AOPA Sweepstakes Debonair Awarded


Steve Lagergren did a little impromptu formation work on Sunday and was surprised to find out it was his own Beech Debonair that pulled up beside the RV-7 he built and flies out Litchfield, Minnesota. Lagergren is the 2014 AOPA Sweepstakes winner and found out through his headset from AOPA President Mark Baker. With help from Lagergren’s friends, Baker and AOPA Pilot Editor-at-Large Tom Horne arranged to make the announcement in the air near Lagergren’s home field. “Unbelievable — I love that airplane,” said Lagergren over the radio after Baker convinced him that it was actually true that he’d won the airplane. “I’ve got to calm down a little bit to land. Oh my gosh.”

The aircraft, a 1963 35-B33, has been refurbished from tail to prop and has been appraised at $150,000. It has a total of six screens with Aspen’s three-screen Evolution primary and multifunction displays, Garmin’s new GTN 750/650 touchscreen GPS nav/coms, Electronics International’s MVP-50P engine and systems analyzer, and Garmin’s GDL 88 datalink transceiver, which gives the Debonair full ADS-B capability. There’s also a Garmin GDL 393D ADS-B-In receiver for the iPad Mini. There are also various performance improvements, including a 260-hp upgrade to the original 225-hp IO-470-K along with new interior, speed mods and a new propeller.