. She has three grown children and three grandchildren. In 1975 Lee was again the Chapter Chairman.
JANE LAMAR: First Vice-Chairman, Jane received her private license in 1938, soloing in a Gypsy Moth at Alhambra, California. She received her private license in a Ryan STA at Mines Field (now LAX) commercial in a Fairchild M-62, her instrument in a Cessna 172 and multi-engine in a Piper Apache. She first taught the winter of 1942 at Richfield, Utah for W.T.S Navy Cadets from Southern California. Jane was a WASP trainee in 1943 but resigned after graduation. Her next real flying was in 1958 upon renewing her CFI. She had a small flying school at Flabob Airport, Riverside, Ca. from 1968-1974. Then she moved to Redding. She has flown in seven Powder Puff derbies, the first in 1960 and the last in 1975. Jane has also flown the Palms to Pines Race and the Air Race Classic. From 1974-1986, Jane was the FAA pilot examiner for Sacramento G.A.D.O. for private, commercial and instrument.
LORNA LOCKWOOD: The Charter Secretary has a private license and owned her own plane.
EVELYN DEMPEWOLD: Charter treasurer, Evelyn soloed and received her private license in January, 1973 in an Air Coupe. She also flew a Cherokee 140. Evelyn’s desire to fly stemmed from her husband who was also a pilot and encouraged her to get her license. The Dempewolds flew mainly for pleasure. Evelyn spoke of the time they took off from Sky Ranch in the 140 and the engine quit: they managed a safe landing back at the airport. The engine had “sucked” a valve. Having their own business did not allow for too much flying, but the tone of Evelyn’s voice indicated good memories from their flying experiences.
DONNA TAYLOR: Donna began flying in February 1973 at Benton Field. As she was busy raising four lively children, it took until August 10th to solo in a Cessna 150. Donna received her private license on June 17th, 1974 in an Arrow at Cal-Todd Aviation, at Benton Field. She bought a 1971 Piper Arrow that year and is presently still flying in the same plane. Howard and Donna did some business and pleasure flying for the next seven or eight years. Donna is a past Chairman of the chapter, sometime in the 1970’s. Donna flew in her first air race, the Palms to Pines in 1981 with Ginger Strange in Ginger’s 182. The next year the same team flew in Donna’s Piper Arrow. Then she flew the race in 1983 & 1984 with Jane LaMar, winning first place in 1984. In 1985, she flew again with Ginger. Then in 1986 she flew the Palms with Ginger in the 182, while her daughter, Dana flew the Piper Arrow with Jane LaMar. Her daughter, Dana is also a 99 and her 49 ½, Howard, who is very active in helping the 99s with several projects and putting up with all the women at the annual installation party held in the Taylor home. Donna flew in the 50th Commemorative Anniversary of the last flight of Amelia Earhart with several Mt. Shasta 99s over Redding and the surrounding area. It was an inspiring and impressive time in history. In June, 1985, Donna and Jane LaMar flew the Air Race Classic, from Redding, Ca. to Daytona Beach, Fl. They came in an impressive 13th place. At that time, Donna had only logged 350 hours.
GINGER STRANGE: Ginger soloed in a Cessna 172 and received her license in a Cessna 182 in 1974. She has flown in nine Palms to Pines, four as a pilot and three as co-pilot. Ginger was the Southwest Section scrap book chairman from 1978 to 1980.
JOAN TEATS: Joan lived in Red Bluff, and soloed in Redding, receiving her private license in a Cherokee 150 in December, 1974. Joanie’s love for flying stemmed from her father who was a pilot in the service. She felt this would give them something in common to share and talk about. Joan has been in real estate for several years. She has not done much flying in the past years.
ELEANOR SCOTT: Eleonore received her license in a Cherokee 140 in 1970. She presently owns a Cherokee 180 and flies a lot from her home in Trinity Center to Redding. She is a registered nurse and highly trained in emergency medicine. Eleonore is very active in the community and her husband, Lynn is also a pilot.
BOBBIE MORRIS: Bobbie received her private license in Santa Monica, Ca. She also is a licensed ham radio operator, and does an excellent job. Bobbie’s husband is an instructor and worked at Sky Ranch, Northstar Aviation and flies for the Forestry Service in the summer. Bobbie presently flies a Cessna 172.
Other charter members were unavailable for comment.
On October 10th, 1975 the Mt. Shasta Chapter received a check from the Redwood Empire Chapter for $50.00. Pat Stoffer enclosed a note welcoming us as a new chapter.
The first fund raiser was cooking a breakfast at Sky Ranch for a group of EAA club members for a weekend. Organization was “loose” to say the least. Some of the members bought the food and others borrowed the stoves. Bobbie Morris was given the job of cleaning the stoves, and they were a mess. It took hours! The women instinctively worked well together in the kitchen as no one had a specific job. In spite of all this the breakfast was a success and the members made some money for the chapter. The chapter was on its way.
For a while the breakfast was the annual fund raiser. Several were held at Sky Ranch and Enterprise. By this time the breakfast was more than our chapter could handle.
The members then had a Pepsi booth at the Red Bluff Air Show and proved they could make funds for the chapter easier and have continued this activity at air shows today.
Other activities through the years were air marking several local airports. To date the members have painted two, 80 foot in diameter, Compass Roses in Redding. One was painted at Redding Municipal in June of 1985 before the start of the Air Race Classic. The second was painted at Benton Field, September 1985 as this history is being written.
The Chapter has had poker runs, treasure hunts, and fly-ins. The Mt. Shasta Chapter had for several years been in charge of the Palms to Pines Air Race overnight stop in Red Bluff.
This year our chapter had the privilege and pleasure of hosting the start of the ninth Air Race Classic. A lot of organization and work was involved, but under the direction of our own Alma Hinds and her helper, Lois Sweeney, we were pleased with the outcome. Chapter participation was just great.
The chapter continues to have the annual installation party and Christmas party. In celebration of our tenth year as a chapter, we flew to Trinity Center for potluck at Eleonore & Lynn Scott’s home. More than 30 persons attended.
Our chapter received a trophy two years in a row for a small chapter having the highest percent of members APT. The chapter has entered in the Red Bluff Round Up Parade and also the Redding Rodeo Parade. Winning a third place trophy in the Rodeo was unexpected, but gave us the desire to try again next year.
Presently our chapter has twenty eight members. Our goal is to increase that number as interest and awareness of who we are and what we do is made known to the community. We are women pilots and very proud of it.
Chapter Chairman, 1985
MT.SHASTA CHAPTER 1985-1994
BEV ROMERO, CHAIRMAN
BARBARA BOOT, VICE-CHAIRMAN
SHIRLEY LEATHERWOOD, 1985-1987 SECRETARY
SUANN PRIGMORE, 1990-1991 SECRETARY
LOIS VAN ZELF, TREASURER
From 1985-1990, we were under the capable leadership of Bev Romero. During this time we came into our own as a small chapter who worked and played well together. We went to Section Meetings, Conventions, and Air Races. We did many air markings and even hosted the Spring 1987 Section Meeting in Redding. We accumulated so many trophies we had a trophy case installed at Redding Municipal Airport is showcase our members and promote 99s. We had yearly flying companion seminars.
