The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association recently played host to its last fly-in event of 2019 at Tullahoma Regional Airport.
The AOPA’s fly-ins provide a special opportunity for AOPA pilots to feel welcomed, relaxed, and connected with other pilots and enthusiasts. Guests flew in from over 800 miles away.
With over 300,000 members, the AOPA is the largest aviation club in the U.S.
The two-day event held on Friday and Saturday included a cookout, several seminars and exhibits along with a plethora of airplanes on display and vendors with the latest flying technology and products for enjoyable aviation.
The AOPA is celebrating 80 years of flying, and hosted three fly-ins this year in Frederick, Maryland, Livermore, California, and Tullahoma.
One of the first events held on Friday was a “pilot town hall” with Mark Baker, the CEO and president of the AOPA.
He and his team presented more information about the AOPA Foundation and all of the programs they have to offer, including the “You Can Fly” umbrella program that offers classes for rusty pilots, high school students and anyone who wants to learn to fly.
The AOPA also used the fly-in to promote a sweepstakes for a Van’s RV-10 aircraft equipped with a large group of features including Whelen LED lights and a freshly done interior. It is the first experimental airplane AOPA has ever given away.
Originally built in Canada, the plane has been flying for 12 years. Since its arrival in America, the AOPA has upgraded it with the best technology and craftsmanship. The giveaway is scheduled to close next fall.
The plane will be on display at the association’s next few events, scheduled through 2020. All AOPA members are automatically entered into the drawing. They are also given other opportunities to get extra chances to win.
The Great Lakes Drone Company presented an aviation-themed night drone show to celebrate the AOPA’s 80th anniversary on Friday night.
Guests were also given the opportunity to fly aboard Champaign Gal, the B–25 operated by the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio.
A short takeoff and landing demonstration took place on both Friday and Saturday night.
“The goal of our regional fly-ins are to draw the aviation community together to help build relationships and also display the latest aviation technology. We also deep dive into skill training to boost their abilities as pilots. Here, participants are able to get up close to aircrafts, meet pilots and learn more about general aviation,” Christ Eads, AOPA senior director of outreach and events, said. “We love coming to Tennessee. The hospitality is great.”
For more information about the AOPA, visit their website at www.aopa.org.