Donated C-172 to Carry On Legacy of Departed EAA Member
Alberta Knox's 172 at a New Mexico fuel stop during its flight back to Oshkosh.
Alberta Knox with pilot Kevin Loppnow, who flew the airplane back to Oshkosh from San Rafael, California.
December 6, 2012 - Dennis Yugo loved aviation, especially aerobatics. A member of EAA and the International Aerobatic Club (IAC), he frequently flew his Pitts Special to aerobatic competitions around his home state of California, often winning.
His longtime (34 years) companion, Alberta Knox, of San Rafael, flew along to the meets in her 1976 Cessna 172, N1271U, carrying their luggage and other cargo for which the Pitts was not designed.
Sadly, Dennis passed away in November 2011 after a battle with colon cancer. Alberta recently donated her prized 172 to EAA, and the red and white airplane arrived at its new Oshkosh home on Thursday, December 6.
The plane will join the fleet available to members of EAA's employee flying club. One of its missions will be to fly to Young Eagles events and provide young people with their first flight experiences and also serve as a learning platform for student pilots aiming to join the flying club.
Dennis was an enthusiastic participant in Young Eagles and flew several kids himself in the 1990s. He also taught aerobatics through Dennis Yugo Aviation flight school. It was important to Alberta that her airplane be involved in flight training and Young Eagles as a lasting tribute to Dennis.
Alberta earned her private pilot certificate in 1977 and at first flew a Cessna 120. Since acquiring the 172 she logged about 1,500 flight hours. "I was the cargo pilot," she said about those trips to aerobatic competitions. "When it was just me in the airplane I could take quite a lot of stuff."
Dennis and Alberta also flew together in the 172 to places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming, one of their favorite vacation spots. Although she no longer flies, Alberta is heartened by the fact her airplane will continue to fly. "My hope was for it to be used to help teach flight to a new generation and for Young Eagles," she said. "That would be a good legacy for Dennis."