Aerobatic Pilot Inspires Students

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-A six time member of the U.S. Aerobatic team flew to Topeka Saturday evening to inspire youth aviation students.

Patty Wagstaff describes flying in the sky as an adventurous challenge and since a young age, she says she always hoped her life goal of becoming an aerobatic pilot would take flight.

"That's what I want to do, I don't want to be on the side of the fence,
it looked like everything I loved," says Patty.

When it comes to what Patty can do in her aircraft, the sky's the limit.

"I do a little bit of everything, I fly upside down a lot. I do loops, rolls, tumbles where the plane tumbles over end," says Patty.

She is the first woman to win the title of U.S. National Aerobatic Champion-she has won this title 3 times. And now she is in Topeka, speaking to young students who aspire to work in aviation.

"She is an incredible individual with all her titles and all the adversity she has overcome, and she is an amazing woman," says Chad Gray, student at United States Air Force Academy.

"She really goes for what she wants to do and she didn't want to do what everyone else was doing with an airline pilot or something like that. She wanted to go out and do her own thing and I admire that," said Simon Elwell, senior at Desoto High School.

"I want to be an aerobatic pilot just like that," said Charlie Kuhn, junior at Topeka West High School.

"It's going to give you skills in life that will always be there like discipline and focus and a sense of accomplishment," says Patty.

Patty hopes to inspire students and advises to always follow your dreams.

"Follow the path that makes you happy," says Patty.

The youth banquet also had a silent auction and all proceeds benefit the Topeka's Air Explorer Post 8.