It's become as inevitable as those other two things people think about in mid-April - but a whole lot more fun. AOPA Day returns to Sun 'n Fun on Friday, April 15, 2005, and once again, AOPA members will see benefits from the moment they walk up to the entrance gate.
Members, their spouses, and one other guest can all receive five dollars off the single-day admission for AOPA Day (sorry - this offer cannot be combined with any other special admission offers) at the event that has come to represent the kick-off to the summer flying season.
AOPA will be there in force for the duration of Sun 'n Fun under its big yellow tent. And parked right outside will be the Grand Prize in the 2005 AOPA Commander Countdown Sweepstakes: a 1972 Commander 112-A that will be completely refurbished and given away to one lucky winner in early 2006. The AOPA Commander will already be sporting its new livery, a paint scheme chosen by AOPA members in an online poll. The interior will have undergone an overhaul, and perhaps most impressive, the Chelton FlightLogic ® glass panel is in and fully functional. Anyone who joins or renews membership in AOPA at Sun 'n Fun or anytime during 2005 is automatically entered in the Commander Countdown Sweepstakes.
AOPA Day activities actually kick off the evening before when AOPA President Phil Boyer hosts a Pilot Town Meeting at 7:45 p.m., Thursday, April 14, at the Florida Air Museum, adjacent to Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), home of Sun 'n Fun. "Pilot Town Meetings are one of the best ways for AOPA to know what's really on pilots' minds," said Boyer. "But this year we're also going to try something much more informal on AOPA Day itself."
Boyer and other key AOPA staffers will each take a turn answering questions in hour-long hangar sessions that will be held in the reception area next to the AOPA tent, speaking one-on-one with visitors for an hour at a time. AOPA Air Safety Foundation Executive Director Bruce Landsberg will present new courses from the AOPA Online Safety Center. AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump will discuss how AOPA helps save some 6,000 medical certifications each year and answer visitors' medical questions. AOPA Pilot Editor-in-Chief Tom Haines will discuss how the Association publishes the world's favorite aviation magazine. Famed aviation photographer Mike Fizer will talk about techniques to take better air show and aviation photographs, while AOPA Pilot editors Steve Ells and Tom Horne will discuss the "tricking out" of the Commander Countdown Sweepstakes plane.
|10 a.m.-11 a.m.||Phil Boyer, AOPA President||General|
|11 a.m.-12 noon||Bruce Landsberg, Air Safety Foundation Exec. Director||AOPA ASF Online Safety Center|
|12 noon-1 p.m.||Gary Crump, AOPA Dir. of Medical Certification||Medical Issues|
|1 p.m.-2 p.m.||Tom Haines, Editor-in-chief & Sr. VP, AOPA Publications||AOPA Pilot & Flight Training magazines|
|2 p.m.-3 p.m.||Greg Sterling, Gen'l. Mgr. & Exec. VP, AOPA Insurance Agency||Aviation Insurance|
|3 p.m.-4 p.m.||Mike Fizer, chief photographer, AOPA Pilot||Aviation Photography|
|4 p.m.-5 p.m.||Steve Ells/Tom Horne, AOPA Pilot||Sweepstakes Commander aircraft|
Everyone who walks through the gate on AOPA Day will receive a special AOPA sticker - and there's good reason to wear it, because throughout the day, an AOPA Surprize Squad will go out among the crowds to award prizes to people wearing the sticker. Prizes include a Garmin 296 handheld GPS and five AOPA watches from Sporty's Pilot Shop. Visitors can also register for another prize giveaway in the AOPA tent in which AOPA will award another Garmin 296 and five more watches. Winners will only be eligible to receive a single prize, and need not be present to win the tent drawings.
Throughout the seven-day event, AOPA staff members will be on hand in the Association's tent to show pilots all the tools that AOPA offers to make flying safer, more affordable, and just plain fun. There will also a hospitality area where members will be able to relax.
Members who visit the AOPA tent on Friday the 15th will receive a CD-ROM that contains all of the online courses offered by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and many other valuable resources, including AOPA's Real Time Flight Planner, a powerful flight-planning program developed by Jeppesen exclusively for AOPA members.
With more than 404,000 members, representing nearly two-thirds of all pilots in the United States, AOPA is the largest, most influential aviation association in the world. 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.
April 1, 2005