Mon, Jan 28 2008
(LONGVIEW, Texas) – LeTourneau University assistant professor and assistant chief flight instructor Bruce Chase was awarded a $5,000 research grant and a newly refurbished 1977 Cessna Cardinal 4-seater aircraft, valued at $127,000, Saturday from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s “ Catch-A-Cardinal sweepstakes.”
The presentation came as a surprise to Chase who thought he was meeting Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association members Bruce Landsberg and Phil Boyer at East Texas Regional Airport to discuss safety. The 414,000-member AOPA has represented the interests of general aviation pilots since 1939 through information, education and representation, and its Air Safety Foundation plays a vital role in keeping the general aviation accident rate down, and providing safety education to all pilots. General aviation includes all flying except the scheduled airlines and the military. Some two-thirds of the nation’s pilots are AOPA members.
The airplane was refurbished throughout 2007, receiving a new interior, instrument panel, paint, and engine. It traveled the country throughout the year so pilots could see it up close at air shows, fly-ins, and local airports.
Chase is studying pilots’ transition to technically advanced aircraft – a subject of special interest to the AOPA Air Safety Foundation – so Landsberg presented Chase and LeTourneau University with a $5,000 grant to continue his work.
“Handing over the keys to sweepstakes airplanes is always a thrilling event,” said Boyer. “This year, it is especially exciting to award the Catch-A-Cardinal sweepstakes airplane to someone who has dedicated his career to training the next generation of general aviation and commercial pilots and flight instructors.” AOPA’s annual sweepstakes prize for 2008 is a 1976 Piper Archer II, which a pilot will win in early 2009.