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Turkey vultures make for an unlucky thirteenth flying lessonTurkey vultures make for an unlucky thirteenth flying lesson

Glenn Carlson and his daughter

Glenn Carlson’s decision to become a pilot started with an idea for an adventure with his daughter. “She had just turned 16 and said it would be awesome that when she turns 18 we fly to as many states as we can in 30 days,” Carlson recalled. So, he decided to get his private pilot certificate. 

In anticipation of their trip, Carlson joined a flying club and began flight training. He also purchased renter's insurance and he joined AOPA as a student pilot member.

“Purchasing AOPA insurance was easy,” he said. Carlson would soon need that coverage too. 

“It was during my thirteenth lesson. I was taking off and noticed five turkey vultures flying above. We have many of these birds flying around, so I was used to seeing them. Just as I was preparing to turn crosswind at about 700 feet, one bird dove straight down towards me, bouncing off my left wing,” he said. “I looked at my instruments and the horizon and was happy to see the airplane was still flying, so I made my crosswind turn. It happened so quickly, my instructor was unaware of what happened until I told him.”

Carlson filed a claim with AOPA and it was processed quickly and efficiently.

“I received constant updates as to where we were in the process and everything went smoothly. The airplane sustained more than $5,000 in damage and AOPA Insurance saved me the out-of-pocket $2,500 deductible I would have been responsible for without it,” he said.

When his daughter turns 18 next year, the trip is still on. So watch out, turkey vultures.

No matter what you fly or for what reason, AOPA Insurance has the right policy for you. Whether you own or rent, we have you covered. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit the website. Don’t forget: You may qualify for a 5-percent discount just for being an AOPA member. Revenue from AOPA Insurance programs goes right back to AOPA to help grow and protect general aviation.

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