November 3, 2010
By AOPA ePublishing staff
Visitors to Long Beach-Daugherty Field for Airportfest will have a chance to check out a variety of aircraft, from a whisper-quiet glider to the roaring B-29 Fifi—and with live music, guest speakers, and more, the event has something for the whole family.
After making its debut in 2009 at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Fla., Airportfest returns Nov. 11 through 13 in Long Beach, Calif. The free three-day event at the airport will feature more than 70 aircraft on display—not to mention the hundreds of aircraft expected to fly in. Plus, attendees can enjoy performances by Flying Musicians Association artists each day, attend a presentation by aviation humorist Rod Machado, and stop by an autograph session with airshow performer Sean D. Tucker.
The expanded aircraft display at Airportfest will represent all types of general aviation—whether you’re interested in the PiperSport light sport aircraft or Cessna Mustang, the AOPA Fun to Fly Sweepstakes Remos GX or the Cirrus Vision jet. The display will even have military aircraft and helicopters. For West Coast pilots who missed the Lockheed Electra Jr. that played a role in Amelia at AOPA Aviation Summit 2009, an Electra Jr. will be on display in Long Beach.
Pilots and their families can take a break from perusing aircraft to purchase food from Bushrod’s BBQ and listen to live music at the Sennheiser-sponsored Airportfest Main Stage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. Check out performers Ravi, Bradley Leighton, Joe Ellis (Joe.e), Alex & Marti Whitmore, Suzanne Brindamour, and Ian Blair Fries, MD—all members of the Flying Musicians Association. The Flying Musicians welcome fellow musicians at informal jam sessions, which will occur spontaneouslyat their Airportfest exhibit, so other musician-pilots can join them after a show.
Autograph sessions with hall-of-famers Patty Wagstaff and Sean D. Tucker, world-champion aerobatic pilot Mike Mangold, and astronaut Mike Melvill will give attendees a chance to meet aviation legends at the airport. Also, don't miss special presentations on the main stage. Air Force pilot Brian Shul, who was severely burned when he was shot down in Vietnam, but went on to fly the SR-71 Blackbird, will tell his story in “The Speed of Life” Nov. 12 at 10 a.m., Rod Machado will present “Learning to Fly” Nov. 13 at 10 a.m., and Michael Combs will share more about his Flight for the Human Spirit Nov. 13 at 3 p.m. Visitors interested in learning to fly can check out a number of other activities at Airportfest, including the AOPA Learn to Fly Center.
Airportfest is open free to the public Nov. 11 and 12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Complimentary transportation will be provided from the Long Beach Convention Center to AirFlite Aviation Services on the field. Check out more information about activities at the airport.— By AOPA ePublishing staff
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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