April 11, 2013
By Julie Summers Walker
More than 75 students from New York and Florida received the trip of a lifetime on April 11 when a JetBlue Airways Airbus A320 picked them up and flew them to Lakeland, Fla., for the thirty-ninth annual Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In & Expo.
David “Scott” Malcomb, an instructor at JetBlue University College of Technical Operations, pitched the idea to his airline. The flight was free to all. The students, age 14 to 18, are enrolled in aviation programs at their high schools. As 17-year-old Parker Quinlan said, “it was awesome,” and Malcomb said he believed all of the kids were “blown away” by the experience.
Quinlan, whose father is a pilot for Southwest Airlines, said he was thrilled to meet Van’s Aircraft owner Richard “Van” VanGrunsven, and the Sun ’n Fun experience has convinced him he’d like an aviation career. “I am considering the Air Force,” he said.
Among the students was a group from the Eagle’s Nest aviation experience, which is featured in the May issue of AOPA Pilot.
Sun n Fun,
Red Bull Air Racing has returned for 2014, with Paul Bonhomme, twice a world champion of past years’ competitions, claiming a victory.
AOPA President Mark Baker flew four women and girls on two flights March 4 as part of Women of Aviation Worldwide Week activities designed to introduce more women and girls to aviation.
Pilots from Maine and New England turned out in numbers for the annual Maine Aviation Forum hosted by EAA Chapter 1434.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.