Patty Wagstaff (née Patricia Rosalie Kearns Combs) (born September 11, 1951 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an aerobatic pilot from the United States. Wagstaff traveled all over the world as a child: her father was a pilot for Japan Airlines, and Wagstaff would travel to Southeast Asia, Australia and Alaska to prepare for her own career as a pilot. Her first lesson was on a Cessna 185; since then, she has earned licenses to fly multiple aircraft, including helicopters. Her sister, Toni, is a pilot for Continental Airlines.
In 1985, Wagstaff qualified for the US Aerobatic Team and competed until 1996. She was the top U.S. medal winner, winning gold, silver and bronze medals in international competition for several years. In 1987, she earned the Rolly Cole memorial award for her contributions to the aerobatic sports, and in 1991, she won her first of three US National Aerobatic Championships. In 1991, Western Flyer’s Magazine readers chose her as their favorite pilot. She was the International aerobatic champion in 1993. 1994, the year in which her Goodrich-sponsored Extra 260 airplane was put on display next to Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.
From 1988 to 1994, she won the Betty Skelton First Lady of Aerobatics award six times in a row.
The awards kept on coming, and in 1996, she was the top scoring American pilot at the World Aerobatics Championship. That year also, she won the GAN and Flyers Magazine Reader’s Choice awards as favorite female pilot, as well as the Charlie Hillard trophy.
Wagstaff’s honors were not limited to awards and championships, and in 1997, she received her first Hall of Fame induction, being inducted into the Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame as well as the International Women’s Aviation Hall of Fame. In 1997, she was the recipient of the NAA Paul Tissandier diploma, and she won the Bill Barber award for sportsmanship in 1998. In 2002, she won the Katherine and Marjorie Stinson awar