20-year-old wins free aviation trip to France

AOPA helps young pilot spread joy of flight internationally

June 25, 2013

Twenty-year-old Jennifer Guetterman is the winner of a free trip to France to participate in the Tour Aérien Des Jeunes Pilotes. The event was created to motivate the next generation of pilots and promote general aviation to the public.

AOPA announced June 6 that it was partnering with the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, and the Fédération Française Aéronautique to send an American pilot to the race, paying for the pilot’s roundtrip airfare to France, airplane rental for the race, fuel, lodging, and basic meals.

Guetterman, 20, is a private pilot from Anaheim, Calif., who is currently working on her instrument rating and is also an advanced ground instructor. She got her start in GA when she was 18.

“I saw a post on Facebook about the Aviation Explorers post at Fullerton Municipal Airport’s AFI Flight Training Center, where I now work,” said Guetterman. “I did an intro flight and the owner of AFI asked if I wanted a job and to do flight training.”

Besides Aviation Explorers, Guetterman is a member of The Ninety-Nines and Women in Aviation, International. She received her private pilot certificate in November 2012 and hopes to finish her instrument rating by December.

Guttermann learned about the AOPA’s contest to participate in the Tour Aérien Des Jeunes Pilotes from the advisor of her Aviation Explorers post. “He’s always looking for scholarship opportunities and said he thought of me when he saw the story in AOPA Online,” she said. “I was a pilot between the ages of 18 and 24 and spoke French, so I applied."

In the span of eight days, AOPA received 80 applications, which is pretty good, said Brittney Miculka, AOPA manager of prospective pilot and youth outreach. “It was a difficult choice. We were really looking for someone who was engaged in GA and had the experience to do outreach, because they’ll be doing that in France in local communities,” she said. “We really liked Jennifer because she wants to be a flight instructor and that is really encouraging.”

Guetterman will be one of four women and the only American flying in the event, said Miculka. “It’s nice to see so many young people engaged with AOPA and ready to promote general aviation.”