Taking flight with the Special Olympics

July 17, 2010 by Craig Fuller

Today, I had one of my most memorable flights as AOPA participated in the Special Olympics Airlift organized by Cessna.

We made an early start this morning, picking up four athletes and two coaches at Baltimore International Airport. All our fine athletes are from the Baltimore area, and today’s trip to Lincoln, Nebraska, was their first flight on a private aircraft. Their enthusiasm for the journey and the upcoming competition was contagious.

AOPA’s Citation, using the call sign Dove 14 for this special trip, is one of 160 participating in the airlift. Together we will bring more than 800 athletes to Nebraska for the games. This is the sixth Citation Airlift for the Special Olympics, and AOPA’s first time to participate. I have to say, I am honored to take part. By working together we are helping athletes from all over the country fulfill their dreams. And it’s something many would be unable to do without our help. It’s a mission that GA is uniquely suited to accomplish and just one more example of general aviation serving the larger community.


Good luck to our Baltimore-based athletes and all this year’s competitors! I look forward to seeing their smiling faces and hearing about their experiences when we pick them up for the return trip next Saturday.

If you’d like to share the excitement of our journey, be sure to take a look at the video on AOPA Online.