Olympic inspiration

July 25, 2010 by Craig Fuller

Over the past week or so I’ve been hearing from members who have been inspired by the athletes of the Special Olympics and wanted to know more about the Citation Airlift that brought hundreds of athletes from around the nation to the games in Nebraska. I was honored to take part and wanted to share with you some images from this wonderful trip.

We picked up our Baltimore area Special Olympic athletes early last Saturday morning at BWI….here we are wishing them well as we drop them off for a week of competition in Lincoln, Nebraska.





One week later we were back in Lincoln to pick up our athletes. Cessna did a tremendous job organizing the Special Olympics Airlift.  Thanks to well over 100 Citation aircraft, young athletes for around the country were able to participate. The FAA also did an outstanding job managing the flow of aircraft in and out of Lincoln.  The mobile operations center seen here on the right came in from Kansas City.




Speaking of the FAA, Hank Krakowski, chief operating officer of the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization, flew the FAA Citation to take in the operations at Lincoln.






AOPA’s CJ3, N4GA, flew our Special Olympics Airlift mission as Dove 14.






Our athletes were excited to climb back on the aircraft with their medals.  We enjoyed a smooth flight back to Baltimore where family and friends were waiting.





A large welcome sign was rolled out for our traveling party…notice Hannah’s medals!
The CJ3 reverted back to N4GA and made the short hop back to our home base in Frederick.

Again thanks to Cessna for superb organization.  It was a privilege for all of us at AOPA to participate is such a meaningful and memorable event.

Finally, congratulations to all the Special Olympians…each and everyone is a true winner!