Mary Gaffaney

Guest Book

In about 1958, my mom took me to Brown's Airport for a birthday surprise: my first small airplane ride, a Piper Tri-Pacer. I was about 13 years old. I loved it! I remember seeing a picture on the wall of the owner of the FBO, Kendall Flying School. The photo was of a woman standing next to a Bell 47 helicopter.

After that, off and on for a year or two, a buddy and I would hang out on the fence, once in a while getting a ride in the back seat of a Tri-Pacer when someone was getting some dual. On one of those occasions, without warning, I was treated to my first spin!

Tamiami Airport - 2nd Location Kendall Flying School

Jump ahead almost 20 years: I had my commercial ticket and was taking aerobatic lessons from Daniel Héligoin and Montaine Mallet, known as the French Connection Airshow. I then realized that the woman in the picture was world aerobatic champion Mary Gaffaney!

Around that time, on one of the trips my buddy Jim and I flew from NY to Miami, we tied down at Kendall Flying School, by then at the New Tamiami Airport. And there, in the hangar was Mary's winning aircraft...

New Tamiami Airport - 3rd Location 1972

  I understand N6W has been overpainted black, but the current owner says
Mary's markings can be seen in the right light.

December 18, 2017

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