The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will once again be out in force July 29-August 4 at AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis. Representatives from Aviation Services, Member Services, Government and Technical Affairs, and other AOPA departments will be on hand to assist members and visitors under AOPA's big yellow tent, located just outside Hanger "A."
In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation will host four of its most popular seminars over the course of the event. Topics this year include "Single-Pilot IFR" (July 30, 1:30 p.m. local), "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings" (July 31, 11:30 a.m. local), "Operation Airspace 2003" (August 1, 8:30 a.m. local), and "Practical Weather" (August 2, 11:30 a.m. local).
"Ups and Downs" features an entertaining and highly educational video of some of the best and worst landings at a recent major fly-in, while "Operation Airspace" has been completely updated to address today's fluid airspace environment.
In keeping with AirVenture's hundredth anniversary of flight theme, AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes aircraft, a beautifully restored 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane, will be on display. Staff members from AOPA Pilot will be available to answer any questions about the restoration project.
Anyone who joins or renews membership in AOPA during the sweepstakes' two-year period is automatically entered. AOPA Member Services staff will be on hand to help anyone who wants to join or renew. Anyone who joins, renews, or signs up for Automatic Annual Renewal during the show will receive a commemorative navy/khaki 100th Anniversary of Flight AOPA cap.
Complete rules and eligibility requirements for the AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes are available online.
Everyone who visits the AOPA tent will receive an AOPA license plate cover and handheld fan. There is also a members' hospitality area where visitors can get a cold drink of water and cool off for a little while.
Visitors may also sign up for a daily drawing. AOPA will draw the name of one person each day at 5 p.m., who will receive a free windsock sporting the AOPA logo, courtesy of Huffy's Airport Windsock of Spencer, Neb. Those who enter the drawing need not be present to win. It's a great way to show support for the world's largest general aviation organization.
For those who "get it bad" while admiring the myriad of aircraft on display, the aircraft finance folks from AOPA Certified partner MBNA America Bank, N.A. will be on hand, as will representatives of the AOPA Insurance Agency. And for visitors who are not yet ready to buy their own plane, AOPA Insurance Agency representatives will be able to discuss renters' insurance.
AOPA Project Pilot and AOPA Flight Training magazine will also be under the big yellow tent. Members will be able to sign up on the spot or to take a form and enroll later. Prospective mentors and students will also be able to use the online Find-a-Mentor/Find-a-Student service to find a match. And one lucky mentor/student pair enrolling during the show will win Project Pilot logo shirts. The drawing for the shirts will take place after the show ends.
Representatives from AOPA's Aviation Services will be on hand in the Membership booths. They are the pilots who man the AOPA Pilot Information Center—arguably the most widely informed and knowledgeable pilots in the country. They annually answer some 200,000 inquiries, ranging from how to find an instructor to some of the more arcane points of the federal aviation regulations.
Nearly 400,000 members make up the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, making it one of the most potent aviation organizations in the world. The association was formed in 1939 to protect the interests of general aviation and to make flying safer and more affordable. The mission remains unchanged.