Born and raised in California, Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, aerobatic competitor and Reno racer. With over 6000 hours of flight time and over 1100 parachute jumps, Vicky has a passion for everything airborne.
Vicky Still remembers her first flight in her uncle’s airplane when she was just a small child. Inspired by that flight at a very young age, Vicky was lucky enough to learn to fly while in college, earning her pilot’s license in a family friend’s antique Taylorcraft in her hometown of Watsonville, California. She was thrilled by the spins, loops and rolls that her ex-military instructor taught her and subsequently took aerobatic instruction from the legendary pilot Amelia Reid. Since then, her flying career has spanned over thirty years and today she holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.
In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend and trainer to the stars, Wayne Handley. Working her way up the ladder, Vicky competed in International Aerobatic Club competitions throughout the US. In 2006, she won first place in the Intermediate Category in both Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships. After moving up to the Advanced Category she won third place in the 2008 and 2009 Northwest Regional Championships and placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in 2008. In between flying competitions, Vicky began performing at local air shows. Today she focuses her energies on her air show performances where she continues to thrill and inspire audiences up and down the West Coast.
In 2010, Vicky added to her list of aviation accomplishments and began racing in the National Championship Air Races, held each September in Reno, Nevada. Competing in the Sport Class she won her very first race ever and was awarded the honor of being chosen the 2010 “Rookie of the Year” by her fellow Sport Class racers. Last year, Vicky qualified to race an L-39 Albatross in the Jet Class and in September, she was named “Rookie of the Year” for the Jet Class, finishing in the gold at 425.547 mph on the course.
In addition to her aerobatic pursuits, Vicky holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed a successful career in the Silicon Valley high-tech industry. She is on the Board of Directors of the International Aerobatic Club and on the Board of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA. The museum is special to her because of its mission to capture the interest of young people through the adventure and excitement of aviation and inspire them to study math, science and technology.
Vicky is grateful for the sponsorship of Oregon Aero, the maker of seating systems and helmet and headset upgrades, and the sponsorship of Hooker Harness, the producer of custom seatbelts and harnesses.