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Fun fly-outs, excursions highlight AOPA Fly-InsFun fly-outs, excursions highlight AOPA Fly-Ins

Fly out to the Bahamas; tour the Textron and Piper factories; visit the National Weather Service and MacDill Air Force Base; sail off the coast of Rhode Island; and learn about water survival. These exclusive fly-outs and tours are all part of the 2017 AOPA Regional Fly-Ins.

Photo by Mike Fizer

As part of AOPA’s effort to expand the aviation experiences available by making them a two-day event with educational workshops and a Barnstormers Party on Fridays and the fly-in on Saturdays, the association is giving pilots the option to continue the fun with excursions and fly-outs.

“Pilots and their families or friends really can make a weekend adventure out of an AOPA Fly-In,” said Chris Eads, AOPA director of outreach. “We offer something for everyone.”

Check out these fun excursions and start planning getaways with your friends and family.

Midwest excursions

Cessna singe-engine production line in Independence, Kansas. Photo by Mike Fizer.

With AOPA’s Norman, Oklahoma, Fly-In quickly approaching Sept. 8 and 9, pilots will want to check into reserving a spot for the Textron Independence Fly-Out to tour Textron Aviation’s facilities and a spot to tour the National Weather Center in Norman.

The Cessna Pilots Society will be leading the Textron Independence Fly-Out. The tour is open to 50 attendees, and pilots must fly in to Independence Municipal Airport between 9 and 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. Textron employees will greet pilots who fly in, and the tour of the facility will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and include the flight center, paint center, assembly line, and customer center. Lunch is included with the $12 registration. Attendees must be at least 10 years of age, mobile, and wear closed-toe shoes.

The National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Photo by Mike Collins.

Three tours, accommodating 35 attendees per tour, will run on Sept. 8 at the National Weather Center and cost $10 per person. Attendees will meet at the AOPA Tickets and Info Tent at the airport and catch a shuttle to the center 15 minutes before their scheduled tour at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., or 3 p.m. The tour will include a visit to the observation deck at the top of the building, the School of Meteorology, forecast offices with the NOAA National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center, research spaces, and the atrium on the first floor, which highlights Science on Sphere, the weather wall, an immersive seven-screen liquid galaxy display, props from Twister, and more.

New England adventures

Bannister's Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island

In October, make a weekend of the AOPA Fly-In at Groton, Connecticut, presented by Columbia Aircraft Sales, on Oct. 6 and 7 by visiting the Survival Systems Open House or touring Newport, Rhode Island, known as America’s first resort.

Pilots who register for the Newport Fly-Out on Oct. 6 will visit the Bannister's and Bowen's wharfs, stroll through Newport’s shopping district, and cruise on the Sightsailer. The tour, hosted by the Cessna Pilots Society, costs $65 per person and offers an optional tour of Breakers Mansion for an additional $20.

Photo courtesy of Survival Systems USA.

Tours of the Survival Systems headquarters at the Groton airport are available for free during the fly-in on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The company’s Groton Training facility features the only commercially available Survival Training Simulation Theater, which pilots will get to tour. Survival Systems has trained more than 190,000 aircrew and passengers on underwater egress and water survival techniques. Sign up in advance because only 50 slots are open per tour.

Florida fun

AOPA is organizing three excursions for its final fly-in of 2017 in Tampa, Florida, Oct. 27 and 28. Tour Piper’s Vero Beach factory or get an inside look at MacDill Air Force Base on Oct. 27, then plan to head to the Bahamas for a three-day excursion Oct. 29 through 31 after the fly-in.

Photo by Mike Fizer

Help Piper celebrate its eightieth anniversary by touring the factory and learning how the products are hand crafted and transformed from sheet metal to airworthy aircraft. The free tours will run at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and are open to 30 people each. Lunch for both tour groups will be provided by Piper at 12:30 p.m. Registration will open in the coming weeks.

A KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft parked in a hangar during repairs at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, Aril 12, 2017. Over the past few weeks, Airmen provided engine maintenance to ensure the safety of the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariette Adams)

The association is still working out the details for members to tour MacDill Air Force Base on Oct. 27. The base is known for its combat communications during times of peace and war. AOPA will make registration and tour details available as soon as they are confirmed.

Finally, celebrate another year of fun AOPA Fly-Ins by heading to the Bahamas. The Bahamas Ministry of tourism is offering a three-day adventure package. Pilots will depart Fort Pierce as a group and fly to Grand Bahama Island and stay overnight for two nights in the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach resort. Pilots can opt to add on an additional island hop to Cat Island for some more flying fun. Additional details and registration information will be available as soon as AOPA and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism finalize all of the excursion details.

Photo by Mike Fizer
Alyssa J. Miller

Alyssa J. Cobb

AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Cobb has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
Topics: AOPA Events, Fly in, Bahamas

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