welcome to the auspicous site of Theresa Bower  
air race   Kathleen Snaper  

Kathleen Snaper,
Pilot in Command,
Vegas Showbirds
Classic Team 30



Flight time 10,800 hours
14 Air Races, 2 World Records
Air Race Competitor since 1976
Gold Seal Flight Instructor in both
single and multi engine aircraft
Lived in Las Vegas since 1969.

Contact phone: (702) 218-4933


Kathleen has led three lives. The first, as an actress and dancer, was the first passion. She started in live television as a child on
a children’s program as a dancer with Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. After graduating from high school she enrolled in the Pasadena Playhouse. There she studied acting with Dustin Hoffman, Ruth Buzzy and Maco. A knee injury during the last week of school ended the dancing career. She then moved
to Hollywood and studied acting with the renowned coach
Estelle Parsons.

During this period she met her second husband and began
her second life being a wife and mother to two children. They
left So. Calif. and moved to Las Vegas where her husband started a new business in 1969. It was in Las Vegas that her life changed again. An old friend stopped by and announced out of the blue, “I can’t stay too long because I am going to start taking flying lessons”. She commented that sounded interesting. She had never really considered flying even though her father was
an aircraft mechanic. It was simply a job he went to every day.

And so her third life began when her husband offered lessons
to her as an anniversary present (which was in a few days) if
she was really interested. Terrified she went on a demo ride
and when they landed the instructor asked when did she want
to start? With fear in her voice she said, “Tomorrow….”.
1973 was the beginning of a career and passion she had
never envisioned and continues to this day.

A pilot since 1973 she also became a Gold Seal Flight Instructor in 1977. She loves teaching aviation to everyone and has taught students from all walks of life. The youngest was 16 years old and the oldest was 82 years young. During this time she has accrued over 10,800 hours of flight time.

Her greatest passion however, is RACING. The first one she participated in was the prestigious Powder Puff Derby in 1976. That was the biggest race in the country and open to women only. The route changed each year. The rules allowed four days to complete the race. There were timing lines and mandatory airports for fuel and staying overnight. You could fly only during the daylight hours and had to stay out of any weather. Since putting on such an event is very expensive the race committee decided to terminate the race in the Bicentennial Year and retire the trophy to the Smithsonian Museum. Two hundred aircraft entered the race and all but three finished. The racers were so upset to end the race that we founded the Air Race Classic, same rules and regulations as the Derby. She again was privileged to fly the first ARC which started in Las Vegas, NV.
and ended in Destin/Fort Walton, Fl. in 1978. Since that time
she has participated in the Palms to Pines, Pacific Air Race, Shirts & Skirts and Hayward/Laughlin air races.

She is a current member and past president of the Las Vegas Valley Ninety-Nines, an international organization of women pilots, AOPA, ASN volunteer and AOPA Mentor, Chief Flight instructor for a 141 Certified flight school for 12 years and in 1979 she set two world records for flying below sea level for distance and endurance in Death Valley. In 1982 and 1986
was awarded the Pilot of The Year from the 99’s.

Since the Air Race Classic will cross international borders into Canada, she feels confident that with her amount of flight time experience, her team will have a leading edge for this very exciting race.