BARBARA BOOT, CHAIRMAN
DONNA TAYLOR, VICE-CHAIRMAN
DIANE SCHNEEWEIS, SECRETARY
SUANN PRIGMORE, TREASURER
From 1990 to 1992 we grew as a chapter, with 32 members and 12 Sixty-Six’s. We are becoming more involved in all aspects of aviation by promoting education in schools, participating at Air Shows in Redding, Corning and Chico. We had a greasy thumbs clinic and continued our Flying Companion Seminar. At almost every Spring and Fall Section you will find 6 to 8 Mt. Shasta members in attendance; all having a great time. Several members fly in the Palms to Pines every August, as well as hosting it, which means that almost all members are involved. Our Chapter participation is remarkably high. We have so much fun, nobody wants to miss out.
Barbara Boot, Chairman
DONNA TAYLOR, CHAIRMAN
DIANA WARD, VICE-CHAIRMAN
PAT NASH, SECRETARY
SUANN PRIGMORE, TREASURER
SHIRLEY LEATHERWOOD, APT
DORIS LOCKNESS, AEROSPACE EDUCATION
DIANE SCHNEEWEIS, FLYING COMPANION SEMINAR
I have continued with my activities in the 99s as Chairman for this past year. We worked on 3 air shows and painted on compass rose at Benton field. We won the APT trophy at the SW Spring Section meeting in Sacramento, 1993. The Publicity trophy was won by our chapter at the Fall section meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. We had superb participation in all of our events. Never have I worked with a more considerate nor dynamic group of women. Our membership grew a bit and had lot of interest in 66s. Our best attribute is our true friendship within the local chapter. We extend this friendship to every new and interested future 99. We are never exclusive nor do we have and “inner circle.” We have great fun and promote good will and accomplishment. I believe I have a part in this group attitude. I am still flying my 1971 Piper Arrow 200 Retractable. It is a good plane and I am lucky to have a husband who encourages me in every way. Our 4 children are grown and married. I have 2 baby grandchildren, a boy 2 ½ years and a girl 5 months. I take the boy flying and give them subliminal messages when asleep: “You love flying with grandma.”
Donna Taylor, Chairman
Editor’s note: Summing up the last year, we had two outstanding projects, both chaired by Diane Schneweiss of Chico: Our flying companion seminar was held in Chico this year, and over 15 women attended. It was a great success. In addition, Diane has created a program called “Partners in Aviation.” It is a program for the youth of America. It was first tested at the Corning Air Show in May, 1992. We had a famous pilot, Wayne Handley as a guest speaker for one of the local school assembly. He spoke before 600 students from 3rd grade to 6th grade. Then, the next day, we hosted 700 high school students at the local airport, giving them a tour of 9 planes and performers prior to the air show. We gave all students free admission tickets for the air show.
Chairman: Diana Ward
Vice Chairman: Doris Lockness
Secretary: Diane Schneeweis
Treasurer: Lucy Shepard
Highlights of the year: We did “Partners in Aviation” at the Corning Air Show in May. We had a hamburger booth at the Redding Air Show. In June we painted the compass rose at Benton, as well as man the Pepsi booth at the Father’s Day fly-in at Benton. In July, we met at Donna Taylor’s for our annual demotion party. Margaret Brennan also hosted our group at her home in Whitmore. In August, we helped with the Palms to Pines Air Race and had a party at Lucy Shepard’s home at Lake Shasta. In October we painted another compass rose at Hayfork Airport. We flew into the Rancho Murrieta Flight Center. In December we gathered for our annual Christmas party. On a severe clear day in January, we flew to Shelter Cove. In April, Margaret and Rod Brennan hosted a spectacular dinner at the Redding Airport, with Captain Al Haynes as the keynote speaker. We made a lot of $$$ at this event and it was very classy. In May we did a Pepsi and hot dog booth at the BT-13 fly-in in Chico. In June, two plane loads of girls took the big step and flew to Alaska: Donna Taylor and Jane Lamar, and Suann Prigmore and Lois Van Zelf. In July we hosted a Young Eagles Day at IASCO; it was a great success. In August we helped once again with the 25th Palms to Pines.
Diana Ward, Chairman
Doris Lockness, Chairman
Shirley Leatherwood, Vice-Chairman
Suzanne Blackburn, Secretary
Barbara Crooker, Treasurer
We had a great year! We added two more members, bringing our group to the big chapter status of 35. We have good turn outs for our meetings. Nine of our members attended the SW Section meeting at Santa Rosa, where we received the PR trophy for a medium size chapter. Thank you, Charlie Nugent! Diane Schneeweis was awarded the WPOY Trophy. Barbara Boot accepted on Diane’s behalf. We are planning a Fall Section meeting in 1996. We already have a chairman: Nancy Everett Phillips, who is working on this project with her committee members. We hosted the 25th annual Palms to Pines at Redding, and once again many members flew the race. Our Aviation programs: Echo Tango, Partners in Aviation, and the Young Eagles have kept us all busy. On a personal note, I earned my tenth Wings in the FAA program in an R-22 helicopter.
Doris Lockness, Chairman
THE FOLLOWING IS THE CURRENT MEMBERSHIP ROSTER AND UP TO DATE HISTORY ON WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE INVOLVED IN:
Editor’s note: The bold print was written in 1994. Updates are in italics
- Lee Agnew: in 1987 Lee was appointed the FAA Designator for Pilot Examiner for private, commercial and instrument ratings. In 1990, Lee won 7th place in the Palms to Pines as well as the spot landing and third leg. She has won Employee of the year, 1991, 1992, at Hillside Aviation. In 1992 she was awarded Instructor of the year. She has been membership chairman and educational chairman for the Mt. Shasta 99s for many years.
Michelle Bond: My interest in flying started with having a father in the Air Force who was a navigator on the B-52s. I have enjoyed watching a radio controlled gas engine model, military air shows at Fairchild Air Force Base, the Henley Air Dome (antique aircraft including a P-51). In 1988, I met my husband, a controller with the Federal Aviation Administration, who introduced me to air shows: Truckee, Will Rogers, and the Reno Air Races to name a few. He took me up for the first time in a small aircraft (a Schweitzer 232 glider). I obtained my first ride in a small powered aircraft and earned my license in Oklahoma, flying out of David J. Perry airport. I had many good times, flying with Bill King in his Ercoupe and lots of good advice at the local FBO operated by Ron Donrough. California touch and go’s with my friends and co-conspirators in the Ninety-Nines and the Experimental Aircraft Association include, Donna Taylor in her Arrow, Shirley Leatherwood in her C152,
Larry Burton and his Celebrity, Bob Thomas in his RV6, Chuck Werner in his Lansair, and Ray Schutte in his open cockpit Starduster Two. I have been treasurer for the EAA and air marking chairman for the Mt. Shasta 99s. The warm smiles and unending dedication to the world of aviation of these two groups continue to impress me. What is it I really like about flying? The unencumbered freedom of movement, the extension of my body into the realm of the soul, the freedom of the spirit.
