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We need a volunteer!We need a volunteer!

(Actually, many volunteers, to meet us in Missoula)(Actually, many volunteers, to meet us in Missoula)

AOPA opens its 2018 Fly-in series in Missoula, Montana, on June 15 and 16, and we’re looking for a few hundred aviators to help us launch the fly-in season by volunteering to pitch in at the year’s opening event at Missoula International Airport.

A volunteer helps direct a Douglas C-47 to the static display ramp on Friday, the first day of AOPA's 2017 Groton Fly-In. Photo by Mike Collins.

Does supporting general aviation at the airport with a few thousand of your fellow fans of flight sound like a fabulous way to spend a fine spring day?

According to veterans of past fly-ins, the answer is a resounding yes, so we hope you will check your schedule to see if the Missoula fly-in, or one of the others on the calendar this year, will be happening at a time and place that gives you a chance to sign up.

The AOPA Fly-ins are becoming more popular with each passing year. The expanded agenda of pilot-pleasing programs at awesome airports is part of the secret of that success, but even more important are the enthusiastic members of our extended aviation family who volunteer to keep things humming right along before, during, and after an AOPA Fly-in.

Flying is about more than just those who fly.

What do fly-in volunteers do?

There are roles to suit every aviator’s time, taste, and talents, from helping to set up a fly-in before the public shows up, and helping with airside operations during aircraft arrivals, to managing logistics while the fly-in is in progress and helping to close up shop at the event’s conclusion.

The airside shift is for certificated pilots who can put their knowledge to work volunteering to help with ground operations, including aircraft marshaling, parking, taking fuel orders, and aircraft camping.

Volunteers who choose to work “show side” play an important role by assisting the exhibitors in setting up their displays; helping with food preparation; greeting fly-in guests; managing the flow of people and vehicles; keeping the grounds tidy and secure; and more. It’s all explained on the volunteer page of the AOPA website, where you can also check out the year’s fly-in calendar and sign up.

A typical shift as a volunteer runs four to five hours—and don’t forget the free lunch and AOPA Volunteer T-shirt and cap that come with the job.

What better way to immerse yourself in aviation and make some new friends? (For two pilots who volunteered at the AOPA Fly-in in Plymouth, Massachusetts in July 2014, the event came to represent much more than just an extra-special memory.)

The Missoula Fly-in is coming up soon, and volunteers are still needed in each of these job descriptions as the date draws near. So we hope you will sign up to meet us in Missoula, work the show alongside AOPA’s fly-in staff members, and share a memorable day of flying fun.

Wherever the AOPA Fly-ins have been held, they are a highlight of the flying season—but we can’t do it without the fly-in volunteers who keep it all running smoothly.

To you, we say a big thank you!

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: AOPA, AOPA Events, Fly in

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