On June 7, 2003, general aviation will have a chance to shine at the thirteenth annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House at Frederick (Maryland) Municipal Airport. Hundreds of aircraft and thousands of visitors are expected at what has become the largest one-day event of its kind in the nation.
"The AOPA Fly-In is an opportunity for our members to meet with association staff members face-to-face, one-on-one, and discuss the issues that are uppermost on their minds," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "For anyone who loves aviation, whether you're a pilot or not, Fly-In's a great chance to enjoy the company of other enthusiasts."
The Fly-In transforms Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), already Maryland's second-busiest airport, into one of the busiest in the nation. The FAA operates a temporary control tower at FDK to handle all the extra traffic. During last year's event, only the tower at Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport handled more operations than the controllers at FDK.
On the ramp, visitors will have a chance to get up close and personal with "their" new biplane: the AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes aircraft, a beautifully restored 1940 Waco UPF-7. It will be given away at the end of this year. AOPA members who have joined or renewed their membership during the two-year sweepstakes period are eligible to win.
Joining the Waco on the ramp will be everything from two-seaters like the Diamond DA 20-C1 and the OMF Symphony, through the Cessna 172 and Luscombe 11E, on up to the Pilatus PC-12 and Beech King Air E90.
More than 100 vendors will display their wares during the Fly-In. Everything from the engines and propellers to the latest "gotta have" gadgets will be on display. Representatives from AOPA's Certified Services will also be on hand, offering services from aircraft financing to legal services to credit cards and rental car savings. Using Certified Services from AOPA partners helps keep the cost of membership low and helps provide AOPA with the financial means to fight the battles that need fighting, such as the lawsuit to force the city of Chicago to reopen Meigs Field or the efforts to reduce the number and the impact of security-related temporary flight restrictions.
Three top-rated AOPA Air Safety Foundation seminars will headline the aviation education schedule. "Single-Pilot IFR" answers the questions, "Is flying IFR alone safe?" and "How can we make it safer?" "Spatial Disorientation" helps pilots recognize and recover from one of the deadliest situations they may ever face. "Operation Airspace" is a lively presentation on operating in the National Airspace System and, given today's security-conscious atmosphere, focuses on what pilots need to do to avoid suddenly having a military escort. In addition, Phil Boyer will discuss airspace updates during a lunchtime session.
At other seminars, pilots can get advice on whether owning a plane is right for them, how to upgrade their aircraft if they already own one, or learn about the latest developments in aviation law from AOPA Legal Services Plan attorneys. In addition, fliers and non-fliers alike will enjoy a "hangar talk" session featuring stories from aviation humorist Rod Machado.
The thirteenth annual AOPA Fly-In and Open House starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. Local vendors will provide a wide selection of beverages, light snacks, and meals, available throughout the day.
Due to the Washington, D.C. Air Defense Identification Zone and the expanded prohibited area P-40 around Camp David in Maryland, arrival procedures have been changed significantly. In addition, construction work at FDK means that only one runway will be available for arrivals and departures.
Detailed information on aircraft arrival procedures is available online. Pilots unfamiliar with the Frederick area are urged to check the latest notams and study area aeronautical charts.
To reach Frederick Municipal Airport from Washington, D.C., take Interstate 270 North to I-70 East, then Exit 56 (East Patrick Street) and follow signs to the airport. From Baltimore, Md., take Interstate 70 West to Exit 56 (East Patrick Street) and follow the signs.
AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation organization. Its nearly 400,000 members make up more than two thirds of all pilots in the United States. AOPA is committed to protecting the interests of general aviation and to ensuring the continued viability, growth, and development of aviation and airports in the United States.