AOPA Pilot Magazine - March 2008 - 26
AOPAACTION Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes Surprise of a lifetime Texas pilot wins AOPA’s Catch-A-Cardinal BY THOMAS B. HAINES PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE FIZER H ow differently we react to “surprise.” For Longview, Texasbased Bruce Chase, the surprise of winning an airplane didn’t even warrant a smile—at least for the ﬁrst few minutes. He only nodded politely as AOPA President Phil Boyer and a crowd of television cameras engulfed him as he heard the news that he had won AOPA’s 2007 Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes prize, a fully refurbished 1977 Cessna Cardinal. Minutes later, though, his wife, Debbie, gushed, “I about leapt out of my skin,” as she heard the news via cellphone. “I didn’t take him seriously…he’s always kidding around.” The trap had been set nearly two weeks earlier when Bruce Chase received a telephone call from AOPA Air Safety Foundation Director Bruce Landsberg. Landsberg, a better liar than we thought, claimed he had heard from an aircraft manufacturer and then from Chase’s proﬁle on the LeTourneau University Web site about Chase’s interest in Catch-A-Cardinal Sweepstakes winner Bruce Chase (right) accepts the ceremonial key to the refurbished 1977 Cessna Cardinal from AOPA President Phil Boyer. Boyer calls Bruce Landsberg to let him know all is set to bring Chase outside (above). A security camera feed shows Landsberg and Chase “meeting” (left). AOPA PILOT • 26 • MARCH 2008
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