November 11, 2009
Apr. 19, 2004 - They were standing shoulder-to-shoulder inside the big yellow tent on AOPA Day. Thousands of AOPA members and visitors at the Sun 'n Fun Fly-In and Air Show stopped by to see the grand prize in this year's Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes, and to learn more about AOPA.
"This year's Sun 'n Fun was just a tremendous success for AOPA," said Phil Boyer, president of AOPA. "The number of people who came to see 'their' new airplane - the better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche that's the grand prize in our sweepstakes - and who learned about the many benefits of an AOPA membership was astounding."
The highlight of the fly-in for AOPA was Friday - AOPA Day. It began the evening before with a standing-room-only Pilot Town Meeting hosted by Boyer at the Florida Air Museum Pavilion, adjacent to Sun 'n Fun's home at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. On AOPA Day itself, there was already a long line of members waiting to get free CD-ROMs with AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner and electronic Airport Directory 45 minutes before the AOPA tent opened. That day, members got a $5 break on admission, and thousands took part in prize raffles at the AOPA tent.
AOPA staff members took hundreds upon hundreds of pictures for members who wanted a shot standing in front of the Win-A-Twin prize and its classy new paint job. Over the course of the week-long event, hundreds who had not yet been turned onto AOPA's free-to-members Real-Time Flight Planner learned what a powerful flight-planning tool it is. Hundreds more helped advance AOPA's mission of protecting GA's interests by applying for an AOPA credit card, including AOPA's brand-new MBNA WorldPoints card. Representatives from the AOPA Insurance Agency explained the benefits and peace of mind that having an aircraft owner's or renter's insurance policy can provide.
"It's these opportunities for face-to-face interaction with our members that keeps AOPA focused on what's really important to general aviation pilots," said Boyer.
Thomas A. Horne flies the ultimate personal turboprop. Video by Mike Fizer.
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AOPA members met and mingled with advocacy staff representatives, Airport Support Network volunteers...
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