GAOA Gathering at Lakeland Florida

On Saturday March 11, five GlaStars and Sportsmans flew to Lakeland (KLAL) for a group lunch at the WACO Kitchen, the new and very good restaurant above the terminal building. Another couple, currently building a GlaStar, arrived in their RV.

I really enjoyed organizing this GAOA event, which I think is the first time we’ve had an official gathering in Florida outside of Sun ‘n Fun. I know many of us go to Sun ‘n Fun and get together there, but I thought it would be fun to invite Florida-based members of our association to meet up at a central location.

Left to right: Vic Chewning, Lynda Blunt, Bill and Karen Sharpe, Alex Kulpecz, Kathy Sutton, Wayne Chernicky, Dick and Karen Solar.

I bring my GlaStar south each winter from Toronto Ontario to Punta Gorda (KPGD), where I have a hangar for the winter months. As I thought it would be fun to meet a few more GlaStar pilots, it seemed like a good idea to promote a fly-in lunch (since we all fly for food, right?).

Thanks to Omar, everybody who flew in got a prize! Vic Chewning, based at Flying W Air Ranch, received the GAOA water bottle for the highest PIC time in a GlaStar (left). Wayne Chernicky, based at Destin Executive, took the GAOA wine cup for the longest flight (right). Other prize winners were Dick Solar of Punta Gorda for being the newest GlaStar pilot, and Alex Kulpecz for making the second-longest flight of the day, coming from Homestead FL. Alex is actually based in Texas but happened to be in Florida visiting family. Bill Sharpe was given the “perseverance” award to encourage him to keep on building! 

Going by the comments made, it seems that everyone there enjoyed the get-together, especially the opportunity to meet some of the people they’d only known through the GAOA website. 

I’m looking forward to organizing this fly-in event again next year, again at Lakeland, probably in the middle of March. Hoping for a larger turnout, and it would be great to see a few Glasairs there as well!

After lunch, we all spent some time admiring each other’s aircraft. It was great to see such a beautiful fleet lined up together!
Previous articleWhat to Expect When You’re Expecting… an Engine
Next articleAcme Aero Stinger Tailwheel Suspension in a GlaStar