Pat has worked around airplanes, since the age of 5 when she immigrated to the US from Germany, and later became a US citizen. Her father, a career US Air Force officer and pilot for Air Force One, immersed her immediately into the aviation environment. He wanted all his children to fly. In the 70’s and 80’s, when she was a teenager, her family managed a community airport in Manistee, Michigan. Pat assisted in refueling aircraft, washed airplanes, managed car rentals, assisted in bookkeeping, and help with flight training. Her father wanted her to have the same love of aviation that he had and began flight instruction for her in a Cessna. Unfortunately, Pat had a tough time with landings and quit lessons, but she still has about 3 hours in her log book.
Later, Pat served in the U.S. Navy and naturally gravitated to the aviation community. Some of her duty stations involved supporting P-3 “Orion” aircraft in Jacksonville, Florida and Moffett Field, California. She also had a staff tour at CINCUSNAVEUR in London, England, where she learned to legally drive on the wrong side of the road and the proper pronunciation of “tea” correctly pronouncing all three syllables. She was awarded the Meritorious Achievement Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. She was discharged Honorably. Following her military service, she continued to work with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps as a private contractor, where she eventually met Art.
In 2003, Pat joined forces with Art Nalls – as his wife. She shares his passion for military aviation, in particular the “Harrier.” When Art asked for her permission to spend every penny they had to buy a “Harrier,” she encouraged him to do so – – immediately after the life insurance premium was paid. Pat helped to arrange the financing for this unusual project. Fortunately, the seller took a check.
Since acquisition of the “Harrier,” Pat has been instrumental in running the aviation and airshow business. As co-owner of the “Harrier,” Pat is directly involved in sponsorship decisions and deciding which airshows to add to the NALLS AVIATION schedule.
She coordinates all the Nalls Team’s logistics, including transportation, lodging and even meal planning. Meal planning is a key factor. Pat once attended the famed cooking school “Le Cordon Bleu,” in Paris, and prides herself in proper presentation of a meal. Even if it is just a bologna sandwich, the pickle has to be just right. But she did not complete the course because she was caught eating “La Royale with Cheese.” She didn’t know that’s what they call a Quarter Pounder in France because they’re on the metric system….
“One of my key responsibilities is to ensure that our pilots and crew are well cared for,” she explains. This is no small task since the Nalls Team is located all over the eastern United States. Often, there are commercial airfares to be coordinated for the team to arrive on time with the airplanes, and the closest major airport may NOT be at the show site. There are lots of moving parts that need to all fall in place, on time. Pat’s job requires dedication and attention to detail and it suits her well. “I enjoy what I do, and am proud of what our team, as a whole, has accomplished.” she said.
Those who have seen Pat overseeing operations at an airshow, can’t help but notice that she has a small dog, “Tribble” with her constantly. Pat is a stroke survivor. Besides being a very cute mascot for the team, “Tribble” is a service dog. “Tribble” has been trained to notice small changes in Pat, which may be indications of pending stroke.