Vicki Cruse of Santa Paula, California, was named the 2007 U.S. Unlimited National Aerobatic Champion at the National Championship competition recently held in Sherman-Denison, Texas.
Cruse, who has competed in aerobatics since 1998, has earned several titles, including 1998 Sportsman Champion, 2000 Intermediate IAC Champion and 2005 Women’s National Champion.
She competed in the World Aerobatic Championships (WAC) as a member of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Team three times, and was a member of the three-woman U.S. team that earned the Women’s Team Silver medal at the 2007 WAC held in Granada, Spain.
“It was an honor to bring home a women’s medal for the U.S and I was proud to be a part of the team,” she said.
Cruise received her private pilot certificate in 1993, but said fear of flying solo prevented her from flying on her own until completion of an Emergency Maneuver Training (EMT) course in 1997. The course introduced her to basic aerobatics and unusual attitude training.
“The EMT course gave me the confidence to fly again — and the introduction to aerobatics changed my life,” she said.
She began competing soon after the course in her first airplane, a Christen Eagle II. In 2000 she purchased a Zivko Edge 540, which she has flown in competition since.
Cruse also has competed in the Sport Class at the Reno Air races. She raced in 2003 and 2005 in a Glasair III named “Cruse Missile” at a speed of 264 mph.
She is president of the International Aerobatic Club, a division of the Experimental Aircraft Association. One of the missions of the IAC is to educate general aviation pilots about the safety benefits of unusual attitude training, she noted.
For more information: