For no apparent reason, Martha fell in love with airplanes at age nine and she learned to fly an Ercoupe in the early 1960s while attending college in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio. Armed with a degree in English Literature, she became a flight instructor and operated a flying school at Cincinnati's Lunken Airport for seven years. She married Ebby Lunken, for whose family the airport was named.
After a divorce and far too much time instructing, Martha reluctantly accepted a job in 1980 as an Aviation Safety Inspector with FAA's Flight Standards Division at DuPage Airport in Chicago. Eight years later she made her way back home via the Indianapolis FSDO and ran the FAA's safety program in southern Ohio ... when she wasn't on suspension.
She has an ATP, airplane single and multi-engine land and sea, and a commercial hot air balloon rating. She's type rated in the Lockheed 18, DC-3 and SA-227 aircraft. Martha owns a 1956 Cessna 180, half of a J-3 Cub and has 12,000+ hours flight time.