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'We're Gonna Make Pilots With It!'

Editor, flight instructor wins the EAA grand prize Cub!

Jeff Parnau
Jeff Parnau, of East Troy, Wisconsin, is the grand prize winner of the restored 1940 Piper J-3 Cub in EAA's Win the Cub Sweepstakes.

Sweepstakes drawing
EAA Sweepstakes Chairman Tim Casserly pulls out the winning entry from the concrete mixer.

Piper J-3 Cub
The grand prize 1940 Piper J-3 Cub.

September 11, 2012 - Office hours at World Airshow News magazine end at 5 p.m. daily, so when the phone rang at about 5:30 on Monday, September 10, Editor-at-Large Jeff Parnau didn't answer. Moments later when his cell phone rang he picked up - and he couldn't believe what the caller was saying.

EAA Sweepstakes Chairman Tim Casserly informed Parnau, of East Troy, Wisconsin, that he had just won the grand prize in EAA's Win the Cub Sweepstakes Monday - a completely restored 1940 Piper J-3 Cub!

"I thought it was a prank," he said, figuring one of his many aviation contacts through the magazine or his FBO East Troy Aviation might try to pull one over on him. But after he was convinced it was indeed legit, his cynicism turned to shock. "Nobody was more surprised than me."

According to Elissa Lines, EAA vice president of development, there were some 865,000 entries for this year's sweepstakes. All the submitted entries were deposited and shuffled in an Oshkosh Corporation-built concrete mixer, then Casserly, of EAA Chapter 22, drew the six prizewinners, and Dick Knapinski of EAA's communications office announced the winners.

Parnau, EAA 598254, said his wife, Sandra, and her father filled out and mailed sweepstakes coupons that were included in his EAA Sport Aviation magazines.

He had recently sold a Skybolt and was looking into acquiring a Taylorcraft for his flight training operation, located on East Troy Municipal Airport (57C) just southwest of Milwaukee. So winning the Cub certainly comes at a fortunate time.

"This fits perfectly," he said. "We're gonna make pilots with it."

Jeff has a couple hundred hours of taildragger time, but he's only flown in a Cub twice - once with air show performer and WAN contributor Greg Koontz. "We landed on a truck," Parnau said, referring to Koontz's "Clem Cleaver" air show comedy routine.

EAA chose the Cub for the 2012 sweepstakes grand prize to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the iconic taildragger. It has less than 100 hours on it since a complete airframe restoration and overhaul of its Continental A-65-8 engine. Restored to original condition, the airplane includes factory wheelpants, TrickAir Sport 1500 snow skis, sealed struts, Slick magnetos, and a 12-gallon wing tank.

Congrats to Jeff, and thanks to all who entered the 2012 EAA Win the Cub Sweepstakes! See the rest of the sweepstakes prize winners.

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