Visitors to the Frederick, Md., Festival of the Arts this past weekend expected to see an array of painters, photographers, and sculptors displaying their wares. What they didn’t expect was to see an airplane positioned on Carroll Creek in the heart of downtown Frederick.
“How’d you get that airplane in here?” many wanted to know.
The annual Festival of the Arts draws thousands of spectators, who come to enjoy live music, dance, theatrical performances, and more than 120 arts and craftspeople. This year, for the first time, visitors got a close look at a light sport aircraft. AOPA staff folded the Remos GX’s wings and loaded it onto a rolloff truck, which transported the airplane to its spot along the creek. A tent alongside the airplane displayed Harrison Ford’s larger-than-life-size photo and autograph. Ford is the spokesman of AOPA’s GA Serves America campaign to help communicate the importance of GA to the nation.
AOPA staff were on hand to answer questions about learning to fly, and took the opportunity to direct people to the Let’s Go Flying website and distributed discounted “introductory flight” coupons for local flight schools. Several people said they had dreamed of learning to fly for years but never knew how to get started. The Remos was a favorite of children who got to climb into the cockpit and see what it’s like to sit in an actual airplane.
After visitors discovered just how AOPA got an airplane on the creek, they wanted to know how much it cost, how far it will go on full fuel, and how fast it can fly.
AOPA members who live in the area were surprised and pleased to see “their” sweepstakes airplane, as well as the opportunity to get some information on AOPA member services and products and the upcoming AOPA Aviation Summit. Lapsed pilots talked about how much they enjoyed flying and sought advice on how to get back into it. AOPA’s aviation subject report on this topic is a helpful resource.