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Peterson’s First in Flight

Nov 20, 2019 | Hubb's Blog

How far are you willing to go to complete a dare? Well, Tammy Peterson, knew the skies were no limit when she took a dare from her daddy back when she was just 16-years-old. 

I Dare You

It all started when they were in the kitchen one Sunday summer night. Tammy and her Father, James Hubbard, were cutting up in the kitchen after dinner.  One thing led to another and the topic arose about flying. Tammy, being her eager and outgoing self, knowing she’s just like her daddy in how nothing is impossible stumbled into a dare on flying. So, when Mr. Hubbard mentioned she should go flying, she didn’t miss a lick! She was up and ready to take on this challenge. Her daddy was trying to test her courage and dared Tammy to fly a plane.

Make the Call

Tammy knew she could do this, but the question was where could she do this. Her dad owned a tobacco warehouse, and one of the partners in this warehouse was Hugh Bar, who had been known to fly. That same night at 10 p.m., her daddy got Hugh on the phone to figure out how she could take flying lessons. That’s when this dare took flight. The next morning at 8 a.m., Tammy was at the Clinton Airport with one of the oldest instructors in North Carolina at that time, Aree Nailer. Up until that moment, Tammy had never stepped foot in an airplane.

Solo Flight

After days of flying with an instructor, you can fly solo, which is after 9 hours of actual flight time. Tammy flew over all of Sampson County after those 9 hours. The date of one’s has to first solo flight, the instructors used to cut the back of your shirt and write your name, the date that you soloed, and the plane name. The plane Tammy soloed that day was a little Cessna 150.

Once Tammy finally got the hang of flying, she would fly every morning while her mother and the rest of her family were on the farm. Tammy would be doing loops in the sky when her family was chopping crops.

Tammy flew a lot that summer and enjoyed every minute. However, the most intimidating thing to her was talking to the air traffic controllers. Tammy was so afraid of saying something stupid. After flying around the farm on her own, it was time for Tammy to do her first cross-country flight. She flew to Sumter, South Carolina all by herself, just fine. Until she had to come back. When Tammy was leaving to go back to Samson County, she ended up getting lost and went towards I-20 going to Myrtle Beach rather than I-95 back home. She saw that her compass was wrong, but she was so sure that the 4-lane roads below her were I-95. Rest assured, the air traffic controllers told Tammy the correct vectors and got her back home. When she safely arrived, she told her instructor what happened and Mr. Nailer nodded saying “that’s why you have to trust your instruments.”

Youngest Female Pilot

Due to that one late night challenge, Tammy became the youngest female to fly in Samson County.  She flew a lot, at least until she went off to college. At first, she never decided to get her pilots license. Yet, Tammy’s conscience kept telling her, “you need to get your license. Just get it.” Finally, she did, at about 21-years-old.

Her flying test went great, but her old instructor never told her that she would have to fly with a new one. Tammy might have had her stomach in knots, but she flew all the way to Goldsboro, North Carolina with her other flight instructor, Mr. Moneypenny. When she finished her test, she passed, and Mr. Moneypenny gave her the best compliment saying she was in the top 10% of people he’s ever flown with.

The last time Tammy flew was before her second son, Luke, was born. Tammy just didn’t fly enough to do it for a living. However, if the opportunity ever arose for her to go out there and do loops again, Tammy would never turn it down.  

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Saturday, November 30, 2019