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.
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.
Sun n Fun,
The AOPA National Aviation Community Center hosted Paws and Planes, an event that showed kids flying for others – including our four-footed friends – can be rewarding and fun.
J. Reid Garrison, an airshow performer and formation pilot who has been part of the story line at the major aviation events, including Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, across the years, was recently inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
AOPA connected with hundreds of pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts during the thirty-second Northwest Aviation Conference held in Puyallup, Washington, Feb. 21 and 22.
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