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Long Shot Leaders with Michael Stein

Aug 29, 2022

The secrets and struggles of female aerobatics legend Patty Wagstaff

Patty Wagstaff (née Patricia Rosalie Kearns Combs; born September 11, 1951)[1] is an American aviator and U.S. national aerobatic champion.

Wagstaff was introduced to aviation as a child; her father was a pilot for Japan Airlines. After graduating from high school in California, she moved to Australia for five years where she traveled up the west coast of Australia in a small single-engine boat with no radio. After moving to Alaska in 1978, she worked for the Bristol Bay Native Association in Dillingham, Alaska where she started taking flying lessons and began her own career as a pilot. Her first flight in a small airplane in the Alaskan bush ended in a crash and that was when she decided to learn to fly. Her first lesson was in a Cessna 185. After earning her single and multi-engine land, single engine sea and commercial and instrument ratings, she became a Certified Flight and Instrument Instructor. Since then Wagstaff has earned a commercial rotorcraft rating and has flown many types of aircraft. She holds type ratings in the TBM Avenger, T-28, L-39 and Tucano.