Join Jill Tallman, AOPA Pilot associate editor, and Patrick Smith, AOPA aviation technical specialist, as they wing their way from Maryland to California. They will blog and tweet about their experiences flying a light sport aircraft across the country.
The two opted to leave early and go to the Midwest LSA Expo in Mount Vernon, Ill., on their way to the West Coast. “Since we’ll be six hours closer to the Golden State and the weather will be kinder and gentler now (I hope), it makes sense to pack up and head out now,” Tallman wrote in the sweepstakes blog. After two weeks in the air, they will land in California in plenty of time for Summit. Tallman has an instrument rating and more than 500 hours in her logbook; Smith has his commercial ASEL, AMEL Instrument airplane, CFII and is working on his lighter than air rating.
While at Summit, members can examine the airplane before Craig Fuller hands over the keys to one lucky winner at the conclusion of the Friday morning keynote.
This isn't the first time the Remos had its work cut out for it; the sweeps airplane took part in the first-ever AOPA Road and Runway Rally, where the Remos and a Smart car raced from AOPA headquarters to the opening of Sun 'n Fun 2010.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman has racked up hours on several long cross-countries—including one to Oshkosh, Wis., for EAA AirVenture. His advice for this cross-country focuses on the sights you can see with the Remos, and the equipment that makes it all possible.
"Long cross-country trips in the Remos allow you to experience the places you pass over more intimately than other aircraft—such trips are amazingly fuel efficient. On warm days, flying with the doors off overwhelms the senses. Dolphins swimming near the coastline are clearly visible, and the sounds and sensations of being at the beach on a summer day are part of the experience. At higher altitudes, it's common to get 25 miles per gallon or more in fuel economy," he said.
Feeling lucky? AOPA has a number of ways to increase your chances to win this year's Sweeps airplane. Signing up for AOPA membership, participating in automatic annual renewal, and enrolling in other AOPA services can increase your total entries to twelve for this year. See the official rules for details.