Aviation for Women

MAR-APR 2016

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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78 Aviation forWomen M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 6 She signed up, arrived, and was introduced to the instruc- tor, Jerry Stadtmiller, and they became fast friends over the course of the weekend workshop. After Lisa completed cov- ering the Kolb, she was again perplexed about painting it. "I hired someone to paint my Pulsar because I was afraid I'd mess it up, so I was hesitant to take on painting my Kolb," Lisa said. "I called Jerry and told him of my concerns, and he said, 'Where do you live?' When I told him Boynton Beach, he said, 'I'm in Fort Lauderdale; that's only 45 minutes away. I have a shop and the equipment, and I'll help you.'" That was in 1999, and as you might have guessed, the friendship between Lisa and Jerry blossomed; they fell in love and married four years later. While they fnished painting the Kolb, the project stalled for a while. "We were getting to know one another and enjoying life," Lisa said. "And it was okay that we took a break from the project; that happens to a lot of builders. Other things can and will interfere in a project the magnitude of building an aircraft." M O R E T O E X P L O R E Spending time with Jerry—who covers, restores, and paints antique and classic aircraft for his living—introduced Lisa to an even wider variety of aircraft. "I'd been so totally focused on homebuilts that I didn't pay much attention to other types of aircraft." Eventually, Lisa fnished the Kolb, but sold it to fnance her even bigger dream of building and fying a helicopter. "Anti- gravity!" she exclaimed. Jerry fully supported that idea, and soon they were the owners of a Rotorway helicopter kit. By now it was the mid 2000s, and the economy had taken a downturn, which led to Lisa being laid off from work. "My career was very important to me, and getting laid off was a big emotional trauma for me," Lisa said. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do next, and at the time I couldn't afford to fnish the helicopter." With a very heavy heart, she sold the half-completed kit. While she's been "kitless" for a few years, she knows there are several more building projects in her fu- ture. "I'm thinking the next might be a single-place electric aircraft, but I'm waiting for the technology to get more ad- vanced before I make the decision," she said. "Once again, the dance between work and fun—building—is sometimes diff- cult to plan." A H E L P I N G H A N D Not having a kit to work on didn't lessen Lisa's interest in things mechanical. In fact, she decided she wanted to earn her A&P certificate. So she worked with Jerry in his shop to learn all the skills she needed to acquire, and eventual- "My career was very important to me, and getting laid off was a big emotional trauma for me," Lisa said. "I wasn't sure what I was going to do next, and at the time I couldn't afford to fnish the helicopter." Top: Lisa and husband Jerry. Center: Lisa shows Jerry, then just a friend, how the Rotax 912 installs in a Kolb Mark III in her garage workshop. Bottom: Installing avionics in the center panel of her Kolb Mark III in 2005 in her two-car garage. CHARLIE BECKER/EAA

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