Who wouldn’t want to fly around their locality spreading the gospel of flight? In a bright yellow airplane, no less?
AOPA’s You Can Fly ambassadors spend their days visiting airports in their regions, talking to pilots, meeting with flight schools and clubs, hosting educational seminars, and generally bringing AOPA’s resources to the pilot community. Jamie Beckett, Kay Sundaram, Pat Brown, Norm Isler, and Andy Miller are essentially free consultants to flying clubs, flight schools, and others who aim to make flying more accessible, affordable, and approachable.
You Can Fly ambassadors fly “Reimagined 152s,” which are fully refurbished Cessna 152s familiar to current and aspiring pilots. They are dependable, simple to maintain, inexpensive to operate, widely available, and—above all—fun to fly.
Beckett refers to his 152 as the “company car.” He is the You Can Fly ambassador for Florida and says he has the best job in the world. Brown is the ambassador for Texas and has nicknamed his 152 ‘Woodstock‘ and Isler, the ambassador for the Northeast, has nicknamed his bird ‘Tweety‘.
Sundaram is the ambassador for Southern California and is an active independent flight instructor with a long pedigree in aviation. Miller is an nationally recognized aviation educator and is the ambassador for the Great Lakes region.
If you’d like an AOPA You Can Fly ambassador to visit your airport, use the request form online and to learn more about the ambassador program.
Name: Erik Dincau
Event: First solo
Where: Frederick Municipal Airport, Frederick, MD
Airplane: Cessna 172
"Achieving my first solo was an exercise in persistence. After facing work challenges, financial responsibilities, and battling uncooperative weather, everything finally came together for my first solo on February 13. It was like walking through the first gate on my pilot journey, and I’m ready to move on to the next step and earn my private pilot certificate. I have served the U.S. Army in multiple combat tours and having my certificate will allow me to give back to wounded warrior brothers through volunteer flights and by flying mission work.”