Airportfest: A pilot’s paradise

airportfest logoPeter O. Knight Airport in Tampa, Fla., will be transformed into a pilot’s playground during AOPA Aviation Summit, Nov. 5 through 7. The airport will be home to the latest general aviation aircraft, ranging from light sport aircraft to business jets. But it also will feature aviation sports, including hot air balloons and remote control model aircraft.

The Balloon Federation of America will be hosting a balloon inflate at 9 a.m. every day, weather permitting. The group also will have a drawing for a free balloon flight that the winner can enjoy later at a balloon location near his or her hometown.

If you’d like to try your hand at flying from the ground, you’ll want to check out the Academy of Model Aeronautics inside the largest hangar at Peter O. Knight Airport. The hangar will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. You’ll have the opportunity to fly these electric-powered helicopters and airplanes (with the help of an instructor) and youth can even build their own model aircraft. Up to 1,000 rubber-band powered model aircraft kits will be available for first-time youth builders.

The 2009 AOPA Let’s Go Flying Sweepstakes will be front and center at the airport, so make sure you take a good look. It’ll be dressed with its final color scheme, ready for delivery to one lucky winner in early 2010. Another feature will be the Lockheed Electra featured in the upcoming movie Amelia, a biopic of Amelia Earhart starring Hilary Swank.

This year’s expanded aircraft display is made possible by Peter O. Knight Airport, which will feature newly surfaced runways, new lighting, and additional parking and hangar facilities, and the Hillsboro Airport Authority, which manages several of the airports helping AOPA prepare for the event.

So join AOPA in Tampa this Nov. 5 through 7 for a long weekend full of fun and all things GA. Register now to take advantage of discounts that end Oct. 14.

September 29, 2009