Sharing the excitement

February 24, 2011 by Craig Fuller

I am privileged to spend my days surrounded by people who are as enthusiastic about flying as I am—it’s one of the perks of working at AOPA.  But today I got a special treat when I had the chance to award an AOPA Flight Training scholarship to a deserving pilot-in-the-making.

Krista Crandall won this year’s scholarship essay contest and will use the money to complete the private pilot certificate she is working on. I was impressed with Krista’s determination to complete her training while balancing the demands of work and family—and delighted by her enthusiasm for all things aviation.

I presented Krista with her award at this year’s Women in Aviation International Conference in Reno, Nevada. I love this event because it brings together women and men from every facet of the aviation community—mechanics, controllers, military personnel, pilots of all types, and many others. Exciting things happen when you get such a diverse group of people together in one place to share their experiences, learn from one another, and nurture their aviation dreams. Women in Aviation President Dr. Peggy Chabrian and her team do an incredible job with each year’s conference—and the energy level among the participants is always high.

Women in Aviation International Conference

A quick stop at the AOPA booth as I toured the exhibit hall at the Women in Aviation International conference.

Of course, one of the most enjoyable parts is meeting people like Krista who love aviation and are determined to make it an integral part of their lives. A couple of years ago I had a similarly rewarding experience at the conference when I surprised the winner of AOPA’s sweepstakes airplane at the event. I can’t promise that I’ll be handing out airplanes at future Women in Aviation events, but you can bet that the wonderful people and their excitement about aviation will keep me coming back.