April 1, 2009
By Julie Summers Walker
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? That was the case with the awarding of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes aircraft, a Piper Archer II, on February 28. Karoline Amodeo, a 25-year-old private pilot from Hopewell Junction, New York, accepted the keys to N208GG from AOPA President Craig Fuller at Dutchess County Airport, Amodeo’s home airport near Poughkeepsie, New York. She had experienced a whirlwind day of surprises, which began in Atlanta.
In an elaborate ruse that Amodeo believed was a special opportunity to attend the International Women in Aviation conference courtesy of AOPA, the event began with Amodeo helping to staff the AOPA booth at the conference and speaking to a group of college-bound aviation-career hopefuls. With boundless enthusiasm and remarkable grace, Amodeo assumed what she thought was her role at the conference. Meeting Fuller for the first time Saturday morning, she agreed to join him onstage for what he called a special announcement—Amodeo dashed upstairs to her hotel room to quickly change into her suit.
Before an audience of about 1,000 people, Amodeo held up a model of an Archer—silently thinking maybe AOPA would let her keep the model—and listened as Fuller announced her name as the sweepstakes winner. It was the best-kept secret in aviation history—Amodeo was speechless. When her parents appeared on screen from Poughkeepsie with the real Archer, Amodeo couldn’t contain herself. “May I hug you?” she asked Fuller.
After a flight to Poughkeepsie in AOPA’s N4GA with Fuller and AOPA staffers, which was marked by joyous laughter, Amodeo bounded out of the aircraft to the welcoming reception of family and friends—and her new airplane. For more of the story, read “ President’s Position: A Refreshing Story.”
AOPA Director of Publications and Managing Editor for AOPA Pilot and Flight Training, Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.
Cessna Aircraft staff gathered around the first production Citation Latitude to celebrate another step toward certification of an aircraft important to the firm’s future.
New draft airman certification standards are available for review on the FAA’s website. In addition to releasing the draft standards, the FAA also announced that it would be deleting questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test, effective Feb. 9.
A California charter school has teamed up with a glider school to give students a potentially life-changing opportunity.
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