By: Elizabeth A Tennyson
For many pilots, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday than enjoying all things general aviation. That’s the experience AOPA is bringing to members and aviation enthusiasts nationwide with a series of six regional AOPA Fly-Ins and a special AOPA Homecoming in Frederick, Md.
The AOPA Fly-Ins are built around the association’s members, but everyone is welcome to join in the fun. Each gathering will begin with a traditional pancake breakfast and town hall discussion with AOPA President Mark Baker. Baker will talk about the big issues affecting general aviation, discuss key AOPA initiatives, and answer questions from the audience.
Following breakfast, there will be opportunities for AOPA members to meet and mingle with one another and AOPA staff, take part in educational and safety seminars, and explore aircraft displays and aviation exhibits. Various flying activities and clinics will be offered, and for those who aren’t yet pilots, each event will include a learn-to-fly area.
There is no charge for admission, and as a special thank-you, AOPA members will receive a complimentary lunch.
“Each Fly-In is going to be a full day of fun,” said Baker. “I love to spend time at the airport with my fellow pilots, and I’m excited that we can bring this GA experience to so many different parts of the country. We want to get more involved with our members at the grassroots level, and I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to spend time together than surrounded by airplanes!”
The regional events were inspired by AOPA members who asked how they could get more involved with their association and meet other members who live and fly nearby.
“Forging a strong community is good for pilots and good for general aviation, so when members came to us looking for ways to help support airports and build their own community ties, we knew we needed to get involved,” Baker said.
The debut year of AOPA Fly-Ins will be highlighted with a special AOPA Homecoming event to mark the return of the annual Frederick Fly-Ins and to celebrate the association’s seventy-fifth anniversary. On Oct. 4, AOPA will open the doors of its Frederick headquarters to welcome home members from across the country and around the world.
In addition to the Frederick event, six AOPA Fly-Ins are scheduled.
San Marcos Municipal Airport (HYI), San Marcos, Texas—April 26
Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ), Indianapolis, Ind.—May 31
Plymouth Airport (PYM), Plymouth, Mass.—July 12
Spokane Felts Field (SFF), Spokane, Wash.—Aug. 16
Chino Airport (CNO), Chino, Calif.—Sept. 20
Malcolm McKinnon Airport (SSI), Brunswick, Ga.—Nov. 8
“These are some of the friendliest airports in the country, and they’ve promised a warm welcome for AOPA members, whether you fly in or drive,” said Baker.
Each airport is near other historical or cultural attractions, making the AOPA Fly-Ins a great anchor for a weekend getaway the whole family will enjoy.
More details about the events as well as information to help you plan your visit are available online. Information about sponsoring or exhibiting at the AOPA Fly-Ins will be available in February.