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 10 years, 2600+ hours, an instrument rating, a commercial rating,
tail wheel rating, a sea plane rating, ground instructor certificates, CFI, CFI-I, multi-engine ATP 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.
will be my ninth 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, claiming landings in all 50 states (Hawaii
was a bit of a cheat). 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. Flights in 2010 included a trip to Alaska and through Canada that found Wild
Mama flying about 60 hours through Alaska, Canada and all the way across the US and back. All and all, I have landed
at over 150 different airports throughout the US, Canada, Bahamas and Mexico. In 2013 I had the thrill of piloting a DC-3. I
have also participated 4 years in the Okie Derby proficiency race garnering 2nd, 3rd and 7th place finishes and in
2010 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. My 2011 aviations goals were completing a successful youth and aviation program with the South
Alabama Boys & Girls Club where over 70 young girls were introduced to aviation and the world of opportunity available
to them. The "No Limits" Aviation Program took the national Honors Award for all Boys & Girls Clubs for
education and career development. Additionally, the dream of winning the Air Race Classic became a reality with the help of
the 2010 team with Ellen Herr and Laura Ying Gao. That was a moment that I will forever cherish. Goals for 2017 include
MEI training. The next few years will be filled with lots of work with the Ninety-Nines. We are on the second edition
of the Adventure Guide and have more programs planned in more areas. We were very pleased with the ongoing program in
Mobile, AL where the students are becoming the teachers - and a great job they do!!! Most of our original Team Leaders
have now graduated high school and are college bound on their way to lead exciting productive lives.
affiliations include the Ninety-Nine's, Paradise Coast Chapter (Southeast Section Immediate Past Governor),
Women in Aviation Int'l, EAA, Assistant Director for Air Race Classic, Inc.. Aviation
Adventures, Inc. (President) and AOPA.
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 participate
in the activities of the Paradise Coast Ninety-Nines, returning to the position of Chapter co-chair
.This will be my seventh 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: Team Wild Mama had our very own Weather guy. We welcome Jim who promised us tailwinds
when all others have headwinds, blue skies where others have rain and accurate forecasts. (No pressure there.) We have to say, Jim delivered on most of the promises in 2010.
(He did allow others some tail winds and blue skies.) Jim is a retired airline Captain with a lifetime of aviation experience
and a pilot on the B-25, Pacific Prowler. He is also restoring a Douglas A26 called "Special Kay".