Education, social events planned for ‘Flying’ Aviation Expo

SR-71 pilot Brian Shul to keynote

August 27, 2014

Early registration for the 2014 Flying Aviation Expo ends Friday, Aug. 29. The inaugural event, scheduled for Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 in Palm Springs, California, includes social events, aviation education tracks, a Parade of Planes, and an exhibit hall. The event is being put on by Nevada-based Lift Event Management and Flying magazine.

According to Marco Parrotto, president of Lift Event Management, there will be seven learning tracks covering everything from building pilot skills to airspace and airport operations. “Our number one keynote speaker is Brian Shul, a retired Air Force pilot who flew the SR-71. He has a great story to tell and he’s a great draw,” said Parrotto. “Brian was at the Women in Aviation convention [in March] and his speech was packed.”

Other highlights, said Parrotto, include an evening function at the Palm Springs Air Museum and a wine tasting poolside at the Hilton Palm Springs. “We’re trying to mix an aviation core event with a lifestyle component,” he said. “There will be something for everyone, so attendees are being encouraged to bring their families.”

The Flying Aviation Expo will take place in Palm Springs once a year, said Parrotto. “We hope this will become a destination event where people can plan to be there every year,” he said.

Parrotto established the new event when AOPA, which had planned to host another of its national conventions in Palm Springs in October, decided in 2013 to instead focus its efforts on regional fly-ins. To date, the association has hosted four of its planned seven fly-ins this year to great success. The goal is to meet a greater number of members than feasible with a national show and to do so in their regions. After four regional events, AOPA has already surpassed typical attendance at its national conventions. The next AOPA Fly-In is scheduled for Sept. 20 in Chino, California.

Benét Wilson

Benét J. Wilson | AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor

AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.