AOPA's surPRIZE Squad literally ran into its grand prize winner, Robert (Bob) Kaplan of Middleburg, Virginia, on AOPA Day at Sun 'n Fun. But it took a while before it registered with Kaplan that he was the winner of the Garmin 396 handheld GPS.
"This really is the first time I've won anything," the 15-year AOPA member said. "GPS is the best navigation tool ever developed."
Kaplan is just getting back into general aviation after being grounded for two years because of a medical condition. As it turns out, AOPA just recently helped him get his medical back, and he is scheduled to complete his flight review next week.
A two-year break is a long time for a man who's been flying since 1945.
"I used to play hooky from high school every Friday so that I could go flying," Kaplan explained. He's owned a Cessna 140 and Stinson Voyager. And now he's flying Cessna 150s and 172s.
For those who couldn't attend Sun 'n Fun or weren't lucky enough to win the grand prize, don't worry. You'll have another chance to win a Garmin 396 handheld GPS at AOPA's Fly-In and Open House on Saturday, June 3, in Frederick, Maryland.
And if, like Bob Kaplan, you've been away from flying for a while, check out our " Pilots' Guide to Getting Back into Flying" - everything you need to know, including changed regulations and procedures. You'll be back in the left seat in no time!
April 7, 2006