The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association's Expo 2004, general aviation's premier convention and trade show, returns to Long Beach, Calif., for three exciting days, October 21-23. Long a favorite with pilots for its convenience, Long Beach boasts a fabulous convention center for the event as well as local attractions such as the Queen Mary, the Long Beach aquarium, museums, and fabulous ocean vistas.
AOPA Expo 2004 kicks off on Thursday, October 21, when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey will again address the association's members who are gathered at the first of three free daily general sessions. On Friday, October 22, Adm. David M. Stone, the head of the Transportation Security Administration, will make his first presentation to AOPA members when he discusses "GA Security: A View From the Top." Saturday's general session is Team AOPA, giving AOPA members a chance to hear from and ask questions of the association's senior leaders, including AOPA President Phil Boyer.
"General aviation is an integral part of the government's overall aviation strategy," said Boyer. "It's the training ground for most of today's and tomorrow's airline and military pilots. With more than 145 million people taking GA flights each year, general aviation actually carries more passengers than any single commercial airline.
"GA is especially important in California; it's the home of one of every 10 pilots in the United States. That's why AOPA returns to the West Coast every other year for AOPA Expo."
After each day's general session, the main exhibit hall opens, this year featuring 521 exhibits showcasing the latest technology in GA. Pilots can speak with knowledgeable experts, test and compare products, and shop for a wide variety of items from headsets to GPS receivers to aviation apparel.
In addition to the indoor exhibits, the AOPA Win-A-Twin Sweepstakes grand prize, a better-than-new 1965 Piper Twin Comanche, will headline the static aircraft display at Long Beach Airport, just a short, free shuttle bus ride away. Adam, American Champion, Aviat, Bombardier, Cessna, Cirrus, Diamond, EADS Socata, Extra, Lancair, Liberty Aerospace, Maule, Mooney, New Piper, Pilatus, Raytheon, Robinson Helicopter, Stemme AG, Symphony, and Twin Commander will all also have aircraft on display.
Expo 2004 features DTC DUAT as its first-ever Platinum sponsor. DTC DUAT, one of the two government contractors that provide DUAT flight briefing service, will host an Internet Café where visitors will be able to check e-mail or get a preflight briefing online while at Expo.
"Educational opportunities abound at this year's Expo," said AOPA Senior Vice President of Products and Services Karen Gebhart. "Whether you're a new pilot or have been flying for several years, there are dozens of seminars offered over the three days that will improve your skills and safety. In 75 seminar hours, we cover such topics as "How to Save Your Life in an Aircraft Accident," "Single-Pilot IFR," "Affordable Flying," "Fly-In Destinations in the West," and "Defensive Flying," plus the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's well-known Pinch-Hitter course for nonpilots.
"Not only can you attend these great educational sessions, but you can shop for your favorite aviation products and attend some of AOPA Expo's fun social events, all in one convenient, highly enjoyable city," concluded Gebhart.
More information about AOPA Expo 2004 is available online at www.aopa.org/expo/.
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. 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 1, 2004