AOPA has traveled from Massachusetts to Washington to meet members where they fly with AOPA Fly-Ins across the country in 2014. Now the association is bringing the celebration of general aviation to its home in Frederick, Maryland, for the AOPA Homecoming Fly-In.
Between arrival traffic, warbird flights, an aerobatic demonstration, and more, Frederick Municipal Airport will be abuzz with activity for the Oct. 4 event. Attendees will have a chance to check out cool aircraft and aviation products, learn new skills in educational seminars, and meet AOPA leaders and fellow pilots.
Pilots can kick off the day with all-you-can eat pancakes for $5 at 8:30 a.m., and lunch from a wide variety of gourmet food trucks is free to members. Offerings run the gamut from Neat Meat sloppy joes to vegetarian options; RSVP to reserve your meal tickets.
What fly-in is complete without plenty of aircraft to admire? In addition to a static display on the ramp, attendees will have a chance to see an Extra 330SC taken to the limit by one of aviation’s top airshow performers. Michael Goulian, a winner of the U.S. Unlimited Aerobatic Championship and a Red Bull Air Race Championship pilot, will deliver an aerobatic demonstration in Frederick before heading to Las Vegas to compete in the series’ next round the following week. Members also can catch up with the Goulian Aerosports team at its trailer, among the dozens of exhibitors scheduled to be at the event.
Warbird fans can experience a part of American history by booking a flight on the Experimental Aircraft Association’s B-17 Flying Fortress Aluminum Overcast, hosted by EAA Chapter 524. EAA is selling rides on its website for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and will offer tours of the aircraft. Billed as a living tribute to the Greatest Generation, Aluminum Overcast carries the colors of the 398th Bomb Group and commemorates a B-17G that was shot down over Le Manior, France, in 1944. Passengers are allowed to move about the airplane during the flights, which last about 25 minutes, and EAA Manager of Air Tours Kristin Busse said many particularly enjoy being able to get into the nose for a bit.
Pilots will have a chance to expand their aviation knowledge in engaging educational seminars covering topics from technology to decision making. John Zimmerman of Sporty’s will help pilots unlock hidden settings and features on their iPads and offer other tips in “Advanced iPad Flying.” For aircraft owners weighing buying decisions ahead of the looming Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) Out mandate, AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines will lead an industry panel in a discussion of when and how general aviation pilots should equip.
In Rod Machado's seminar, "Thinking Small to Avoid Big Mistakes,” pilots will learn to recognize the many small cognitive errors that may lead to big mistakes. Aircraft owners can get tips on how to save money with owner-performed preventive maintenance in the interactive session “Pass Me the Wrench: Owner-Performed Maintenance.” Find the full schedule of educational seminars online.
Pilots who haven’t flown in a while can come early and get back up to speed on what’s changed in aviation since they last took the controls in a Rusty Pilots seminar Friday evening, Oct. 3. The free seminar runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and at the end of the presentation attendees will receive their endorsement for completion of the ground training required of a flight review. RSVP here.
This homecoming will be extra special as AOPA celebrates its seventy-fifth anniversary. The association, which was founded in 1939 at Wings Field in Pennsylvania, has been based in Frederick since 1983, and members will have a chance to tour the association’s headquarters during the fly-in. See where AOPA advocates for pilots, produces safety programs, creates print and online media, and more.