September 27, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation presented checks for $10,000 to each of five organizations that topped voting in the foundation’s 2011 Pilots’ Choice Awards at a ceremony during AOPA Aviation Summit in Hartford, Conn., Sept. 22.
The winners included the Civil Air Patrol, Mission Aviation Fellowship, The Ninety-Nines Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarship Fund, Recreational Aviation Foundation, and the humanitarian assistance organization Wings of Hope.
The awards were presented during the A Night for Flight fundraising dinner.
The five organizations received the most support from pilots who cast votes for their favorite among 20 finalists announced by the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation in March.
The Lightspeed Aviation Foundation formed in 2010 and is funded from gifts designated by purchasers of Lightspeed Aviation Inc.’s products.
The foundation also awarded a Customers’ Choice Award check for $12,000 to the AOPA Foundation. That award program is funded by donations by the company and its customers.
“Last year our grants totaled more than $100,000, and it is truly amazing to know just how far our contribution can go toward helping these worthy aviation charities achieve their goals,” said Allan Schrader, the foundation’s founder and president.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
Only 10 percent of the aircraft excise taxes that Washington aircraft owners pay go to the Washington State Division of Aeronautics, while the other 90 percent go into the general fund. AOPA is advocating for legislation that would direct 100 percent of the tax to aviation use.
A Seattle pilot on a ferry flight from California to Maui deployed his airframe parachute near Hawaii and was videotaped by the Coast Guard.
Piper’s latest edition of the Meridian pressurized turboprop features updated avionics and six seats in club configuration for $2.26 million.
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