TEXARKANA, Texas (September 26, 2007) – TAC Air, a division of Truman Arnold Companies, announced today that Dave Leuschel of Taylors, S.C., is the lucky winner of a beautifully restored 1959 Chris-Craft Capri Runabout, valued at more than $45,000.
Leuschel, who pilots a Citation XL for a private company, registered to win the Chris-Craft at the TAC Air fixed-based operations (FBO) facility in Greenville, S.C, just one of thousands of entrants vying for the antique watercraft.
Leuschel could not stop smiling after winning the Chris-Craft. He and his wife Cara said they will have the boat on a lake in their hometown this weekend. “I couldn’t believe it when I won!” said Leuschel. A pilot since 1995, Leuschel was the third finalist to take his turn at breaking a champagne bottle against the Chris-Craft to reveal the winning ticket inside. “I have been to almost every TAC Air FBO, and they do a first-class job every time I visit. I feel great and can’t thank TAC Air enough for this beautiful boat.”
Leuschel, along with the two other finalists, were flown to the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention in Atlanta, Ga., where the final drawing for the Chris-Craft took place. Each finalist received a champagne bottle with a ticket hidden inside, and the winner took his turn christening the boat by breaking open the bottle and revealing the winning ticket. Leuschel celebrated with TAC Air staff and convention attendees as TAC Air popped the cork on a bottle of real champagne to mark the occasion.
The finalists represent three of more than 21,000 entries received since February, a 40 percent increase over entries for the previous year’s giveaway.
All pilots using TAC Air’s FBO services at its 11 different locations were eligible to submit one entry a day until the August 15 deadline. This year’s giveaway of Timeless, the classic 1959 Chris-Craft Capri Runabout, was one of the 1950s most popular upscale boat designs. The boat’s records show that only 64 of these models were built in 1959, and only 12 remain in working condition. Timeless has won multiple contests for pristine upkeep and restoration.
The two other finalists were Michael Carpenter of Birmingham, Ala., a medical helicopter pilot, and Doug Campbell of Columbia, Ky., who pilots a Cessna Citation II for a private company. Carpenter registered at the TAC Air FBO in Shreveport, La., and Campbell registered at the TAC Air FBO at Lexington, Ky.
The Chris-Craft culminates TAC Air’s 2007 You’re the Big Fish at TAC Air marketing campaign. The campaign invited pilots to come to TAC Air to be treated like the big fish in TAC Air’s small pond meaning, the FBO chain’s more than 300 associates treat customers with excellent customer service and the best line service available. This year’s giveaway continues TAC Air’s tradition that began several years ago during the NBAA convention. Giveaways at previous NBAA conventions included a Hummer H3, a Rolex watch, a 2000 Volkswagen Bug, a 2001 PT Cruiser, a 1945 yellow vintage Piper Cub and a perfectly restored 1957 Thunderbird convertible.