Mike Melvill, who has twice piloted SpaceShipOne into space, will be the featured speaker at the opening luncheon for AOPA Expo 2004 on Thursday, October 21, 2004. He'll narrate an exciting 17-minute video of his suborbital adventures and take questions about the flights.
"Mike's fellow AOPA members congratulate him and the entire SpaceShipOne team on the second successful flight of a general aviation spacecraft," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "We know that everyone attending AOPA Expo is excited that Mike will be on hand to talk about his history-making adventures."
Melvill, who has been an AOPA member for 35 years, is looking forward to giving something back to the association with this opportunity to talk pilot-to-pilot at AOPA Expo 2004. "AOPA has done so much for me and other pilots," he said. "They're the best. I don't know what we'd do without them."
With 21 years as a test pilot, Melvill has accumulated 7,000 flight hours in 123 fixed-wing and 11 rotary-wing aircraft. In addition to SpaceShipOne, Melvill piloted the first flights of more than half a dozen aircraft. He was also involved in the testing of both the Beech Starship prototype aircraft and Fairchild's Next Generation Trainer (NGT) for the U.S. Air Force. Melvill is one of only three people, including Dick Rutan or Jeana Yeager, to fly Voyager, the aircraft that made the first and only nonstop, unrefueled flight around the world.
Melvill holds a commercial pilot certificate with single-engine land, multiengine land, instrument, rotorcraft-helicopter, and glider ratings. He was recently made a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was awarded the Ivan C. Kinchloe trophy this year for his work with SpaceShipOne. It's his second Kinchloe trophy; his first in 1999 was for work on the high-altitude Proteus aircraft. He holds four world and national speed and altitude records, with two more national and world records pending for his flights in SpaceShipOne.
In addition to Melvill's address, the opening luncheon for AOPA Expo 2004 will include the presentation of AOPA's annual Max Karant Journalism Awards. Reporters who work for non-aviation print and broadcast media will be honored for outstanding coverage of general aviation that is both fair and balanced.
AOPA Expo is general aviation's premier convention and trade show. Held this year at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California, AOPA Expo will feature more than 500 vendor exhibits in the convention hall and some 70 aircraft on static display at nearby Long Beach Airport.
With more than 400,000 members, representing nearly two thirds of all pilots in the United States, AOPA is the largest, most influential aviation association in the world. More than 48,000 of AOPA's members live in California, which will host AOPA's Expo 2004. AOPA has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community.
October 4, 2004