Barbara Boot: aviation has always been in my blood; my father flew Jennies in WW1, and then I married a “flyboy” when I was just 17. However, I didn’t start flying until I was 37, in 1974, with Chief White in Corning. I received my private license in March, 1976. I flew my first air race, the Palms to Pines, with Johnnie Lynn in my 172 in 1978. We each had about 200 hours of logged time. I was immediately hooked on air racing, and found out all the fun was initiated by the 99s, so Johnny and I joined the Mt. Shasta Chapter in 1979. I flew the Palms to Pines in 1979 with my daughter, Patti and since then have flown six more times with several friends. I have been on the Corning Airport Commission since 1979 and served as Chairman most of those years. In 1988 I took a 10 hours aerobatic course from Mike Kinslow, and in 1992 a two hour lesson from Wayne Handley in his Pitts. Also in 1992 co-chaired a successful air show in Corning. I am currently active in promoting 99s sponsored events: flying companion seminars, air shows as well as attend most SW section meetings. I love 99s and find some of my closest friends are Mt. Shasta members. This year I earned my Phase IV Wings and my Echo Tango pin.
Offices held: V. Chairman, 85-90; Chairman, 90-92, SW Section Nominating Committee, 92-93. Chapter Historian.
Barbara Boot, Chairman
Margaret Brennan: I always thought flying would be a wonderful experience and naturally wanted to learn to fly, as my husband, Rod had flown since 1961. When we moved to Whitmore we purchased a 182. I started lessons at Millionaire with Fritz Egger as my instructor, in a Warrior. Lee Agnew soloed me in the 182. I first joined the Mt. Shasta chapter as a Sixty-Six, becoming a 99 in 1991 when I received my private certificate. In 1994 I flew my first air race: the Palms to Pines. It was definitely a learning experience. The camaraderie of the 99s is what keeps me going.
Donna Cheney: My father flew L-5 Stinson’s in WW11 as a spotter plane for the army. I guess you would say that flying was in my blood. I met my husband, Terry, at Sutter County Airport in the early ‘70’s where he had just obtained his private certificate. I worked in the office of the FBO there. Terry comes from a family of pilots so flying was always a part of his life. I always liked to go flying (most of my dates with Terry were flying ones) but there was one slight problem: I always got sick! Not every time, but mostly. After we married, we bought a Stinson 108-2 back in S. Carolina. We flew it from the Atlantic to the Pacific in an astonishing 32 hours. I was sick most of the time. A few years later we bought a 250 Comanche, and guess what, I was still getting sick. Then in 1988 (and 3 children later) we bought our beautiful Meyers 200D. Since having the Meyers we have seen plenty of countryside and yes, I was still doing my thing. Twenty years of flying from the right seat made me think about finally taking the plunge and going after my private certificate. So, in 1993 I started lessons at Sutter County airport in a C150 with a wonderful CFII. And guess what? My first lesson I threw up on Tom, the wonderful CFII. He didn’t give up on me, and March 8th, 1994 I very proudly came home with my private certificate. In August, 1994 I flew my first Palms to Pines race with my dear friend: Willa Young, in the same C150 I got my license in. It was a blast, we learned a lot of valuable lessons, and next year we are going in a bigger airplane. Since getting my private certificate, I have been spending most of my time in the Meyers (gosh, what a great airplane to fly) and hope to finally become competent to fly her solo very soon. And yes, sometimes, when sitting in the right seat through turbulence, I still can get sick, but since getting my license, it has gotten better. I suppose I am looking at it from a whole different angle now that “Women Fly” Oh, you should also know that my oldest son, Jason, who is 15, loves to fly and will become the next pilot in the family. I guess you could say it’s in the blood.
Barbara Crooker: I joined the 99s in 1993. Learning to fly has been a lifelong dream. I was encouraged to fly by my father-in-law who was a pilot. I finally received my ticket in February 1993! As a Realtor, I look forward to being able to fly for business as well as pleasure. My husband, Bob and our four children are all pleased and proud.
Liz Dealey: I was born in Oakland, Ca. on March 26th, 1937 and am a third generation Californian. I attended U.C Berkeley for two years and met my husband, Dave there. After we married in 1957, we moved to the mountains, where Dave got his first job with the Diamond Match Co. He has spent his entire career working for private timber companies ending with Fruit Growers Supply Co. as Vice-President. I finished college at Chico State and taught full time for three years. After having our two daughters, Diane and Lori, I worked only part time as a home and hospital teacher. When the girls went to college, I again worked full time until they finished college.
I have always wanted to fly and earned my license in July, 1990 . I also joined the Mt. Shasta 99s in 1990. At present I am working on my instrument rating. Locally, I belong to the EAA. This year I will earn my third set of wings in the FAA program. At our Montague airport, I give all the tours for school children. Locally, I belong to the EAA. This year I will earn my third set of wings in the FAA program. Dave and I bought a 1970 Cherokee 235 I 1993. I really enjoy flying it. We owned 8542N for 20 years. In 1996 I earned my instrument rating. Earning the rating was hard work, but it made me a much better pilot. I flew Dave on many business trips, and we have also made many pleasure trips in 8524N. In 2007, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, we took a month’s trip and flew all over the Western US.
In 2013 we sold our home of 30 years in Yreka, and moved to a retirement community in Medford, Or. We also sold our plane as it was just too expensive to have it in Medford. I joined a flying club here and have flown the 172 that they have. At present I am not flying very much and am not sure what the future will bring. I am proud to be a member of the 99s and feel very lucky to know so many special ladies.
Lois Erickson: Joined the Wisconsin Chapter, North Central Section in 1970, and subsequently served as News Letter Editor and Secretary. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, Nevada, worked with the Wisconsin 99s to put on the joint Section and International Convention in Milwaukee. Served as Chairman, Secretary, Vice-Chairman, Aviation Activities and Aerospace Education on the Chapter level. As a member of the Southwest Section, served as Aerospace Education and Aviation Activities Chairman; Secretary, Treasurer, Vice-Governor, and Governor. In 1992, served as Council of Governors Correspondent. As a charter member of the Council of Governors attended meetings in the Southwest, Northwest, North Central, South Central, East Canada and Mid-Atlantic Sections. An avid air racer, I have flown the AWTAR, Pacific Air Race and Palms to Pines. When not racing worked as official timer, and have been a regional PCIFA judge, International Secretary, (1992-1994); International Vice-President (1994-1996). I own a 1966 Piper Cherokee 180C. I am private and instrument rated. My occupation: Nursing Administration Consultant with Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master’s Degree in Business Administration- Health Services Management.
Alma Hinds: I started flying in Red Bluff in 1938, which at the time was a dirt field on the west side of the present airport. The U.S. Government in 1939 started the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which consisted of 50 hours of ground school followed by a scholarship of eight hours of dual and 35 hours of solo flight for the ten highest grades in ground school. One of the ten trainees could be a women, and I was fortunate to be one of the ten. On October 28th, 1940, I received my Private Pilot Certificate and started to get enough flying time to qualify for a Commercial, receiving my Commercial License on October 14, 1941.
On December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, all flying on the West Coast was curtailed, and I moved to Reno to get an instructors rating, as well as a job with Gustavson Flying Service at Reno Sky Ranch.
I signed up for the Air Transport Auxiliary to go to the Ferry Command in England, when I was contacted by Jacqueline Cochran and recruited to join the training program of the Women’s Auxiliary Service Pilots. I was sent to Houston, Texas to be trained in the Army way of flying. I was in the second class of women in this training school and graduated in 1943. In July, 1943 I was attached to the 6th Ferry group in Long Beach, where I remained until the WASPs were relieved of duties in 1944.
In 1945 I moved to Redding, and with Don Hemstead started the H & H Flying Service, Inc. In 1947 I purchased Hemstead’s portion of the business, and continued to operate with instruction, sales and service until 1973 when the operation was sold to Gene Calanchini. I continued flying and air racing until 1988 when on the 50th anniversary of my first flight; I decided to call it a day.
Susan Kerr: I became interested in flying a few years ago. I never knew about flying as I was growing up. To me, pilots flew big airliners or military planes. I never knew that one could “fly for fun.” My interest began later in life.
I moved from the Bay Area to Redding about 12 years ago with my three children. I was around people who flew, but it never caught my interest. Then one day, I was invited to go for a flight. I was hooked! I was a passenger now and then for a few years, but did not have the means to pay for flying lessons. Well, my children grew up and left home and finally it was my turn. I enrolled in a ground school through Shasta College… I met and became friends with another women who was just beginning her pilot training. I started hanging out at Enterprise Sky Park. In the beginning I just had the fun of listening to a lot of hangar flying. I learned a lot from those stories. In the meantime, my friend Sue, from ground school, introduced me to her Uncle Jim. One thing led to another, and we started to date. Of course a lot of those dates were in the air. Jim got his CFI ticket two months later; he offered to teach me to fly in his plane. Of course I said yes! When I did my first solo, Jim was pacing in the tower; the controller asked him why he was so nervous. His reply: “That’s my airplane and that’s my girlfriend and neither one of them has flown without me before!” Is that trust or what? Well, learning to fly is pretty exciting, but if the CFI is your boyfriend or husband, it’s a real challenge. We decided to get married anyway, and a year later I took my check ride. My incentive was a planned trip to “Oshkosh ’94. I decided I did not want 40 hours of dual cross-country in my logbook, so one week before departure I passed my check ride and was able to log “pilot in command” for the longest cross country I’ve ever made to date. I try to get as many fly-ins as I can and have been to Merced, Porterville, Watsonville, Westover, Cottage Grove, a yearly camp out at Dinsmore, and of course lots of flights for that $100.00 breakfast or lunch.
Now, I am a “99” and look forward to even more involvement in the wonderful world of aviation. I have already set my sights on unusual attitude flying and getting my IFR rating. I believe specific goals in aviation are important to remain a proficient pilot. My long term goal is to become a CFI and join my husband who enjoys sharing his love of flying with so many people.
I am 50 years old now, and have a whole challenge ahead of me. I expect it will keep me young for a long time. Who knows, I may have a granddaughter or grandson who might like to follow in Grandma’s footsteps. Wouldn’t that be great!
Veretta Kizziar: My husband was a Flight Surgeon and when we were stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, he bought our first airplane: a Piper Cub. We had a Beechcraft Debonair, then a Bonanza, next a Twin Comanche, later an Aero Commander, next a 206 Super Charged Cessna, and finally another Bonanza E35, a classic 1952, beautifully painted. I usually fly from the right seat except when weather required an instrument pilot. My log book says my first lesson was March 25th, 1961. Actually my first piloting was in 1946 when we visited the Ercoupe Factory in Maryland. The salesman asked me to get inside the plane to see how it felt. He asked me if I knew how to drive a car? I said yes. He had me drive the plane off the ground, then he said; “pull back on the wheel.” I did, and the next thing I knew I was flying above the trees! Actually, flying was my husband’s sport. I knew some 99s in Bakersfield, and they encouraged me to fly. I didn’t get really serious about flying as PIC until my husband lost his physical. Thanks to John Adams and Paul Israel, my instructors, I have a beautiful plaque that says: “A Piper Pilot, soloed March 7th, 1966.” I have another plaque that reads: October 18th, 1981, given to me when I became a private pilot. Our dear Jane LaMar gave me our check ride. On September 16th, 1983 I passed my test to fly a high performance plane, our V-tail Bonanza.
Mary La Croix**
*Jane LaMar: Still an active Mt. Shasta chapter member, Jane has retired and moved to Benicia. However, she went on the great adventure trip with Donna Taylor to Alaska in June, 1994: and the pair continues to air race in the “Palms to Pines.”
Shirley Leatherwood: There may be some experiences in my flying that are a little different from many, but perhaps some will relate. During the Korean War in the early ‘50’s (telling my age), there was a program here on the West coast called the Ground Observer Corps. At least that is how this 3rd or 4th grader remembers. A station happened to be at the house I was living in at the time. (I lived with many relatives when I was a child). This was my first introduction to aircraft. On the 2nd floor was a little room that you had to climb out the window to get to. The room had a cat walk around the outside. Inside were pictures and shadows of military aircraft, and a crank telephone for calling in the aircraft we spotted, I will never forget the identifying code: Mike Peter 4,3,Red. You had to get 40 hours to earn a pin or so I was told. I rode the school bus many miles to school, as well as a long walk to the bus stop. In winter, it was usually dark by the time I got home. It seems that the only planes that flew over were Flying Boxcars. With looking glasses that were so big for me, I couldn’t hold them still for very long, we would determine the time and direction they were flying. Well, I got my pin, and I still have my school picture with my Sunday school attendance pins and my big airplane pin on my collar. The nearest airport was over forty miles and I had no other contact with planes, only observing them in the sky, and reading any books with planes or stories about them, or the people who flew them, including comic books. I wanted to fly so bad it hurt. It wasn’t until I moved to California, got married, and had a son that I finally got my first ride in an airplane. My husband worked for the city and we rented a house from them, which just happened to be located at the airport. We got to know one of the men who worked in the Flight Station at the time. His name was John. John had a Stinson Station Wagon. He asked me if I wanted to go up. I was terrified and thrilled at the same time. (Partly because I don’t like heights) He was so good about my fears and comfort; I have never forgotten his kindness. So when I take someone up for the first time, I try to stress safety, but be as undramatic as possible. I loved it, but still didn’t think I could fly, though I sure liked the ride.
