Terry Carbonell, Pilot
My mantra for life is
"Never let fear, alone, stop you." I started flying at the ripe ole' age of 44 at the
request of my husband, a private pilot who passed away in 2008 from Alzheimer's Disease. I did not take to flying: the development of wings has been an evolutionary process
which has taken its' jolly old time. But after over 4 years, 1400+ hours, an instrument rating, a commercial
rating, tail wheel rating, a sea plane rating, ground instructor certificate, CFI and lots of help from other pilots,
instructors and friends, my flight feathers are becoming fully developed, and I look forward to a long love affair with life
above this earth.
This will be my fourth
year flying the Air Race Classic; the first being in 2007. From the planning to the cross country trip out to Oklahoma City
and through-out the race to Saint John and back home, I was pretty well hooked. I liked the atmosphere, the excitement
of the race, the planning and strategy, and the other ladies who were volunteers and competitors but became friends.
My friends tell me I suffer from "terra-firma phobia" as I would much rather be scuba diving or flying.
I have traveled over a large part of the world as a passenger but now it is my turn to be PIC. Since getting my license in
May 2005, I have flown across the US several times. My "cross countries" are literally clear across the country.
In 2006, we went from SW Florida to Las Vegas, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. The 2007 trip included an overflight of the Grand Canyon, a visit to a fellow racer in southern California, Yosemite
National Park, the many air museums in northern Oregon, Seattle, Teton National Park and the Ozark region of Arkansas.
We have also flown Wild Mama to Niagara Falls, Cancun, Mexico and to the Bahamas, not to mention the 2007 ARC
from Oklahoma City to Saint John, NB, Canada. All and all, I have landed at over 150 different airports throughout the US,
Canada, Bahamas and Mexico. I have also participated 3 years in the Okie Derby proficiency race garnering 3rd and
7th place finishes and just added a 1st place finish in the Sunshine Derby. Most importantly, I fulfilled my husbands' wish
of spending all the time he could in an airplane during the time he had left on this earth as he accompanied me on the vast majority of my journies and logged over 1000 hours in 3 years as my most prized passenger and #1 fan.
I have developed a real passion for flying and I especially enjoy sharing that passion with the next generation of aviators. I have already realized my 2010 aviations goals by completing aerobatic training, earning
my CFI, attaining Master WINGS certification and organizing a successful Sunshine Derby with the Paradise Coast Chapter 99s
where our team, Sunshine 2, won first place. I recently attended the ERAU Aviation Law Symposium in Orlando and
the Lawyer-Pilots Association annual winter meeting in the Florida Keys. IN March I began teaching 9th and 10th grade
students at Charlotte High School - Introduction to Aerospace. What a thrill to see young people so enthused about aviation.
Aviation affiliations include the Ninety-Nine's,
Paradise Coast Chapter, Women in Aviation Int'l, EAA, Lawyer-Pilots Association, volunteer for Angel
Flight, Director/Secretary for Air Race Classic, Inc. and AOPA.
YING GAO (LAURA), Teammate: I am extremely grateful
to Terry and Ellen for giving me this opportunity to be part of the team despite the language barrier and culture differences
I am Chinese, born in Wuxi (a scenic city on Lake Tai northwest to Shanghai). I attended college
in Beijing and worked in Shanghai as a brand manager before coming to the US in 2008. Being a city girl living off the convenience
of mass transportation, I didn’t know how to drive or tell north from south when I just arrived. Flying a plane of course
was never dreamed of. Thanks to my husband Matt, not only I learned to drive a big diesel truck but also started flying training
Dec. 2009 and passed my check ride on April 23, 2010!
It’s still hard to believe that I soloed in Jan. 2010 and
got my license in April, 2010. What's more exciting is that I am the third crewmember of Team Wild Mama for Air
Race Classic in the 100th Year of Women Piloting!
Life is amazing. I am sure Confucius would agree. I will keep flying with my private pilot license.
My dream is to share my experience with other Chinese women and help them to enjoy the freedom of flying as well.
My wish for our team:
(pronounced yee-lu-schwon-fung), literally means “Tailwind all the way”. It is commonly used to wish travelers
a pleasant journey. |
Ellen Herr, Co-Pilot
Raised in central Illinois,
my first flight was with my father in his Piper Cub from a grass strip on our farm. What a fun airplane to introduce flying to a child! I earned my private pilot’s
license in 1977, while attending the University of Illinois. I added an instrument rating two years later
while living in upstate New York. After moving to New Jersey in the mid 1980’s,
my flying hours decreased due to demands of work and financial constraints, but my interest never waned. I
belonged to the New York-New Jersey section of the Ninety-Nines, Inc, and participated in many of their activities.
After moving to Florida several years ago, I joined a flying club based at Page Field, Fort Myers, FL. The
Cub Club, Inc. afforded me the opportunity to renew my skills and become an active pilot again.
Recently I have purchased my first aircraft, a Cirrus
SR22. I am really enjoying learning to fly a technically advanced aircraft. Accompanied by my husband,
Ed Thurn, we will be doing some cross country flying to visit family in the Midwest. We’re also looking
forward to traveling to the west coast to Oregon and Washington.
Flying has been such a wonderful way to see the world and meet many fascinating people. I’ve
recently begun flying with the Pilots N Paws program transporting dogs to new adoptive homes.
I continue to serve as secretary of the Cub Club and chair
of the Paradise Coast Ninety-Nines.This
will be my first Air Race Classic flying with a veteran racer. What a challenge!
VERNON CONLY: Ace mechanic and the keeper of Wild Mama, Vern has been with the team since inception.
He leads the team with mechanical and performance advice and makes sure Wild Mama is always ship shape and ready
for adventure. We appreciate his advice and counsel. Vern is an IA and 25 year pilot.
Jim Reynolds: New for 2010, Team Wild Mama has our very own Weather guy. We welcome Jim who has promised
us tailwinds when all others have headwinds, blue skies where others have rain and accurate forecasts. (No pressure there.)
Jim is a retired airline Captain with a lifetime of aviation experience.
Matthew Wallis:Laura is the lucky one to have Matt as her personal assistant
.... oops, I mean, husband, yes, husband. And she has graciously lent him to the team to be our assistant and our team pack
mule. This is a very important position as less weight = more speed ... and Matt is the man for the job as he will be schlepping
all of our valuable possessions (for women, that typically means extra shoes) up to the terminus so we can look our best at
all times in public. Welcome to the team, Matt and many thanks for your help.
|Remember, Matt: The floggings will continue!