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2004 AOPA Sweepstakes winner completes specialized avionics training2004 AOPA Sweepstakes winner completes specialized avionics training

2004 AOPA Sweepstakes winner completes specialized avionics training

Click for larger image
Roy Wilbanks learns the fine
points of the AOPA Win-A-Twin
Comanche's avionics with Judy Cadmus.

AOPA's 2004 Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes winner Roy Wilbanks completed hands-on avionics training last week with Avionics Training Unlimited, Inc. President Judy Cadmus in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The company provided the training to help Wilbanks fully utilize the Twin Comanche's avionics, which include Garmin's GNS480 GPS/Navcom and MX20 multifunction display, plus STEC's System 55X autopilot.

"After reading my avionics manual and studying the CD for over a month, I thought I had gained a considerable amount of knowledge...but with Judy's training course, I found out it was the fine tuning that really made the difference," Wilbanks wrote in an update to AOPA. "And now with the profound knowledge, I feel much more comfortable while operating them."

The better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche is loaded with a full Garmin stack, including a CNX 80 — recently rechristened the GNS 480, which is approved for Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) approaches. WAAS corrects for minute discrepancies, making GPS signals even more accurate, allowing for completely satellite-based precision instrument approaches, complete with vertical guidance. The avionics suite also includes an MX20 multifunction display and Garmin's GTX330 Mode S transponder, which together can show a pilot other traffic in the vicinity, providing greater situational awareness.

Wilbanks isn't letting any dust settle on the Twin Comanche either.

"I'm taking very good care of it and keep the bugs washed off and polished," he reassured AOPA.

So far, he's logged 49.8 hours of flight time in the aircraft, including 15 hours of training. He is also preparing to study for his commercial pilot certificate and plans to receive type-specific training in N204WT provided by the Comanche Flyer Foundation — the educational arm of the International Comanche Society.

As you read these updates on how last year's AOPA Sweepstake's winner is enjoying his aircraft, remember you could be next. AOPA's Commander Countdown aircraft is well on its way to completion. The Commander 112A sports a new paint scheme and state-of-the-art FlightLogic ® glass panels from Chelton. Anyone who joins or renews membership in AOPA between January 1 and December 31, 2005, is automatically entered in the Commander Countdown Sweepstakes. Complete rules, eligibility requirements, and alternate methods of entry are available online.

August 12, 2005

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