May 8, 2003
Tom Guyer, Sr., was thrilled when he was picked as one of the monthly winners in AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes. He told everyone at his home airport about it. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could take his flight. But AOPA made special arrangements for his son and fellow AOPA member, Tom, Jr., to take his father's dream flight.
Guyer traveled from his home in Massachusetts to Sedona, Arizona, home of Red Rock Biplanes, for a chance to experience the wind-in-your-hair sensation of open-cockpit biplane flying firsthand.
"It was a fantastic trip, and Eric [Brunner] was great to fly with," said Guyer. "My Dad loved to fly. He started back in the '50s when he was a teenager. He retired from Delta Airlines several years ago and told me that he was a very fortunate man. He was able to do something that he loved to do and even got paid for it!
"It was because of him that I got my private pilot's license in '97 and my instrument rating several years ago. This flight is something that I will always treasure."
In addition to the trip to Arizona and the Waco flight itself, Guyer received a leather flight jacket with a custom embroidered Waco emblem and his father's Waco certificate.
The grand prize in the AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes is a painstakingly restored 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane. By the time it is given away early next year, 24 monthly winners will have logged 96 hours of Waco time among them.
For complete rules and eligibility requirements, visit AOPA Online.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
Deep in the dense, moss-draped, oak forest of Amelia Island is a luxurious plantation resort. Check out this Florida destination while you are in the Southeast for AOPA's St. Simons, Georgia, Fly-In on Nov. 8.
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