Andrew Treulich, an AOPA member and 2016 AOPA High School Scholarship winner, said that the decision to become a pilot was a coincidence.
“I live next to the Bayport Aerodrome (23N), which has a grass runway housing old, vintage WWII planes," he explained. "A pilot at that airport in September 2015 offered to take me up on a Young Eagle’s flight in an old Cessna 150. He allowed me to fly the airplane along Fire Island, which was a memorable experience. That flight truly solidified my decision to pursue flight — sparking my interest in aviation."
Fast forward nearly two years, and he is a private pilot working on his instrument rating this coming fall. His overall goal in five years is to be a new-hire at a regional airline.
“While I would be flying commercial aircraft, I would still like to fly GA aircraft whenever I could!" he said.
He credits being a “loyal AOPA member” as valuable to his aviation initiatives. "The services AOPA provides, along with their support for the GA community, are what make AOPA very valuable to myself and other aviators throughout the United States," he added.
As an AOPA member, he has specifically taken advantage of several services, such as AOPA Pilot Protection Services and Renter Insurance. Treulich says he finds it very important to have legal protection while being an active GA pilot. Having the protection of renter insurance allows him to fly with that added security.
He says he would definitely tell a friend to join AOPA. “By being a member with AOPA, you join a huge support network that provides services to thousands of General Aviation pilots,” Treulich concludes. “AOPA provides various pilot information services for medical certification, aircraft ownership, and more. AOPA has backed the GA community for years by providing advocacy for various issues found concerning to other pilots in General Aviation."