The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) will open up its doors on Saturday, June 4, 2005, to host its 15th Annual Fly-In & Open House at AOPA headquarters on the Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland. Thousands of members and other pilots will attend the free event. The public and aviation enthusiasts are also encouraged to join in the fun.
"Fly-In is our chance to meet face-to-face with the members we serve throughout the year," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "It's also an opportunity for us to welcome our community neighbors so they can see all that AOPA and general aviation have to offer."
Thousands of people are expected at what has become the nation's largest one-day fly-in event. In good weather, the Fly-In & Open House transforms Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK), already Maryland's second busiest airport, into one of the busiest in the nation. Historically, as many as 900 aircraft attend Fly-In, more than quadrupling the number of operations at the airport on an average day. The FAA operates a temporary control tower at FDK to handle all the extra traffic.
New to this year's Fly-In & Open House, AOPA will host special activities for anyone interested in learning to fly. Informational sessions run throughout the day and include Q&A with a flight instructor inside the cockpit of a trainer plane. Nonpilots can enter to win one of 10 free introductory first flights, among other prizes.
Every pilot who brings a prospective student will receive a free AOPA mini MagLite and is eligible to win one of two new headsets from either Lightspeed or Pilot USA. "Every pilot knows someone who wants to learn how to fly, and AOPA's Fly-In & Open House is the perfect way to introduce him or her to the exciting world of general aviation," said Boyer. "There is strength in numbers. The more people that become aware of the benefits of general aviation, the better it is for all of us."
Seminars for pilots will be conducted all day long, hosted by aviation industry experts. In addition to the popular instructional and informative seminars of past years, the following three are new for 2005.
Rod Machado, flight instructor and aviation humorist, returns to Fly-In with a new topic: "Yoke and Pedal, Techniques for Safe Flying." Should you "pitch" or "power" to control airspeed? Should you always land on the numbers? Be ready to laugh and learn as Machado answers these and other flying technique questions.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation will present "The Last Five Miles," a new seminar about successfully completing those last miles of a safe and enjoyable flight. Topics include: three good reasons to descend early...and one time when it would be a big mistake; when a straight-in approach can be both safe and legal; and how to safely handle traffic pattern conflicts.
For aircraft owners, Scott Sky Smith will discuss Saving Money by Spending Money. Owners can learn how spending money to improve their current aircraft may be more cost effective than buying a new one.
At 12:30 p.m., Boyer will host an informal hangar session where he'll provide a brief overview of the status of general aviation and answer questions. This is an outstanding opportunity to listen to the head of the world's largest aviation association speak about issues affecting flying in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Among the hundreds of aircraft on display will be AOPA's 2005 Sweepstakes Commander 112A. Newly painted and refurbished, the aircraft will belong to one lucky AOPA member at the end of the year. There will be a variety of other GA aircraft on display as well, including models from Cessna, Cirrus, Raytheon, Grumman, and Diamond.
More than 100 exhibitors, including Garmin, Sporty's, Lycoming, Hartzell, PS Engineering, and Scheme Designers, will showcase their latest products and services for pilots. Whether you are looking for new avionics, charts, gadgets, or answers to your aviation questions, you will find an exhibitor to assist you.
The 15th Annual AOPA Fly-In & Open House starts at 8:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free. A wide selection of beverages, light snacks, and meals will be available throughout the day from vendors.
The Frederick Municipal Airport is located off of Exit 56 (East Patrick Street) from Interstate 70. Traveling from Washington, D.C., take Interstate 270 North to I-70 East, then Exit 56. From Baltimore, Maryland, take I-70 West to Exit 56. From Loudoun County, Virginia, take Route 15 from Leesburg (joins Route 340 from Charles Town, West Virginia). Take Route 340 to I-70 just outside of Frederick. At the I-70/I-270 split stay left to continue on I-70 and take Exit 56. From Harrisburg/Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, take Route 15 South to I-70 East and take Exit 56. From Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and points west, take I-70 East to Exit 56.
For more information, including the schedule of seminars, list of exhibitors, and aircraft arrival instructions, visit AOPA's Web site.
With more than 404,000 members, AOPA is the world's largest civil aviation association, working to protect the interests of general aviation. Nearly two thirds of all U.S. pilots are members of AOPA.
April 29, 2005