AOPA on Nov. 11 presented the second annual Let’s Go Flying Award to U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Gabriel Glinsky for his efforts to organize and teach a ground school for his fellow unit members while on active duty in Afghanistan.
In 2009 while serving in Afghanistan, Glinsky, a V-22 ”Osprey” tiltrotor pilot and certificated flight instructor, volunteered to teach ground school for more than a dozen fellow Marines. His students, mostly enlisted Marines, had expressed an interest in learning to fly once they returned to the United States, so Glinsky offered to help them prepare to take the FAA knowledge tests for sport and private pilot certificates. He contacted AOPA for assistance in gathering the necessary materials.
“Expanding the pilot population is vital to the future of all aviation in America,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “We were extremely impressed with Capt. Glinsky’s efforts to help do that—especially when in harm’s way so far from home—and pleased to be able to support him and his students.”
Aviation humorist and veteran instructor Rod Machado pitched in with 15 copies of his Private Pilot Handbook. Gleim Publications provided several Sport Pilot Kits that include books covering the FAA knowledge test, flight maneuvers, and a training syllabus. The AOPA Air Safety Foundation (now the Air Safety Institute) provided a 2010 FAR/AIM for every student, and AOPA staff members gave a variety of materials including plotters, flight computers, VFR sectionals, and flash cards.
The Let’s Go Flying Award is presented annually to a person who has made significant efforts to draw new people into flying. —AOPA Communications staff