Patty Wagstaff

Patty Wagstaff

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When ten-year-old Patty Wagstaff sat with her father, a commercial pilot, and put her hands on the controls of a DC-6 for the first time, the world had no idea that it was about to be taken by aerobaticstorm.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri on September 11, 1951, Patty seemed destined to leave her distinctive mark in the skies. Her father worked for Japan Airlines and moved his family to Japan when Patty was 9. She continued to live internationally in Southeast Asia, Europe and Australia.

Well known for setting and achieving challenging goals, Patty set her sights on the US Aerobatic Team which competes at the Olympic level. Five years after obtaining her pilot’s license in 1980, she was on the team. Snatching the gold, silver and bronze medals during her six-time participation was proof of her skill.

Who is Patty Wagstaff?

Patty Wagstaff is one of the most renowned aerobatic pilots in the world. She has been flying since she was a teenager, and has competed in aerobatic competitions all over the globe. In 1988, she became the first woman to win the National Aerobatic Championship. She has also won numerous awards for her aviation achievements.

Despite her success as an aerobatic pilot, she is best known to the general public for her appearances on the television show “The Amazing Race”. In 2003, she and her husband competed in the show’s third season, and finished in third place. Since then, she has appeared on several other seasons of the show.

Currently, Patty is one of a growing number of women who act as role models to young female pilots. It was not always easy for her — many people discouraged her during her early years of flying because they believed that women were not meant to be pilots. Nevertheless, she persevered and now acts as an inspiration for others who dream of becoming aviators or aerobatic champions.

Early Beginnings

When she was three years old, her parents bought her a toy airplane that she played with frequently. In fact, the friends and neighbors of the Wagstaff family often joked that Patty would fly before she would walk!

In high school, Wagstaff was an avid tennis player. She dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player, but her dreams were cut short when she learned that she was color blind, a condition that made it impossible for her to compete in professional tennis matches.

Wagstaff turned to flying as a possible career, and she took her first flight lesson at the Essex County Airport in New Jersey beginning when she was 14 years old. Wagstaff dreamed of one day becoming an aerobatic pilot, but she did not have the money needed to pursue her dream.

At the age of eighteen, Wagstaff went to work at Pan American World Airways. It was while working for Pan Am that she saved enough money to begin taking lessons in aerobatics. By 1973, she had earned her private pilot’s license. She continued her flying studies and completed all of the necessary requirements needed to become an aerobatic pilot.

Patty Wagstaff’s Airplane

Patty Wagstaff’s plane is a Extra 300L. It is a high-performance, two-seat aerobatic airplane that is perfect for performing advanced maneuvers. The Extra 300L is made by the German company Extra Flugzeugbau, and it is one of the most popular aerobatic planes in the world.

The Extra 300L has a very light weight and a low drag coefficient, which allows it to perform extremely tight turns and high-speed maneuvers. It also has a high thrust-to-weight ratio, meaning that it can accelerate quickly and maintain high speeds even in steep climbs.

Patty often performs her aerial routines in the Extra 300L. She says that the plane’s capabilitiesallow her to show the audience “the world’s most spectacular and dynamic art form.”

Extra 300L Specifications:

  • Horsepower: 1 x 300 HP
  • Best Cruise Speed: 158 KIAS
  • Best Range (i): 415 NM
  • Fuel Burn @ 75%: 16.5 GPH
  • Stall Speed: 55 KIAS
  • Rate of climb: 3,200 FPM
  • Ceiling: 16,000 FT

Patty Wagstaff’s School

Patty Wagstaff School of Aerobatics is an aerobatic training school located in St. Augustine, Florida. The school offers training for pilots of all levels, from beginner to advanced.

The school is owned and operated by Patty Wagstaff, one of the most renowned aerobatic pilots in the world. Patty Wagstaff School of Aerobatics is the only flight school in the world that is owned and operated by a woman aerobatic pilot.

Patty Wagstaff School of Aerobatics offers a variety of courses, including:

  • Basic Aerobatics
  • Advanced Aerobatics
  • Formation Flying
  • Tailwheel Training
  • aerobatic competition preparation
  • International Aerobatic Club (IAC) Gold Seal Competition Training

In addition, the school also offers scenic flights and aerial photography tours.


