Flying clubs are at their core, social organizations that have an aeronautical component. That aeronautical draw is a powerful enticement to those of us who have a desire to find recreational satisfaction in the air while sticking to a budget. It’s a worthwhile bonus that in the process we become part of a vibrant community of like-minded aviators.
There may be no place where that camaraderie and commonality of aeronautical attraction is more evident than at one of AOPA’s Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost, Flying Club seminars, which are so well attended at major fly-ins, and at the regional events AOPA hosts throughout the nation each year. At the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Florida, EAA AirVenture in Wisconsin, and most recently at the AOPA Regional Fly-In held in August at Bremerton, Washington, the AOPA campus has been crowded with a cheerful throng of men and women who are curious, enthused, and exceptionally forthcoming about their interest in flying clubs.
The numbers have been impressive throughout 2016. AOPA staff and attendees rub elbows, share stories, and disseminate worthwhile information with club members and potential club members to help them found new flying clubs, and refine the operation of existing clubs.
Following the formal presentation the entire group mixes and mingles, networking to their heart’s content. It’s a great way to cap off a day at the fly-in, with good conversation, and maybe even a solution to whatever problem might be ailing your club. It’s also a great place where folks hoping to start a club can get solid advice from not just AOPA’s You Can Fly crew, but also first-hand from flying club members in their area, and from clubs in different parts of the country.
Two AOPA Regional Fly-Ins remain on the 2016 schedule. The next installment will be in Battle Creek, Michigan on September 16 and 17 at W. K. Kellogg Airport (KBTL). If you’re anywhere near the Lake Michigan/Lake Erie area, plan on flying or driving in for the day to join in the fun. The airport is home to Western Michigan University’s College of Aviation, as well as WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation.
On Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1 we’ll close out the year in Prescott, Arizona at Ernest A. Love Field (KPRC). This cow-pasture turned WWII military flight training facility has a rich aeronautical history. Once thickly populated with Piper Cubs, Porterfields, and Luscombs, current visitors to will see a very different training environment thanks to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s establishing the airport as their western campus.
For those who may be a bit rusty after an extended period of time away from the cockpit, we’ve got you covered there, too. Arrive early and participate in our popular Rusty Pilot program, complete with a free breakfast among friends. Whether your last flight as PIC happened months ago, or decades ago, you can get the ground portion of your flight review done for no cost. Not a penny.
You can’t beat a deal like that.
Dates for our 2017 Regional Fly-Ins will be announced in the coming months. So come see us this year, or catch us next time. Wherever you are, AOPA will be coming to your neck of the woods to help you get what you’re looking for out of general aviation.