August 6, 2005
What better way to hook prospective student pilots on aviation than to show them what it's all about? That's the approach AOPA used at its Fly-In Saturday where prospective pilots had the chance to talk with a flight instructor, sit in the cockpit of a Cessna 172 trainer, and win free introductory flights.
Nearly 250 people attended seminars about how to start the process of learning to fly, and 15 of those prospective pilots won a free first flight.
Kathie Burchfield of York, Pennsylvania, was one of the lucky winners. She and her husband, who just received his private pilot certificate in the mail this week, attended AOPA's Fly-In for the first time. And now Kathie wants to get a taste of GA.
"I want to at least pick up the basics so I can help him with navigation," she said. Kathie has flown with her husband a couple of times and is excited to take the controls of the aircraft during her free introductory flight.
In addition to Kathie, the other Introductory First Flight winners are: Warren Better of New Market, Maryland; Stephen Brannock of Leesburg, Virginia; Ken Britt of Ashburn, Virginia; Chris Coulson of York, Pennsylvania; Abraham Dabela of Philadelphia; Steve Erd of Potomac, Maryland; Thomas Fannin of Baltimore; Haniel Goertz of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; David Johnson of Montclair, Virginia; Greg Jones of Alexandria, Virginia; Michael Jones of New Market, Maryland; Samuel Laboy of Leesburg, Virginia; Glendon Lattie of Hagerstown, Maryland; and Jacqueline Jenkins of Cocoa, Florida.
Would-be student pilots weren't the only ones eligible to win prizes - so were the pilots who brought them. Future pilots who attended the "How to Start Learning to Fly" seminars entered the pilots who brought them into a drawing for one of two headsets. Donna Moore of Massillon, Ohio, who brought prospective pilot Charlotte Tracey, won the Thirty 3G headset from Lightspeed Aviation. Lionel Lavenue of Oakton, Virginia, who brought prospective pilot Teresa Lavenue, won the PA17-61T headset from Pilot USA.
Other winners include Jean Pietrowski of Bowie, Maryland, who won Sporty's complete Recreational Pilot Flight Training Course; Tom Fitzgerald of Ashburn, Virginia, an AOPA leather portfolio; David Vass of Germantown, Maryland, a Wright Brothers Flyer Commemorative crystal paperweight; and Jacqueline Arsenault of Columbia, Maryland, an AOPA duffel bag with gifts from AOPA and Frederick Flight Center.
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