Pilots check out the Meteorlogix MxVision
AviationSentry weather briefing system and
Jeppesen FliteStar route planning software in
the new pilot briefing room in the AOPA-
donated Pilot Facility at First Flight Airfield.
As thousands gather at Kill Devil Hills this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, AOPA members will be well represented with one of the largest contributions to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. While AOPA will be joining other exhibitors with temporary aviation displays, as an Official First Flight Centennial Sponsor, AOPA's major contribution will have a lasting impact.
"Our contribution is about ensuring the future and inspiring the next generations of aviators," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "AOPA members have given the nation a state-of-the-art pilot facility at First Flight Airfield right next to the Wright Brothers Memorial, which will serve generations of pilots and visitors to come."
AOPA members' donation of the pilot facility is one of the largest contributions to the anniversary celebration and the only new structure that will remain after the celebration is complete. Pilots who visit the facility from now on are invited to "sign" an online guest registry and receive a certificate from AOPA commemorating their visit to aviation's hallowed sands.
The association will be at Kill Devil Hills December 12-17, with a display celebrating general aviation and AOPA's role in defending GA's interests for well over half of powered flight's history.
Joining the static aircraft display is AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes aircraft, a lovingly restored 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane.
AOPA will also have a role in the ceremony on December 17 itself. AOPA's Boyer will take part in the commemoration, as the association will be honored for its contributions.
The pilot facility includes state-of-the-art weather and flight planning computers, wall-mounted aeronautical charts, and phone access to flight service personnel. It also houses office space for an air tours concessionaire and restrooms and a vending area for both pilots and visitors on the western side of the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
The building itself is built to withstand the Outer Banks' fierce weather, including hurricanes, for at least 50 years. It was constructed using funds supplied by AOPA members and is owned and operated by the National Park Service.