April 6, 2005
AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Steve Ells arrived like a rock star Saturday in the AOPA Sweepstakes Commander Countdown airplane. A crowd surrounded the airplane as it was being positioned in its highly visible spot on the static display.
"That's my airplane," Ells heard as he made his way out of the cockpit.
A front moved through Maryland on Friday, painting plenty of big green blobs of rain and a few convective yellow blips on the radar. Ells left Cincinnati and traveled as far east as he could, spending the night in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He made the quick hop over to Frederick Municipal Airport for the AOPA Fly-In and Open House, sharing the pattern with AOPA members from all over the region. The airplane had been at Air Mod in Ohio, having its interior touched up by the shop's owner, Dennis Wolter.
"Everything went great," Ells said.
After the airplane leaves Frederick, it will head to Big Piney, Wyoming, for the installation of its turbonormalizer system by RCM Aviation. Then it will fly back to Wickenburg, Arizona, for the completion of its paint job by Master Aircraft Painters. The airplane's next big public appearance will be at Oshkosh.
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