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Babs Nutt 1919 - 2006

Mary L. "Babs" Nutt had already enjoyed an adventurous life when she took up soaring in 1970. After college, she moved to New Hampshire with her husband, David. The two spent several summers in the Arctic aboard the research schooner Blue Dolphin, where Babs served as radio operator and crew.

Back home, Babs embarked on the greatest adventure of all, that of raising six children. She did find time, however, to enjoy competitive sailing and skiing, two sports at which she excelled throughout her life.

When the children were grown, Babs and Dave took up flying. They started in powered aircraft, but Babs decided that soaring was the sport for her. She quickly became enamored with wave soaring which she practiced whenever she could in the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire. In March of 1975, she and Hannah Duncan set the current World Feminine Multiplace altitude record of 35,463 feet, flying out of Black Forest Gliderport in Colorado.

In 1979, at a time in life when most of us consider playing with the grandchildren to be adventurous, Babs and Dave decided to go into the aviation business. They purchased the small grass strip in Post Mills, Vermont and offered flight instruction in a 2-33. Eventually the business grew to include powered instruction, aerobatics, and banner towing. Babs was the duty pilot seven days a week. She was also the designated examiner for gliders, and it wasn't uncommon for a flight test applicant to have to wait for a brief time to allow the examiner to clear her head after a vigorous aerobatic lesson in the Citabria.

Having finally retired in 1988, Babs was instrumental in the formation of the Post Mills Soaring Club, which has recently established an award in her honor.

Babs passed away in November 2006. The glider pilots of New England offer their condolences to Dave and the family.

Rick Sheppe

Posted: 11/1/2006


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