More years went by, and we moved to Fort Bragg. My doctor owned part interest in the FBO there, he tried to get me to take up flying, so I bought the Mach 1 written course. But only read it, it seemed too expensive. I didn’t work, and husbands logging business wasn’t going well, small child in school, lots of bills. Moved back to the valley, more years passed, went to Beauty College, got a job, but still not able to fly. Then one Mother’s Day, my husband and I happened to go out to the airport just to watch the planes. Bob Jones, the FBO at the time asked me if I would like to go up, I almost cried I was so happy. It was the best Mother’s Day present I could have ever gotten. I fell in love all over again. But still didn’t think that I could actually fly a plane myself. And as always, there was the cost. A couple of months had passed, and Ken was working out of town more and more. One day on my way home from a four hour drive visiting my husband, I told my son I’m going to see about taking up flying. That week I went to the airport and took my first demonstration flight. The instructor showed me that if I took the yoke the plane would not automatically fall out of the sky. So I went down to Corning and signed up for flight school. When my husband came home the next weekend, I told him I was taking flying lessons, all he said was: “that’s great!” I was so apprehensive; I wouldn’t even taxi with the window open. I made the comment that I didn’t care if it took me twenty hours to solo, I wasn’t going to until I was ready. Well, my very next lesson my instructor wanted to solo me but told me if I didn’t feel like it, we could wait until next time. Well, I knew if I didn’t do it then I would never come back for the next lesson. I swear that when the instructor got out of the plane, my heart beat so hard for three beats my shirt almost hit the yoke. And wouldn’t you know, there were three crop dusters using the runway that day coming in from all directions. I figured they knew I was a student pilot and would watch out for me because they could hear me on the radio. To my surprise, I found out later that don’t have radios. Soloing in the little plane was probably the greatest feeling I will ever have! I had overcome my fears. I had done it all by myself. I have kept a scrapbook of my flying, I don’t want to forget any part of the times I’ve had.
Washing planes and pumping gas plus working at least two jobs have been part of my life since I flew in love with flying. Money or the lack of it has always been a problem. There would be a lot more ratings in my logbook and a lot sooner if I had the money. Bob Jones hired me part time as a bookkeeper at the airport. I stayed with him until he sold, then stayed with the new owner until he sold out. (Ten years)
Went onto a better paying job, thought maybe the extra money could go on my current project plane. Do I ever miss the airport and its people! While I was there, I got to see many planes and many interesting pilots. That is the only thing that matters to me. I joined the 99s the week I got my license, I was already a 66. I was and still am very proud to be a member; they are the greatest group of women. They have helped me through some of my darkest times, and have shared my many joys. Plus they don’t seem to mind if all I talk about is flying. I have done a lot of jobs in the 99s. Stop chairman for a couple of years for the Palms to Pines, raced a couple of times, and just plain had fun.
One thing lead to another, and I needed a plane: the only way I could afford one was to get one that hadn’t flown for ten years and was in someone’s barn. * Five years later we had that thing in the air. Many times I felt like a test pilot, not everything was right the first time around. This Decathlon we are working on now has been a seven year project so far, the parts are very expensive. We go to a lot of
Fly-ins, great people, great planes, lots of good information, and a good way to get a sunburn! It’s been hard for me; I’ve often thought I just didn’t have the dedication I should have. Many of the ones who really made it in flying had to give up their husbands and family. I’m just too insecure for such sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love flying just about more than anyone. I used to come home and tell Ken I was in love; after flying a friend’s fancy plane. He would just ask me what new plane I got to fly; he knew what I was in love with. My son once told me I loved my plane more than him. But to this day he still helps me wash my plane or anything I ask of him, even though he is thirty three years old. One of my struggles in the flying community was to be accepted for my skills, not because I was female. Many of my close friends are crop duster pilots, acrobatic pilots, and professionals.
So I want my skills to be good when these people fly with me. My little prayer is please let me be a good pilot and safe pilot. A great moment of acceptance for me was when Jack Holcomb, one of our local old time aviation greats (flying clown) passed away, his wife and friends asked if I would fly in formation with a group of pro flyers. I was the only women in the group. My one true hope is that I will be able to fly for many more years.
*Editor’s note: I was learning to fly in Corning at this time in the 1970’s. The first time I saw Shirley she was setting in a burnt up Ercoupe hull. I asked her what she was doing. She told me she was going to rebuild and fly that plane. I don’t know how long it took her, but she did most of it herself, even upholstered the seats.
Candy Murphy: I come by my love of flying quite honestly. My Dad was a Navy career aviator, flying Bearcats, Hellcats and Skyraiders. My mother learned to fly before she could drive, so naturally aviation is in my blood. I was 34 years old, however, before I discovered the thrill of flying. A friend took me for a ride in his Cessna 150. It was a beautiful night, and I was enthralled. It was two years and a baby later when I inherited some money. I knew right away what I wanted to do with it. Flying lessons! So each Saturday morning I would go to the airport and spend the best two hours of my week learning takeoffs, landings, stalls, and “S” turns across a road. I worked diligently for a year and a half. I took ground school, and passed my written. I labored over short field landings. I tried to make weather interesting. Finally on June 1st, 1990, the Designated Examiner handed me my Temporary Airman’s Certificate. This was the best day of my life. Two years later I am working at the FBO where I learned to fly. I love my job. We have four airplanes on the line. I schedule them for instruction and annuals. My employer is a CFII with over 10,000 hours. I encourage his students, help them make sense of the FAR’s and make sure the airplanes are ready for them to fly. I share their excitement at their first solo, the anticipation of their long cross country, and the anxiety of their check ride. And I am learning every day how much general aviation means to me. In 1992, Diana Ward and I entered the Palms to Pines air Race, and won the best first time racers trophy for the second leg. Heck, we thought we were winners when we found the Santa Monica airport.
Doris Lockness: Doris was born in 1910, and received her Private license in 1939; her commercial helicopter rating in 1985. She had four children by the time she was 23. She lived near a small airport in Wilmington, Ca. In her free time she would wash planes or help in the office, anything to be near the planes. She entered the WASP program in early 1943, but had to drop out just prior to graduation when her husband divorced her and tried to get the children. She has been married to Robert for 40 years; he has encouraged her to try all sorts of air machines. Doris is Whirley- Girl #55, which entitles her to have official standing in history in the Smithsonian Institute, where a plaque honors the first 100 female helicopter pilots. She is a Twirly-Bird member as well: those who flew a helicopter more than 20 years ago. Doris became a member of the OX5 because she flew a Curtiss-Robin before Dec. 1940, and in 1984 was awarded their Legion of Merit, given for continuous participation in aviation for more than 40 years, and for demonstrating unusual technical and safe flying ability. She has never had to file an accident report. Doris had 11 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. Her license,
# 94473 reads, Commercial, single & multi-engine, Land & Sea, Helicopter, Gyrocopter, Glider, Hot Air Balloon, Certified Flight Instructor in all, plus instruments. She has logged over 10,000 hours. In 1992, the FAA declared her the 4th oldest female pilot in the United States still actively flying.
Doris’s Biography as an Aviatrix is published in “Who’s Who” in California’s’ 13th thru 17th edition. She received that societies “Golden State” award in 1986 and their “Award of Honor” in 1987. In 1987, Doris was inducted into the Memory Lane, International Forest of Friendship, Atchison, Ks. The Cameron Park Chapter sponsored her. A life member of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers “Hall of Fame” the highest honor given by the OX5. Her plaque is displayed in the Aerospace Museum in San Diego; Ca Doris serves on the Board of Governors of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers and held office of Vice President during 1987-1988, Golden Gate Wing.
