love affair with flying began at home. Her dad was a crop duster in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and
her mother ran the office during the flying season. Rhonda's first flight came at the age
of three months. Some of her earliest memories are of riding in the ag-planes and taking
naps on asphalt ramps under the wings of airplanes. She eventually became a
"flagger" standing in the fields with a flag to mark the rows for her father who
would always be her biggest aviation influence.
child was nearly born in an airplane. Then 20, Rhonda was overdue with her son Jake, when
she and her dad decided to go up to do some aerobatics. Two hours later, she was
undergoing an emergency caesarean.
After the death
of her brother in a plane crash ten years ago Rhonda helped her parents with their
business, even trying her hand at some ag flying. She then worked on other ratings and got
involved in other aspects of aviation, even going to the jungles of Vanuatu to search for
the remains of a pilot who crashed in W.W.II.
In 1992, she got
her instructor's rating, bought a J3 Cub and started instructing in tailwheel or
"tail-dragger" airplanes. This uncommon type of instructing led to her being
known as the Cub Lady, and it was in this capacity "that she met Nikki
Mitchell, who came to her for instruction.
1996, she has been a pilot for Cracker Barrel Restaurants, a job that saw her advance from
the J-3 to jets and has done part-time flying for Hank Williams, Jr. and StarStruck Jets,
owned by country superstar Reba McEntire. With an Airline Transport Pilots license and a
type-rating in the HS-125 jet and the BE-300 turbo-prop, her logbook, with over
hours, records nearly four dozen types of planes flown and majority are tailwheel
2002, Rhonda began flying for UnumProvident, a Fortune 500 company out of
Chattanooga, Tennessee. She's a Captain on the Hawker 800XP and soon
to be on the Lear 31. Advancing from the fabric J-3's to jets in 1996,
she has flown part time for Hank Williams, Jr and StarStruck Jets, country
superstar Reba McEntire's flight department.
With an Airline Transport Pilots license and type ratings in the HS-125,
BE-300 turbo prop and soon in the Lear Jet, her logbook with over 5,500
hours, records nearly four dozen types of planes flown and the majority are