Last month we participated in Sporty’s Annual Fly-In and enjoyed free food, fellowship, flying—and a special surprise. Always a highlight of the event is the announcement of the airplane sweepstakes winner. Sporty’s customers are automatically entered into the sweepstakes each time they make a purchase. This year that winner was Rick Okikawa from Sacramento, California. Rick’s winning purchase was a ForeFlight subscription bought on a whim when he ran into his flight instructor one day.
I had the opportunity to chat with Rick about his big win and what his plans are for his new plane:
“I was struggling looking at TFRs and my instructor happened to pass by and asked if he could help. He immediately saw what I was trying to do and said, ‘Wait, you don’t have ForeFlight? Let me show you what you can do’,” explained Rick. “He proceeded to pull out his iPad and started showing me everything from TFRs to airport details in the Directory. I immediately purchased an iPad and called up Sporty’s the same day to order ForeFlight.”
Rick considers himself new to flying, having started part-time about three years ago flying with the Cal-Aggie Flying Farmers out of the University of California Davis. In July of 2014 he sealed the deal, completing his flight training and becoming a licensed pilot.
“I’ve always had the interest and always wanted to fly. You can always make excuses—not enough time, not enough money. Things just fell into place for me; I had the time, I had the money, I didn’t have any more excuses to not fly.”
When I asked him about the winning phone call he received from Sporty’s, he said he thought it was a scam at first. And who could blame him? It’s not every day you get a call from someone trying to give you a new airplane!
What does Rick have planned for his new ride? “Currently my favorite places to fly are along the coast: Mendocino, Little Rivers, Monterrey, and flying the bay tour. I am looking forward to having the freedom to just get out and go when I want and not have to plan ahead to reserve a plane. I’d like to do some cross-country flying, and would even like to start training for mountain flying so I can take a trip to Lake Tahoe through the mountains.”
We thank Sporty’s for another unforgettable fly-in; we had a great time and it’s an event we’re sure Rick won’t forget either. Congratulations, Rick—wishing you blue skies in the new RV-12!