Patty Wagstaff has won numerous awards for her aviation achievements, including:

  • National Aerobatic Championship (1988)
  • International Aerobatic Club Gold Seal Competition Training (1988)
  • United States Women’s Aerobatic Champion (1989-1994)
  • US National Advanced Aerobatic Champion (1995-1997)
  • World Freestyle Aerobatic Champion (1996)
  • US National Unlimited Aerobatic Champion (1998-2001)

In 2009, Patty Wagstaff was honored with the Betty Skelton First Lady of Aerobatics award. This award is given each year to a woman who has made a significant contribution to the world of aerobatics.

Despite her success as an aerobatic pilot, Patty Wagstaff is best known to the general public for her appearances on the television show “The Amazing Race.” She has appeared on this show twice, in seasons eleven and twelve. When she is not flying or appearing on TV, Patty Wagstaff works as a flight instructor at her own school in Florida.

International Women’s Aviation Hall of Fame

Patty has been inducted into the International Women’s Aviation Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony took place at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. on October 20, 2006.

The International Women’s Aviation Hall of Fame is a non-profit organization dedicated to celebrating women who have made a significantimpact in the world of aviation. Since its formation in 1994, more than 80 women have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Patty Wagstaff was selected for induction because of her outstanding contributions to both aerobatic flying and entertainment flying. She was also recognized for being an inspiration to others who dream of becoming pilots or aerobatic competitors.

National Aerobatic Championships

Patty Wagstaff has participated in the National Aerobatic Championships a number of times, and she has always done extremely well. In 1990, she won the bronze medal in the Advanced category. In 1992, she won the silver medal in the same category. And in 1995, she won the gold medal in the Unlimited category.

To become a national aerobatic champion, you need to be a very skilled pilot. You need to have a lot of experience flying advanced maneuvers and performing aerobatic stunts.

If you want to compete, you need to be a member of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC). The IAC is the world’s largest aerobatic organization, and it sanctions all major aerobatic competitions.

The IAC offers a number of different competition classes, ranging from beginner to advanced. The IAC has been running the championships since 1962, and many famous pilots have won these competitions over the years. These include

Aviation Safety

Although Patty Wagstaff is an accomplished aerobatic pilot, she is also a strong advocate for aviation safety. She believes that all pilots should be familiar with the principles of aviation safety, and she often speaks about the importance of safety in the air.

Patty Wagstaff has said that the most important thing a pilot can do to ensure safety is to “fly the airplane.” In other words, pilots should always keep their eyes on the aircraft and maintain a proper attitude and altitude. Pilots should also be aware of their surroundings and plan ahead to avoid any potential hazards.

Patty Wagstaff is also a proponent of regular pilot training. She believes that pilots should never stop learning, and that they should continually practice their flying skills in order to maintain and improve their flying abilities.

Safety is also important when it comes to aerobatic competitions. Although aerobatic pilots need a strong sense of daring and courage, they should only take calculated risks. They should not fly dangerously or irresponsibly, and they must always keep safety as the number one priority.

Flying Career

Patty’s interests in the field of aviation are multi-faceted. She has worked in the film industry as a stunt pilot. She shares her vast aviation knowledge as a consultant and author. In California, flying an OV-10 Bronco, Patty gives air support to the fire fighters. Working with the Kenya Wildlife Service Airwing in Africa, her hands-on training has expanded the aerobatic skills of park wardens who combat the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory.


Patty Wagstaff is the mother of two children. Her son, Trey, is a professional racecar driver. Her daughter, Brooke, is an artist. Her sister, Toni, is a commercial pilot for United Airlines.

In Summary

Patty Wagstaff is an outstanding aviator and stunt pilot. She is a three-time national aerobatic champion and has been flying since she was a teenager. Patty is also an accomplished advertising and measurement services professional, having worked for major airlines such as Continental Airlines and Japan Air Lines.

In 2003, Patty became the first woman to win the world aerobatic championships, and in 2009 she was inducted into the international aerospace hall of fame. Patty continues to inspire aviation enthusiasts around the world with her skill and passion for flying.

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