January 4, 2011
In the wake of a powerful storm that swept through the grounds of the SUN ’n FUN air show, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) President Craig L. Fuller on Friday, April 1, announced that the Association has signed on to be the Platinum Sponsor of SUN ’n FUN for 2012. It will be the fourth year in a row that AOPA has sponsored the show at that level. “SUN ’n FUN is the traditional start of the year’s flying season, as winter gives way to spring and better flying weather,” said Fuller. “Thursday’s storm doesn’t change that, and we want to assure the professional and volunteer staff at the show and the entire aviation community that AOPA stands with them – both as they clean up this year and as they plan for next year’s show.” “We are especially grateful to AOPA for this strong show of support,” said SUN ’n FUN President John Burton. “Knowing that AOPA stands behind and with SUN ’n FUN in such a concrete way provides a real boost. The support of our exhibitors and the entire general aviation community, the work done by our almost entirely volunteer staff, and the support of local first responders has been humbling. We appreciate it more than you can ever know.” According to Burton, the storm damaged some 40 to 50 aircraft, including several of the aircraft on static display, and knocked down exhibitor tents across the grounds. But crews and volunteers as well as local health and safety officials worked through the night to ensure that the show grounds were safe and ready to open first thing Friday morning. With the show grounds and airport itself open and much better weather forecast for the remainder of the weekend, Burton anticipates a great air show, including demonstrations by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels team. “From shows like SUN ’n FUN and EAA’s AirVenture and the AOPA Aviation Summit to less well-known regional air shows to local fly-in pancake breakfasts, these gathering opportunities are vital to general aviation,” concluded Fuller, “not only because of the opportunity to build community, but because they are a great way to showcase this activity we love for the non-flying public. “If you’re in central Florida or were planning to fly in, the best way to pay tribute to the hard work of the staff and volunteers is to come on out. SUN ’n FUN is open for your enjoyment!”
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.