As the arrival of fall nags at us to put the shorts and flip-flops away while dragging long pants and pull over sweaters out of storage, AOPA is celebrating a tremendous year of regional fly-in success stories. This weekend was the last one of 2016 and it was a particularly Prescott adventure. Over the four fly-ins this year, we met thousands of pilots from the beaches of Beaufort, North Carolina to the mountains and lakes in Bremerton, Washington, members overcame the rain in Battle Creek, Michigan and enjoyed the scenic mountains of north central Arizona.
Prescott, Arizona (locals pronounce it, “Press-kit”) is the home of Ernest A. Love Field (KPRC). On Friday September 30 and Saturday, October 1, this historic field became the temporary home of the AOPA crew and their guests.
The festivities kicked off Friday evening with the ever-popular Barnstormers Party, presented by Jeppesen, and continued Saturday morning with breakfast and AOPA’s Flight Training Initiative Senior Manager, Chris Moser, leading the well received AOPA Rusty Pilot presentation.
As you may know, attending a Rusty Pilot seminar can earn you a logbook endorsement for the ground portion of your flight review. Whether you are current or you haven’t flown in decades, the Rusty Pilot presentation will get you up to speed and feeling confident in no time, so keep an eye out for the next Rusty Pilot presentation in your area.
Flying clubs figured into the Saturday schedule, as well. The Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost, How to Form and Operate a Flying Club seminar drew a crowd and is a fantastic resource, whether you’re just toying with the idea of starting a club or a member of an existing club. These seminars, also held around the country throughout the year, provide an opportunity to network with others who share your interest, ask questions of folks who really know their stuff, tell your story, and contribute ideas based on your own experiences. These seminars are the fertile ground where flying clubs start the process of germination.
As impressive as all the seminars are, don’t be fooled into thinking it was all study and note taking in Prescott. We know how to have fun, too. And we do. In the years we’ve been conducting these amazing events across the country, we’ve found there’s no better way to wrap up the day than with a Pilot Town Hall featuring AOPA President Mark Baker – which was followed by an ice cream social where members rubbed elbows, asked questions, and chatted face-to-face with AOPA’s team in a relaxed, friendly environment.
While the 2016 Regional Fly-In season draws to a close, we’ll be back at an airport near you in 2017. Keep an eye on the Community Page of AOPA’s web site for details on the dates and locations of AOPA’s Regional Fly-Ins next year.