AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 62

Marquette (SAW)

St. Ignace (83D)

Alpena (APN)
SOME OF THE more than 30
airports around the state of
Michigan that welcome the
pilots of Operation Good
Cheer (right). Curt Martin
(in Santa hat) and Harry Manvel
in an experimental Rutan
Defiant (far right). Goodies at
the airports include homemade
chili (below, right). There's a
festive atmosphere as presents
are sorted (below, far right).

Traverse City (TVC)

Roben-Hood (RQB)

Michigan

Frankenmuth (66G)
Lapeer (D95)
Oakland County
International Airport (PTK)

Benton Harbor (BEH)

Santa s Hangar
the only family they have ever known, to being placed in a different
home with a different family, sometimes in a different school, and
experiencing different lives entirely," said Sherry Brackenwagen,
administrative director of Child and Family Services of Michigan
Inc. "Operation Good Cheer strives to make the situation a little
easier by showing these children that there are caring people in the
community who are thinking about them at Christmas."
Brackenwagen's staff receives wish lists from the children in the
79 participating agencies. They list six gifts they wish Santa would
bring, but donors are only asked to contribute three. ("No one ever
gives just three," she notes.) The gifts are wrapped and sent, or hand
delivered to the Pentastar hangar, on Friday. Volunteers spend the day
unloading truckloads of presents, sorting them by numbers and letters that will ensure the right gift gets to the right child. That in itself
is a massive logistical undertaking. But somehow this coordinated
chaos works and when aircraft begin arriving at sunrise on Saturday
morning, the gifts are ready to be loaded on the volunteer aircraft.
Pilots check in, chose the location they'd like to fly to, are given
the number of the truck with their gifts, and taxi to the truck.
Volunteers pack the aircraft with presents ("I once transported 13
bikes," Stannard said) and taxi to join a conga line of aircraft heading out to fly across the state. Locals like to show you their left hand

62 | AOPA PILOT December 2020

when describing the shape of Michigan; Pontiac is down between
your pointer finger and your thumb. Aircraft will fly as far as the
top of your ring finger. IFR pilots may choose those locations farther north where weather could be an issue, but most pilots fly VFR.
The event is never canceled; if aircraft can't fly, the presents will
be trucked across the state. "But a GA flight is much more desirable," said Dean Greenblatt, volunteer organizer and pilot. "The
logistics are frightening; we've figured out how to do this incrementally, over the nearly 50 years we've been doing this."

The best chili
At locations such as Roben-Hood Airport (RQB) in Big Rapids,
Michigan, hundreds of local families wait for the arriving aircraft.
They form another conga line to transfer the presents from aircraft to a storage shed or other trucks. There's snow on the ground,
hot chocolate and homemade goodies in the small terminal, and
holiday music playing. Greenblatt says many pilots choose locations based on the spread each community will offer-"like, who
has the best chili?" he says.



AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 81
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 82
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 84
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 85
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 86
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 87
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 88
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 94
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 95
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 97
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 98
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 101
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 102
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 103
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 104
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 105
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 106
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 107
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 108
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 109
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - December 2020 - Cover4
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