Come Fly With Us

by Mark R. Baker, President & CEO
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association

The peak of summer is here, and so is the peak of the flying season. There are always a lot of great aviation events in the warmer months, and as a pilot, I like to get to as many as possible, from pancake breakfasts to major shows like AirVenture. But it should come as no surprise that AOPA’s Fly-Ins are some of my very favorite events.

If you haven’t yet joined us for an AOPA Fly-In, there’s still time to make it to one of our fun, friendly GA gatherings this year.

As I write, we’ve just wrapped up the Homecoming Fly-In here at our Frederick, Maryland, headquarters, and it was another big success. More than 3,300 people and 375 airplanes turned out for the fly-in.

With a huge and varied aircraft display, exciting fly-bys by the Breitling Jet Team, and an aerial demonstration by aerobatic pilot and Red Bull Air Race competitor, Mike Goulian, there was plenty of action on and above Frederick Municipal Airport.

Seminars on topics ranging from risk management to flying with an iPad and night flying helped hundreds of pilots brush up on forgotten skills and learn some new ones. More than 150 people registered to take part in a Rusty Pilots seminar—a free event designed to help lapsed pilots get back into the air. Pilots who complete the free event earn a logbook endorsement for the ground portion of the flight review and take the first step to getting back into the cockpit. Since the program was launched just over a year ago, more than 3,600 people have participated, with 18 percent of those reporting that they’re back to active flying status.

And what would a fly-in be without food? A traditional pancake breakfast started the day off right, and lunch provided by a variety of gourmet food trucks ensured there was something for every taste. A free ice cream social in the afternoon rounded out the day’s treats. If you ask me, it was just about the perfect way to spend a Saturday.

If you’d like to come spend a Saturday with me and your fellow aviation enthusiasts and AOPA members, join us August 22 at Anoka County-Blaine Airport in Minneapolis, Minnesota; September 26 at Colorado Springs Municipal Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado; or October 10 at Tullahoma Regional Airport in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Hope to see you there. – 800-872-2672

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