The AOPA Pilot Facility at First Flight Airfield
Pilots visiting the Pilot Facility can sign an online guestbook and receive a certificate commemorating their stop at First Flight Airfield.
Thursday, December 18, dawned clear and windy over the sands of Kill Devil Hills and the Wright Brothers National Memorial—a day that would have been perfect for the Wright brothers or those attempting to reenact their flight. Aviators have always been subject to the whims of weather. The park was closed as crews began tearing down the stage, tents, and other temporary structures constructed for the tens of thousands of visitors. In a few days, the park will return to its wind-swept solitude.
But some things of permanence remain. For one day, at least, the American public thought about aviation. And AOPA will be building on that window of opportunity to tell the public more about general aviation with a series of television ads.
The other is the AOPA Pilot Facility.
AOPA members donated the facility to the nation to commemorate the 100th anniversary of powered flight and the Wright brothers' accomplishments. It is the only new, permanent structure built as part of the celebrations. Fifty years from now, at the next major anniversary of the brothers' December 17 flights, it will be there—welcoming the next generations of pilots and providing them with the practical tools aviators need—weather information, flight planning, and bathrooms!
Every aviator who visits the facility, located immediately adjacent to the First Flight Airfield (FFA) ramp on the Wright Brothers National Memorial, can sign an online guest log. Below are a few of the visitor comments collected during the week of the centennial celebrations.
A panoramic view of Wright Brothers Memorial from the top of Kill Devil Hill on
December 18, 2003. FFA runway and the Pilot Facility are at the left of the picture.
To be at the 100 year anniversary of flight is about the best thing in the world for an aviator. Thanks for the facility, its cool!
What a beautiful new facility—great use of AOPA assets.
Great way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of flight. Thanks AOPA for a great facility.
The best good use of AOPA funds.
Awesome job team AOPA. I am glad I belong to such a fine organization.
Glad to finally have a place at First Flight to bring my students to.
The new facility is clearly membership dollars well spent!
I was here 10 years ago. This new facility is really a great improvement.
What an outstanding facility! Makes me proud to be a member.
Welcome To The SECOND Hundred Years of General Aviation! We've only just begun! Please allow me to add one-thousand "Thank Yous!" for all the work of Mr. Boyer's Administration! Thanks to your dedication and hard work, we are 400,000 STRONG!