Pilots get up close and personal with the 2005 Sweepstakes Commander 112A.
AOPA staff is providing one-
on-one attention to visitors.
AOPA's 2005 Sweepstakes Commander 112A has attracted so many visitors at Sun 'n Fun that the area around the aircraft has been trampled to dust. The only green patches of grass are under the wings and fuselage. But even that might not last for long. AOPA members are giving their Commander such a thorough inspection that some have bent down on their hands and knees to check out the belly.
Whether they are checking out the engine, looking over the propeller, or peeping in the cockpit at the Chelton FlightLogic system, members are excited and well pleased with all of the special features AOPA has added to the Commander.
Many walk around the aircraft admiring the paint scheme - "Drooling, I think is the word," advised Brian Smith. After looking at the Commander, Smith was on his way inside the tent to sign up for membership and a chance to win the aircraft - he's planning to begin flight lessons this summer.
John McCaffrey, a private pilot from Florida, said he could imagine himself flying the aircraft if he won. "It would be my excuse to get a complex rating and get an instrument rating as well," he said. What would he do with the Commander? Fly frequent cross-countries to visit family in New York.
Robin Hawley and his family checked out the airplane, but his daughters had to have the first look. Katie, 8, didn't think her father would let her fly the Commander if he won. When Hawley reminded her that she helped him work on and fly his airplane, she replied, "Yeah, but it's really old." Because of the fresh paint job, glass cockpit, and new interior, Katie and her 11-year-old sister Kelsey didn't buy that fact that the Commander was manufactured in 1974.
Inside the tent, AOPA staff is providing one-on-one attention to visitors and showing them how they can keep flying safe, fun, and affordable. So far, AOPA has helped renew members' hopes of overcoming financial and medical obstacles to get back into the air. You also can receive personal demonstrations of AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner and Online Safety Center.
April 16, 2005