A member of the Confederate Air Force (CAF), Pacific Wing Division, Doris was elected to the General Staff and held posts of Executive Officer and Safety Officer during this time. She was the recipient of the Pacific wings “Meritorious Service Award.”
Doris was not only Whirley-Girl #55, she was the second female rotary wing pilot in the USA to obtain a commercial type rating in a constant speed propeller driven Gyroplane in 1988: Jean Tinsley being the first to earn this rating.
In 1991 the National Association (NAA) presented Doris with their “Certificate of Honor” award, recognizing her achievements in aviation for over 50 years.
She is an ardent supporter of the F.A.A. Pilot Proficiency (Wings) program and has participated in this program since 1980, receiving her Phase Eight (V111) Wings and Certificate in 1992.
During the National Helicopter Championships held in Las Vegas, NV. she served with the Helicopter Club of America (HCA) as a Judge for the National Competition, for which she was awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation.”
1991 was the year Doris received the “Most Inspirational Pilot” award from the Mt. Shasta 99s. In 1992, she received the Mt. Shasta “Pilot of the Year” trophy. She also received a wall plaque from the Corning Chamber of Commerce Air show Committee for contributions such as flying T.V. and News personnel in her Piper Archer 11. Barbara Boot, airshow co-chairman made the presentation of this beautiful plaque.
For several years Doris flew her War bird, a Vultee-Stinson L-5, named “Swamp Angel” to numerous military and civilian air shows, where she was always in demand.
Federal aviation records show Doris is presently the fourth eldest female pilot in the country that is still actively flying, with a current medical and BFR. Her current airplane is a Piper Archer.
Doris was a member of the Long Beach 99s chapter and the San Fernando Valley Chapter where she served as Direct Relief Chairman, the Cameron Park Chapter where she served as Treasurer, and the Mt. Shasta Chapter where she is presently serving as Aerospace and Education Chairman.
In 1992, Doris served as pilot and Barbara Boot as co-pilot flew the All Women’s Palms to Pines Air Race, from Santa Monica to Bend, Or.
Doris has received International recognition in recent years through newspaper feature stories, magazine articles and numerous television interviews pertaining to her many years of diverse flying activities. In 1987 she was interviewed on camera with the Whirly-Girls by BBC for viewing in Great Britain and Europe.
Doris presently is active in and holds offices in several of the Aviation Organizations she is privileged to belong to, including:
OX5 Aviation Pioneers, Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPS), United Flying Octogenarians (UFO), International Women’s Air & Space Museum, Confederate
Air Force, International Women Helicopter Pilots (Whirly-Girls), International
Organization Pioneer Helicopter Pilot (Twirley Girls), Helicopter Clubs of America,
Women Military Aviators, Aero Club of So. California, the Ninety-Nines (99s).
Editor’s notes: If you do a “Google” search on Doris Lockness, she is mentioned
Pat Nash: My earliest memories of a desire to fly were in 1943, when I was in the Sixth grade. World War 11 was in full wing, and we were all engrossed in making balsa wood models of different aircraft. Mine was a B-17. However, in my little world at that time, women didn’t fly. This thought lay dormant until 1977 when I had accrued enough money from a very sometime nursing job to actually do something about it. I had only flown in a small aircraft once and on a commercial airline twice, but the desire was there and I just simply presented myself at the door of North Star Aviation in Redding and told them that I wanted to learn to fly. After a few lessons from a young man, I realized that wasn’t working for me. I ended up in the capable hands of Lee Agnew. Lee, who had the patience of Jobe, nurtured me, picked me up when I wanted to quit, held my hand, and taught and taught. I eventually realized the dream of that coveted piece of paper: my private pilot’s license! The date was September 9th, 1978. It had taken me one year, and I consider myself a slow learner. Three months before I had an opportunity to buy into a four member partnership of a Piper Arrow; PA28-200RG. I didn’t understand the magnitude of jumping from a Tomahawk into a complex airplane, so I just did it with Lee’s blessing. My sometime nursing job had grown to the point where it would support this growth in my venture. Lee also introduced me to the Mt. Shasta 99s, and I have been a member ever since. My nursing job continued to grow so I continued to fly often. The partnership was a good one for a number of years. I was able to fly around the Western US. I did quite a bit of flying in a second job I had as a licensed Technical Delegate for the American Horse Show Association. This job often required my presence in out of the way places, not easily reached by commercial airlines. I flew into interesting airports in all of the western states,
except Utah and Colorado. In 1984, the partnership fell apart. We sold the Arrow, and I took my share of the sale to purchase a C150 Texas Tail dragger. My nursing job had grown and blossomed into a full time private business of my own, thus I was able to support my wonderful flying habit. I absolutely fell in love with this yellow bird. I learned to fly it under the capable tutelage of Bud Pedigo. Bud was an old time pilot who had built, rebuilt and flown just about everything with wings. He taught me far more than just how to fly a tail dragger. It was from him that I began to acquire a truly impressive love of flying. Before, it had merely been a hobby which I enjoyed. My involvement with the Ninety-Nines was becoming more and more interesting, and wonderful friendships became stronger and deeper. My flying and 99s activities were limited somewhat by my nursing job, which required me to be away from Redding more than eight months of the year. Actually, I was home only in the winter, and the weather isn’t always encouraging for VFR pilots. In 1984, I joined the Enterprise Flying Club, a wonderful group of pilots with a unique life style of their own. This opened more flying opportunities and again brought new and lasting friendships. In 1991 I bought a Cessna 172N, and began flying even more. I could go further than in the 150, and I began to acquire a bit of
wanderlust. However, in 1993 I reached the grand old age of retirement, and my flying took on new dimensions. Even before I retired, I began to work on my Instrument rating by studying for and passing my written exam. I retired one day and began flying the next. For me it was a long haul; as I already said, I am a slow learner. My instructor, a retired Air Force Colonel had a patience that I am very sure would have astounded his Air Force colleagues. When I finally earned my certificate I had also won a confidence and proficiency I had never known before. I joined Airlife Line and have begun flying on occasion for them. I have deepened and strengthened my friendships in the 99s. What a magnificent group of women!
I now have time to participate in more of the activities of our very busy chapter: air markings, flying companion seminars, airport days, fly-ins, career days for the schools. You name it, we do it! I have also become a member of the Shasta County Flying Sheriff’s Posse. We are a part of the departments Search and Rescue program and as part of this, we participate in monthly training sessions. Last summer several members flew a number of trips between Santa Rosa and Redding to help transport people participating in a murder trial which had to be moved out of the county. It is just another wonderful opportunity to expand my flying horizons. I have taken a part time job at IASCO, which is also the only FBO at Redding Municipal Airport. Here again is yet another facet of my flying. I have worked there a year now, and love the job. The wonderful people I work with, the grand people who come through the FBO doors, the great variety of aircraft: are all stimuli, but the greatest treat of all is looking out on a clear day and seeing the magnificent mountains that surround Redding. They are my “Bali Hai,” they beckon, they shout at me to come. It is an indescribable feeling. This growing desire therefore has been to learn to be competent in mountain flying, to be able to go on flying and camping trips. Last summer I took my first two such trips. One, a long weekend in the Sierra Nevada’s in Central California; the other to the San Juan Islands in Washington. I am absolutely hooked; I can’t wait for next spring. My beloved 172 is in need of a TBO and is in the process of receiving a 180 HP Lycoming engine. I am anxious to begin this new chapter in my wonderful world of flying.
