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Passing Of A Legend



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 7th 17, 01:19 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Some of you out there might remember a wonderful lady named Mary Gaffney, she was an aviation pioneer and a gliderport owner and examiner for many types. Mary passed away today after a long and wonderful life involving many forms of aviation. Mary was a two time world aerobatics champion and set speed records for flight. She worked with the likes of Pancho Barnes in doing the early aviation movie stunts and also worked as an aviation ferry pilot during WWII.
Mary owned the Kendall Gliderport until it was reclaimed by the National Park Service. Mary continued to give check rides into her 90's and stayed active in aviation until just a few years ago.
Mary gave me my glider check ride at the old Kendall Gliderport, where she worked with the likes of Bill Harris, one of the early instructors and Delta Captain. Bill's obituary was listed his flight hours at over 60 thousand. When Bill wasn't flying for Delta he was living his dream flying gliders at Mary's gliderport. Mary, thanks for all you did for aviation and especially the glider community of South Florida.
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  #2  
Old January 6th 18, 11:37 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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I trained at her FBO (Kendall Aviation) and had my private pilot checkride with her at Tamiami Airport (Now Miami Executive) in December of 1972. I was an AFROTC cadet at the time and went on to a career in the AF flying F-4s, F-5s, and A-10s. I still have my original licence with her signature on it.
  #3  
Old January 23rd 18, 05:46 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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I just saw this after a google search. I saw her at Reading Airshow in mid 70's. In mid 80's I was stationed at Homestead and rode my motorcycle out to Tamiami to get the lay of the land for an upcoming airshow. I walked into one of the FOB's to ask about it and there was a bunch of kids hanging out in one end of the room, sitting on the floor just goofing off. I walked up to the short little lady behind the counter and saw "Mary Gaffney" on her name tag. I asked her "Are you THE Mary Gaffney?, I saw you fly at Reading back in the 70's" She got a big grin on her face, turned to the group of kids and exclaimed "See, I told you I used to be somebody!" She was delightful...RIP...



On Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 6:19:22 PM UTC-6, wrote:
Some of you out there might remember a wonderful lady named Mary Gaffney, she was an aviation pioneer and a gliderport owner and examiner for many types. Mary passed away today after a long and wonderful life involving many forms of aviation. Mary was a two time world aerobatics champion and set speed records for flight. She worked with the likes of Pancho Barnes in doing the early aviation movie stunts and also worked as an aviation ferry pilot during WWII.
Mary owned the Kendall Gliderport until it was reclaimed by the National Park Service. Mary continued to give check rides into her 90's and stayed active in aviation until just a few years ago.
Mary gave me my glider check ride at the old Kendall Gliderport, where she worked with the likes of Bill Harris, one of the early instructors and Delta Captain. Bill's obituary was listed his flight hours at over 60 thousand. When Bill wasn't flying for Delta he was living his dream flying gliders at Mary's gliderport. Mary, thanks for all you did for aviation and especially the glider community of South Florida.


  #4  
Old January 23rd 18, 05:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Should be "Gaffaney"
  #5  
Old January 24th 18, 01:34 PM
Josh Fletcher Josh Fletcher is offline
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Very Sad to hear of Mary's Passing.

Mary was my examiner for my Commercial Helicopter rating back in the 90's. She was the nicest lady and examiner I have ever had the pleasure to meet! She will be missed.

R.I.P. Mary I am sure you are happy being back with your husband!!

Josh
  #6  
Old March 17th 18, 03:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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I remember Mary. She flew a yellow Pitts didn't she? I saw her when my high school boyfriend was taking stunt flying lessons with Bill Thomas in South Florida. Amazing woman and pilot, sorry to learn she has left us.
  #7  
Old March 18th 18, 01:26 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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On Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7:19:22 PM UTC-5, wrote:
Some of you out there might remember a wonderful lady named Mary Gaffney, she was an aviation pioneer and a gliderport owner and examiner for many types. Mary passed away today after a long and wonderful life involving many forms of aviation. Mary was a two time world aerobatics champion and set speed records for flight. She worked with the likes of Pancho Barnes in doing the early aviation movie stunts and also worked as an aviation ferry pilot during WWII.
Mary owned the Kendall Gliderport until it was reclaimed by the National Park Service. Mary continued to give check rides into her 90's and stayed active in aviation until just a few years ago.
Mary gave me my glider check ride at the old Kendall Gliderport, where she worked with the likes of Bill Harris, one of the early instructors and Delta Captain. Bill's obituary was listed his flight hours at over 60 thousand. When Bill wasn't flying for Delta he was living his dream flying gliders at Mary's gliderport. Mary, thanks for all you did for aviation and especially the glider community of South Florida.


She had a wonderful life, her husband , Charlie was her mechanic and ran the shop there at Tamiami. She gave me my glider check ride back in the 70's. Great lady, talented and humble.
  #8  
Old March 26th 18, 12:08 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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I saw Mary do a stunt I have seen a male pilot. It was at an airshow in Cocoa Fl. She took her Pitts Special and proceeded to a full vertical climb until it stalled. Maintaining her vertical position she went into a tailslide until she picked enough negative airspeed where then snapped that Pitts into negative aileron rolls. Damndest thing I ever saw and even Bob Hoover did not attempt this maneuver.
  #9  
Old December 4th 18, 03:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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On Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 7:19:22 PM UTC-5, Bob Youngblood wrote:
Some of you out there might remember a wonderful lady named Mary Gaffney, she was an aviation pioneer and a gliderport owner and examiner for many types. Mary passed away today after a long and wonderful life involving many forms of aviation. Mary was a two time world aerobatics champion and set speed records for flight. She worked with the likes of Pancho Barnes in doing the early aviation movie stunts and also worked as an aviation ferry pilot during WWII.
Mary owned the Kendall Gliderport until it was reclaimed by the National Park Service. Mary continued to give check rides into her 90's and stayed active in aviation until just a few years ago.
Mary gave me my glider check ride at the old Kendall Gliderport, where she worked with the likes of Bill Harris, one of the early instructors and Delta Captain. Bill's obituary was listed his flight hours at over 60 thousand. When Bill wasn't flying for Delta he was living his dream flying gliders at Mary's gliderport. Mary, thanks for all you did for aviation and especially the glider community of South Florida.


I worked as a mechanic for Charlie and Mary at Kendall Flying School from 1985 to 1988 when I got out of the Air Force and left south Florida. They were both amazing people.
 




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