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AOPA member flies father's airplaneAOPA member flies father's airplane

Cessna 172 bonded father and sonCessna 172 bonded father and son

“I came into this world with the flying bug from my father,” said United States Air Force Col. Jim Kerr. Kerr’s father, John, was a private pilot who flew as a passion and a hobby, according to Kerr. His father earned his private pilot license on Dec. 7, 1941—and later, as a recent college graduate, was involved with the Manhattan Project. “He was doing research at Oak Ridge Laboratory in Tennessee,” said Kerr, “and he was sworn to secrecy.”

Kerr’s father took him for an airline trip in a Convair when he was 3 years old, again when he was 5, and once more when he was 9. That’s when his dad decided he needed to get current again, and he did. “My father was my biggest mentor and supporter,” said Kerr, who went on to take lessons when he was 15 and soloed on his seventeenth birthday. Kerr was one of those kids who earned his pilot certificate before his driver’s license. “The only reason I got my driver’s license is that my father told me he was tired of driving me to the airport,” he said. 

Jim Kerr

Kerr went on to a 38-year career with the U.S. Air Force, and flew for 33 of them—everything from Huey helicopters to C-141, KC-135, KC-10, and others. “I had a very wonderful and rich career,” he said.

Kerr’s father had purchased a Cessna 172 that had been used as a demonstrator. Almost new, the airplane was a 1980 model with just 160 hours on it. When Kerr’s father decided it was time for him to retire from flying, he gave the Cessna 172 to his son. “The airplane was in pristine condition. It was always hangared and treated with great care. In fact, it still has its original paint,” Kerr said.

John Kerr’s philosophy about flying is that you should introduce as many people as you can to flying since they may not have an opportunity otherwise, and Jim Kerr has followed that philosophy. He said, “When I’m alone in the airplane, it feels wrong. I want to be sharing it with someone else.”

John had been an AOPA member so when it came time for Jim to insure the 172, John told him to call AOPA Insurance. “AOPA is like a good doctor—you want someone you can grow old with who knows your history,” he said. “Just like my father, I enjoy working with them—they’re like family.” When asked if he would recommend AOPA Insurance to another pilot, Jim didn’t hesitate. “Oh my goodness, yes!” he said.

Whether you’re father or son, mother or daughter, AOPA Insurance has the right policy for you. For more information or a quick quote on aircraft insurance, talk to AOPA Insurance. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit us online or call 1-800/622-2672. Don’t forget: You may earn a 5-percent discount just for being an AOPA member.

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