Charlie Nugent: I was first introduced to general aviation as a child. My uncle had a plane and I flew with him way back then on a couple of occasions. His son flew with him frequently and started working on his certificate, but somehow I got the message that this flying stuff was for men, and never looked at it as a realistic goal for myself. A long time passed between those rides in my Uncle’s plane and when I first began flying. It’s a long story, but I ended up with this Cessna 150 that I was looking after for a friend, while he was out of the country. Well, what an opportunity! I had this airplane all to myself, such a deal! It wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but taking my time and with the help of a very patient instructor: Van Vincz, I got my license about a year after I started. I was very fortunate to have taken my flight exam from Lee Agnew. Lee is really the first female pilot I had met, and is such a grand lady. Lee told me about the 99s on the day I took my flight exam, inviting me to a meeting of the Mount Shasta Chapter. The women I have met in this group have really been an inspiration to me, and I am very proud to be a member of this organization. I still fly the Cessna 150, it’s mine now. I fly mostly around the valley and for relaxation. I have a pretty stressful job as principal of an elementary school and flying is my way of getting rejuvenated. I look forward to one day getting my instrument rating, and perhaps a bigger plane, so I can broaden my horizons.
Nancy Everett Phillips: I started in aviation when a gentleman I was dating got his pilot license in 1989. After soaring the skies from Redding, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Nevada and Arizona, the flying bug must have bit me, because after we broke up, I knew I wanted a future in aviation for myself. I received my private pilot’s license in October 1992 in a Cessna 172. I currently completed my first phase of the Wings program, and my Echo Tango program, and am now flying a Cessna 182. My goals are to become as involved in our local 99s chapter as well as the Southwest Section. I look forward to many years of learning all I can from the wonderful ladies I am involved with in our Mount Shasta Chapter. Hopefully, one day I will own my own plane: A BIG ONE!
Suann Prigmore: I became a private pilot on April 5th, 1985, and received my instrument license on February 20th, 1987. I joined the Mount Shasta 99s in 1985. I own and fly a Grumman Tiger. I am also a member of the American Flying Association, RAPA, and AOPA. I am active in 99 events, having taught in several flying companion seminars, worked at air shows, as well as attending many SW Section meetings. I was Chapter Treasurer in 1991-1993. In 1990 I was recording secretary. I currently have logged 1200 hours, some on a trip to Alaska as PIC. I have taken aerobatics lessons and have earned my Phase VI wings. I air raced in the Palms to Pines, in 1987 won 4th, in 1988 came in 11th, and 1991 FIRST PLACE!
Editor’s note: In 1992, Suann placed 3rd in the Palms to Pines, and in 1994 6th place. Suann is the creator of the “Echo Tango” program which teaches emergency training procedures. The purpose is to increase chances of successfully performing emergency procedures in the event it should become necessary. The goal is that this specialized review will make emergency procedures second nature, strengthening self-confidence, foster calmness and clear thinking.
2/2016: She was Southwest Section Women Pilot of the year in 2004. Suann was inducted into the Forest of Friendship in Atchison, Ks.in 2009. She was a Mission Pilot Standard with the Civil Air Patrol flying search and rescue missions as well as flying the border between Mexico and the U.S. looking for illegal aliens. Suann flew for the Shasta Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, relocating rescued birds and mammals to their new homes. She flew Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Hawks, and many others. She was Chapter Chairman at some time. She was a Presenter at the annual AAUW Math & Science Conference for several years. She got her commercial rating. She flew to Alaska 2 times as PIC. She also flew charter flights for Sun Air Airlines in Redding. She finished with over 2200 total hours, most of them in her Tiger.
Mary Quinn: My husband Bill started me flying shortly after we moved to Corning in the 1970’s. We had purchased a 172, and he was my instructor. (Editor’s note: Bill Quinn was a Bomber Pilot in WW11 and highly qualified as Mary’s instructor.) I received my license in 1973. The problem was: I never soloed! I continued to fly with Bill for many years and eventually when he lost his medical, I had to refresh my pilot skills. I became a 99 in 1990 and credit my affiliation with renewing my flying enthusiasm. If I had joined years ago, I feel I would have had more incentive to continue flying. I am grateful to the 99s for the renewed excitement that I have.
Diane Schneeweis: I was born in LGB, Ca. with aircraft in the family. We were based at Meadowlark Field, and Huntington Beach, Ca. I was seven when I had my first ride in an Aeronca Chief. The family also owned a Piper Cub, Archer, Beech A-36 and Baron 55 over the years. I was licensed in 1986 in LGB. I obtained my instrument rating there as well, in 1988. I rented any aircraft available, high performance SEL preferably. My family and I moved to Chico in 1989, the same year I joined the Mt. Shasta 99s. I took an aerobatic course from Mike Kinslow in 1991. I flew the Palms to Pines in 1990, 1991 and ’92. The last race I flew in my own 1956 antique restored Cessna 172. I am active in promoting aviation and the production of air shows. In 1992, I received an Award of Merit from the FAA after assisting the Chico Air Show in a fatal accident. I have held the office of recording secretary in the Mt. Shasta Chapter from 1990-92. I served on the Chico Air Show Board of Directors 1991-92.
Editor’s note: Diane was awarded the Women Pilot of the Year trophy at the October 1994 Southwest Section meeting in Santa Rosa. In the past year, she has attained many ratings, including her CFI. She has since earned her Type Rating for Jet Aircraft.
Audrey Schutte: Audrey’s first airplane ride was at the age of six, and she vowed she would learn to fly someday. She soloed in June 1956, obtained her Private Certificate in December 1956, and her commercial rating in October 1957. Her husband Ray was her reluctant but patient instructor. She flew her first Powder Puff Derby in 1958 in a Cessna 140, and joined the SVF chapter that same year. She flew 7 more AWTAR’s as a contestant and the last one in 1976 as a member of the AWTAR Board. Audrey began instructing in 1961, and is Commercially rated ASMELS, Glider and Rotorcraft. She is also an APC and FAA designated Pilot Examiner. She is proud to be Whirley-Girl #146.
Audrey owned and operated Viking Air Service, Inc. at Van Nuys Airport from 1969 to 1976. She has taught Aeronautics at Glendale Community College and since 1979 has been employed as an NTSB Air Safety Investigator, working out of the Los Angeles field office. She won the Women Pilot of the Year Award of the SFV Chapter three different years and was selected Flight Instructor of the Year by the Western Region of the FAA.
