A message from Patty Wagstaff:
I'm the type of pilot who thinks it is perfectly reasonable to fly a Decathalon from Anchorage, Alaska, thousands of miles across Canada and the U.S. to fly an aerobatic contest in Wisconsin. Recently, it was an excellent idea to fly my Extra to Ilopango Airport in El Salvador, across Mexico and Guatemala, because that’s what you do when you want to get to an airshow. I’m an extreme cross country flyer. I have flown thousands of miles, landing every two hours for fuel, waiting out weather, sometimes freezing, but that’s what you do when you make a commitment to fly an airshow. And, I love it. In my first years of flying, we had no GPS or Loran. NAV was generally VOR or ADF and basic pilotage. For awhile I flew a little Pitts S-1S all over North America with no NAV equipment, no radio and a compass that always read “N” for due North. It’s a great way to become an expert at IFR – I followed roads, I followed railroads, and sometimes road signs. Eventually we got Loran C, which was wonderful even if it did have a tendency to quit just when you needed it the most—when scud running in the rain, for example.