By AOPA ePublishing staff
A flight to Sun ’n Fun can be a great “road trip” for you and your airplane, but the high volume of traffic and unusual mix of aircraft can cause problems if you aren’t prepared.
Well before you launch, make sure your flying skills are up to scratch. Spot landing practice is a good idea as you may be asked to land long or short to maximize runway capacity. You’ll also want to be sure you’ve thoroughly read and understood the arrival procedures so you know what to expect when you get near Lakeland Linder Regional. Friday is the busiest day, so be prepared for heavy traffic and possible delays if you plan to arrive for the weekend. Other tips for safe fly-in arrivals are available from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation, and you can learn more about runway safety at busy airports with the foundation’s interactive course.
When it comes to filing your flight plan, avoid the rush. Flight service will allow you to file your Sun ’n Fun flight plan several days in advance, and IFR flight plans should be filed at least four hours prior to departure. Once on site, be sure to take advantage of the temporary flight service station and 10 flight service specialists who will be on hand to give briefings and file flight plans.
To ease your way, Lockheed Martin has increased staffing in northern Florida and Georgia and coordinated with the Lakeland tower, as well as Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville approaches. Calls to flight service from the southeastern region will receive priority handling during the event.
April 3, 2008