*Eleanor Scott: The following information is taken from WHO’S WHO IN AMERICAN NURSING: Scott, Eleanor Hacking, critical care nurse. Vernal, Utah, February 18th,1937;d, Grant Leland and Mildred Lynore (Bailey) Hacking; m. Lynton Edwin Scott, March 3rd, 1966; children: Craig, Marilyn,. BS Brigham Young U, 1959; postgrad., Shasta College, 1970, 74, 82. RN, Utah, California Cert. CEN,ACLS, Mobile Intensive Care Nurse, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Trauma Nurse, Pre-Hosp. Trauma Life Support. Charge nurse Uintah Co. Hosp., Vernal in 1959, staff nurse Stanford U. Hosp., Palo Alto, 1960, Brigham Young U. Health Center, Provo, Utah, 1960-61; nurse Operating room, Utah Valley Hosp., 1961-62; dir. Nurses San Juan Hosp., Monticello, Utah, 1962-66l charge and staff nurse Redding Med. Ctr., 1967-; nurse mobile ICU Redding, Ca. Med. Ctr.,1967-; Capt. Med.svcs. Trinity Center Fire Dept., 1982-. Mem. Weaverville Ward Ch. Of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints. Recipient 9th pl. Palms to Pines Air Race, 1986, 6th place award, 1987, 3rd place award, 1988. Mem. Emergency Nurse’s Assn., International. Pilots Assn., Trinity Co. Pilots Assn., North Lake Improvement Assn. Republican. Mormon. Avocations: flying, swimming, skiing.
Lucy Shepard: I always loved to fly, and started at age 16. I had to put my flying on hold when I married a Navy pilot, but we always had an airplane, and I flew a lot as co-pilot. When one of my daughter’s got her license and invited me to enter an air race with her, I decided to go all the way and got my license. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I have many new friends, love flying even more than before. This year, 1993, I am going to fly in the Palms to Pines as Pilot in Command, with my daughter, Diane Schneeweis as Co-Pilot and my granddaughter Sara as passenger.
Editor’s note: An unfortunate motor scooter accident prevented Lucy’s participation in the 1994 Air Race. However, she has since recovered fully.
*Donna Taylor: I have flown the Palms to Pines very year with Jane LaMar since 1987. Our team came in 2nd in 1987, 4th in 1988, WON FIRST PLACE in ’89, 2nd place in ’90, and 10th place in ’92. I served again as Chapter Chairman for 1992-93. Only award received was one from the Mt. Shasta 99s as the 1991 Most Dedicated Pilot. I have finished rearing and educating our children and have become more active in local and state aviation activities. I helped promote Aviation Week in Redding in October 1992, and arranged to have John Baker, former AOPA President as Guest Speaker.
In June 1994, I flew to Alaska with Co-Pilot Jane La Mar.
Lois Sweeney: I joined the Mt. Shasta 99s in 1977, the same year I flew with Pam & Vic Vanderlinden down through Central America, over the Panama Canal; with stops in the San Blas Islands and the ruins of Tikal. That trip made me determined to earn my pilot’s license. I received my private pilot’s license on October 7th, 1977. In 1980 with Pam Vanderlinden and Kay Brick, I flew a six week trip around South America; a very exciting adventure with two wonderful ladies. I also flew the Air Race Classic with Pam five years; in 1985, ’86, ’87 (received 8th place) and ’88. In 1990, we started the race but had to quit due to engine problems.
In 1991 I flew the Palms to Pines with Suann Prigmore in 1991 (first place) and 1992 (third place), 1993 (7th place) and 1994 (6th place). I flew to Alaska in June of 1994 with Suann Prigmore in her Grumman Tiger, along with Donna Taylor and Jane LaMar in Donna’s Piper Arrow. We flew up through Canada, the Yukon Territory, and followed the Alcan Highway to Anchorage, Alaska.
My instrument rating was obtained on Feb. 19th, 1990 after much hard work and many hours of flying. I am a member of the Mt. Shasta 99s, the local chapter of EAA, AOPA, and the National Council for Women in Aviation/Aerospace. I participate in search and rescue with the Shasta County Sherriff’s Flying Posse, also flying Young Eagles with the EAA and Partners in Aviation for the Mt. Shasta 99s, along with other projects such as air marking at airports. Offices held: Chapter Treasurer for four years; 1988 to 1991. I am the current publisher of the Plane Drift, our local chapter newsletter.
Diana Ward: I was born in Pasadena, on January 10th, 1943. I inherited my love of flying from my father. He learned to fly at the Oakland airport in the ‘30s, where he saw Amelia Earhardt fly.
When I was a young girl living in Pasadena, my Dad was foreman at the Lockheed Plant in Burbank, where they first mass produced the P-38. He also worked on the Spruce Goose and some of Howard Hughes other airplanes. I remember my Dad and his friends talking about airplanes at home; I listened in fascination. That fascination with flying lay dormant in me while I finished high school and community college in Riverside. I became a cosmetologist and a wife and mother. I was active in PTA as president, helped with school board elections, and worked for the Election Dept. I remain an active member of Eastern Star. I volunteered to drive veterans to the hospital at Martinez for their treatments until it closed last year. Currently I am a licensed realtor with Coldwell Banker. I have been a full time realtor for 14 years. Each year I have been in the Million Dollar Club. Last year I earned my GRI (Graduate of the Real Estate Institute), considered to be the equivalent of a BS degree. It is a dream of mine to be able to take people up in the air to show them the property they have purchased. I have taken some aerial photos of their property, and find that they really like this.
Always within me was the desire to learn to fly. Finally, in 1989 I fulfilled my lifelong dream. I received my private certificate in June 1990. I joined the 99s as a student pilot in 1989. I became the Chapter’s 66 chairman. As soon as I received my private certificate I joined as a 99, and was asked to be the SW Section Membership Chairman. Currently I serve as SW Section Safety Chairman as well as Vice Chairman of the Mt. Shasta 99s chapter. I am still 66 chairman for my chapter, which is a job I truly love. I have enjoyed attending section meetings at Oakland, Lake Tahoe and Palm Springs. My partner and I flew in the Palms to Pines Air Race in 1991, bringing home the trophy for best first time racers. I participate in the FAA’s Wings Program, and am dedicated to safety and continuing education for all pilots. I began studying for my instrument rating soon after I received my private certificate. However, my husband had kidney failure and so I had to discontinue my training for financial reasons. My long range goal is to become a CFI.
Willa Young: after more than 20 years of wanting to, talking about, saying someday, and dreaming about flying; at the tender age of 46 I finally learned how to fly. My introduction to aviation was Army life in the late 60s as my husband flew helicopters. In the 70’s for me, it was much less expensive to learn how to jump out of planes than to fly them, so skydiving was it: who needed a CFI? Needless to say, February 1994 was a happy time for me as I earned my wings. Nearly 5 months later my dear friend, Donna Cheney and I entered our first air race, the Palms to Pines, climbing into our little C150 trainer, with two GPS’s and with 100 hours each in our logbooks, headed for Santa Monica. We learned many things on that trip, including that we want to race a lot and how a “little” 30 pounds of luggage can affect landings! Best of all we met the greatest people and knew then that we wanted to be a part of the Mt. Shasta 99s.
My most favorite thing at air shows, besides the jumpers, was the aerobatics. Nothing thrilled my more than to watch those airplanes playing in the sky. That’s freedom! My short term goal is to learn aerobatics. I’m training now in a Citabria and my long term goal is an instrument ticket.
*denotes charter member
**not available for comment