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All eyes turn to AOPA Expo, the show for serious personal aviatorsAll eyes turn to AOPA Expo, the show for serious personal aviators

All eyes turn to AOPA Expo, the show for serious personal aviators

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AOPA Expo 2006 is barely two weeks away, and it's time to focus on serious personal aviators.

Some 10,000 general aviation pilots and aviation enthusiasts are expected in Palm Springs, California, to attend general aviation's premier convention and trade show, which runs from November 9 through 11.

But the fun kicks off the day before at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 8, with a truly one-of-a-kind event in the aviation world - the Parade of Planes. Palm Springs is the only city in the country capable of hosting the parade.

A fun start to some serious shopping

More than 100 aircraft, from two-seat light sport models to business jets, will taxi approximately two miles from Palm Springs International Airport, through the streets to the Palm Springs Convention Center, where they'll virtually ring the building in the largest aircraft display AOPA Expo has ever hosted. Airframe manufacturers and other vendors know that the people who attend AOPA Expo are not just window shopping - they're serious shoppers willing to spend some serious money to support their aviation interest.

Leading the parade will be the grand prize in AOPA's Win a Six in '06 Sweepstakes, a newly repainted and completely refurbished 1967 Piper Cherokee Six. Some lucky pilot will be given the keys to the Six early in 2007. ( Click here for complete rules, eligibility requirements, and methods of entry.)

General sessions, seminars

Expo officially begins November 9 with a general session discussing the threat of user fees as Congress gets ready to reexamine FAA funding.

For the first time, pilots will be able to hear directly from Congress, as Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), a member of the House Aviation subcommittee and an AOPA member, joins AOPA President Phil Boyer, EAA President Tom Poberezny, General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Peter Bunce, and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President Ed Bolen.

On Friday, November 10, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey returns to AOPA Expo to speak to and take questions directly from pilots.

After each day's general session, the exhibit hall, with more than 500 exhibitor displays, and the aircraft display area open up.

In addition, AOPA Expo will host more than 75 hours of seminars, ranging from ownership to medical certification issues, to seminars designed to make safer, better pilots. In addition, the AOPA Air Safety Foundation will once again host daily Pinch Hitter seminars for those who routinely fly the right seat.

October 23, 2006

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