The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) will kick off the 2006 airshow season in Lakeland, Fla., at Sun 'n Fun with the third annual AOPA Day on Friday, April 7.
"AOPA Day has become an event that members look forward to all winter long," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "The member discounts, fun, and prizes return with AOPA once again under the Big Yellow Tent at Sun 'n Fun."
The festivities for AOPA Day begin the night before, on Thursday, April 6, when Boyer hosts a Pilot Town Meeting (PTM) at 7:45 p.m. in the Florida Air Museum Pavilion. Boyer hosts dozens of PTMs nationwide each year, and the PTM at Sun 'n Fun traditionally attracts hundreds of pilots.
The AOPA Win a Six in '06 Sweepstakes airplane will make its first public appearance at Sun 'n Fun. It will be parked in front of AOPA's Big Yellow Tent for the full week of the show, April 4-10. The plane will be fresh from Ultimate Engines in Mena, Ark., where it will have received an engine overhaul. Members can stop by and check out "their" 1967 Piper Cherokee Six.
"Everyone will want to see AOPA's 2006 sweepstake airplane during its public debut," said Boyer. "Anyone who joins or renews as an AOPA member in 2006 is eligible to win this airplane."
One lucky pilot will become the envy of every pilot in the country after winning the refurbished airplane in early 2007. After Sun 'n Fun, the "Six" will be flown to its next stops for new avionics and a better-than-new interior.
On AOPA Day, Friday, April 7, AOPA members, their spouses, and one guest will each receive $5 off the price of single-day admission at the gate. In addition, AOPA members and every attendee at Sun 'n Fun on AOPA Day will receive a free yellow AOPA sticker, available at entrance gates and AOPA's Big Yellow Tent. There is good reason to wear it. The AOPA Sticker Squad returns to Sun 'n Fun this year, roaming the crowds to award valuable prizes randomly to lucky attendees wearing their sticker. The AOPA Sticker Squad will be active throughout the week of Sun 'n Fun, with stickers available at AOPA's Big Yellow Tent every day.
Daily prize drawings also continue with entrants eligible to win great AOPA gear like umbrellas, spill-proof travel mugs, duffel bags, alarm clocks, leather portfolios, and sweatshirts. One drawing will be held each day of Sun 'n Fun. Winners do not need to be present to win.
Attendees at Sun 'n Fun will want to stop by AOPA's Big Yellow Tent throughout AOPA Day for a full schedule of fun and informative "hangar sessions" featuring AOPA experts on issues of interest to all pilots, such as pilot medicals, insurance, safety, and the Cherokee Six sweepstakes airplane. The complete schedule of speakers will be available soon at www.aopa.org/sunnfun/.
Don't miss the AOPA Air Safety Foundation's (ASF) newest safety seminar for 2006: "Do the Right Thing - Decision Making for Pilots," on AOPA Day, April 7. Also available throughout the week, more vital ASF safety seminars, including: "The Last Five Miles," which focuses on techniques for making the last critical stages of your flight safe and enjoyable; "Maneuvering Flight," which provides tips to make a correct base-to-final turn, avoid stalling at low altitudes, and avoid overstressing your aircraft; and "Single Pilot IFR," which discusses planning, organization, situational awareness, and weather, to increase the safety of this stressful type of flying.
All ASF seminar attendees at this year's Sun 'n Fun AOPA Day will receive a free ASF CD, with highlights of current safety programs and links to the best aviation safety-related content on the Web.
All week representatives from AOPA's Pilot Information Center will be at the Big Yellow Tent demonstrating the many tools AOPA offers to make flying safer, more affordable, and fun. Stop by to join or renew your membership or ask a question.
The more-than-407,000-member AOPA has represented the interests of general aviation pilots since 1939. General aviation includes all flying except the scheduled airlines and the military. Nearly two-thirds of all U.S. pilots, and three-quarters of the GA pilots, are AOPA members.
Sun 'n Fun, a not-for-profit organization based in Florida, is best known for its annual Fly-In, which draws more than 160,000 people and 4,000 aircraft to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The Fly-In is the primary source of funding for the Florida Air Museum at Sun 'n Fun's year-round programs for aviation enthusiasts of all ages. For more information, see www.sun-n-fun.org.
February 1, 2006