May 13, 2014
By Jill W. Tallman
It wasn’t a perfect day by a VFR pilot’s standards, but that didn’t stop more than 2,500 people from flocking to San Marcos Regional Airport (HYI) in San Marcos, Texas, for AOPA’s very first regional fly-in. Three hundred fifty aircraft did make it to the fly-in; some arrived the prior evening to take advantage of a fuel discount at Redbird Skyport.
AOPA staff and volunteers flipped pancakes and served up hot coffee for breakfast, then turned over the cooking duties to the pros at Hays County Barbecue, who dished out brisket, house-made sausage, and side dishes at lunch. Members crowded the seminars to hear about owner-performed maintenance, flying with iPads, and improving radio communications. More than 850 came to Redbird’s main hangar to talk stick-and-rudder flying with Rod Machado. They stayed to ask AOPA President Mark Baker about the third class medical initiative, ADS-B, and how to lower the cost of flying.
A small army of volunteers in bright green shirts—about 185 total—helped to set up the event. Their enthusiastic presence was everywhere, whether parking aircraft or cars or assisting members.
AOPA’s next regional fly-in is May 31 at Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ). For more information about any of the events, or to RSVP, see the website.
San Marcos by the numbers
8,000 Bottles of water available
1,500 Sausage patties served at breakfast
2,000 Pancakes consumed
60 Gallons of coffee poured
1,200 Pounds of brisket prepared for lunch
34 Static display exhibitors
28 Exhibitors in the tent
2014 AOPA Fly-Ins
Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ)—May 31, 2014
Plymouth Municipal Airport (PYM)—July 12, 2014
Felts Field, Spokane (SFF)—August 16, 2014
Chino Airport (CNO)—September 20, 2014
Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK)—October 4, 2014
Malcolm McKinnon Airport (SSI)—November 8, 2014
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
J. Reid Garrison, an airshow performer and formation pilot who has been part of the story line at the major aviation events, including Sun 'n Fun and EAA AirVenture, across the years, was recently inducted into the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
Children from the Frederick, Maryland, area got a chance to climb into an airplane, fly a simulator, and meet a flying dog during Paws and Planes Day.
AOPA connected with hundreds of pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts during the thirty-second Northwest Aviation Conference held in Puyallup, Washington, Feb. 21 and 22.
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