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50 years: ‘AOPA Pilot’ Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of congratulations on the anniversary of AOPA Pilot magazine (“50 Years: AOPA Pilot The Voice of General Aviation,” March Pilot). I was there.

50 years: ‘AOPA Pilot’

Allow me to add my voice to the chorus of congratulations on the anniversary of AOPA Pilot magazine (“ 50 Years: AOPA Pilot The Voice of General Aviation,” March Pilot). I was there.

I joined AOPA in 1957 when I was a young flight instructor starting a career in aviation. The honor of a 50-year pin was given last year. It has been a long, sometimes bumpy, mostly pleasant, flight together.

Here we are in 2008 discussing the same issues we did in 1958: building, rebuilding, and modernizing the air traffic control system; upgrading and modernizing the flight service station structure; financing the entire range of aviation services; and, probably most important, maintaining access to the country’s airspace by general aviation.

I served 28 years as a controller and in various other positions within the FAA. I never forgot my roots were in general aviation. AOPA and I have lived a half-century together. What will the next 50 years bring? We wait in awe.

H. Chris Bouwhuis, AOPA 151735
Gunnison, Colorado

The March 2008 anniversary issue is a keeper. I became a member in 1951 and I remember buying Flying magazine and searching for the AOPA Section. AOPA Pilot has performed admirably through the years, reporting on and supporting general aviation. Congratulations on having a splendid past, AOPA Pilot, and best wishes for your future, reporting on and supporting GA.

Robert L. Olsen, AOPA 084320
Lake Placid, New York

The ladies fly

I read with great interest the article “ The Ladies Fly” in March’s AOPA Pilot. Thank you. I’m a single-engine IFR pilot, and proud of it. At 75, I’m current and feel fortunate to be able to fly. But what I’m really proud of is having a sister who is an exceptional VFR pilot. She is 77 and still flying. She has probably gotten more people, including more women, into aviation than most any other single person. I’m sure she knows of those women mentioned in your fine March piece. To me, my sister is a legend in her own time. Thank you for your article acknowledging women pilots, especially these founders of the Abilene Unit of the International Ninety-Nines.

Chris Rubel, AOPA 699924
Glendora, California

I am 14 years old and I read your article “The Ladies Fly” in the March issue and it truly inspired me. Before reading your article, I never gave any thought to being part of a distinguished group of women in aviation. I am thrilled to be part of this distinguished group. I hope my flying career will someday inspire another young lady to fly.

Caroline Dengler
Middletown, Delaware

Editors note: The response to “The Ladies Fly” has been overwhelming for the lady pilots of Abilene. Numerous local newspaper stories have been published and two local television broadcasts presented since the article was published.

Tale of a gem

I appreciated the article on Lake Tahoe Airport turning 50 (“ America’s Airports: Tale of a Gem,” March Pilot). That was my home base back in what I call the glory years of the airport. When PSA and Air Cal were both flying full schedules with Electra Jets. On a beautiful winter weekday I was sitting in the sun on the ramp when a Hughes 500 helicopter landed. The pilot got out, and went inside. A moment later the passenger also got out. It was John Denver, who was performing at Harrah’s. We had a brief chat, and they took off again. I have many fond memories of TVL, and your article brought them all back to life.

Mike Nolan, AOPA 978248
Corona, California

Going paperless?

Outstanding job with the online version of AOPA Pilot’s 50th anniversary issue. It would be nice to have all the AOPA publications online in such a manner. It would save a lot of paper. And I would promptly give up the paper version.

Joilo Barbosa, AOPA 4741545
Wall Walla, Washington

Surprise of a lifetime

I opened the door to the day and found it cold, wet, and gray. My mood was a sunny contrast. As I gazed into the front yard, the morning’s itinerary played through my mind: a meeting with Bruce Landsberg to discuss pilot transitions between steam gauges and glass cockpits. My eyes stopped on the birdhouse my son built. There was a male cardinal perched on top. I called my son to see the cardinal that stopped by for breakfast. Yes, it was going to be a great day. And, yes, I missed the foreshadowing (“ Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes: Surprise of a Lifetime,” March Pilot).

The meeting with Landsberg was a ruse—although truly interested in pilot transitions between cockpits, the real intent was to present N778RD, the Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes airplane, to me.

I joined AOPA 10 years ago. During the years of membership I have used the educational resources available through the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. The publications and online courses are useful and of the highest quality. I value the resources provided on the Web site and the answers to my specific questions when I telephone. Each time I have interacted with AOPA, I have been impressed by the professional service I have received. I feel I am a valued member of the organization. Now that I am the new owner of the sweepstakes airplane, my esteem for AOPA has risen even higher. Not because of the airplane, but rather by the caliber and character of our leaders. I have had the pleasure of interacting with Phil Boyer, Bruce Landsberg, and Tom Haines and they impress me. I wish every member could meet these gentlemen.

I am proud to be a member of AOPA. Not only have I been honored with a beautiful airplane, but AOPA valiantly works to make GA safe and accessible in this country, providing excellent technical resources, quality training resources, and tenacious legal representation so that we can hop in a Cardinal and fly off in search of breakfast on a Saturday morning.

Bruce A. Chase, AOPA 1368156
Longview, Texas

We welcome your comments. Address letters to: Editor, AOPA Pilot, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701. Send e-mail to [email protected]. Include your full name, address, and AOPA number on all correspondence, including e-mail. Letters will be edited for length and style.

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