Pancakes taste better at an airport, and flying is somehow even more fun when you join up with others. A group fly-out can be as simple as inviting others to meet you for a $100 hamburger or a visit to an airport museum. For a bigger challenge, plan a get-together at an airport with on-site camping. Once you’ve got some experience, go big: Invite pilots to join you on an extended trip to an exotic destination or a special event. The photograph above is a 2014 group fly-out I experienced in the Bahamas. Traveling with other pilots is great fun—and a great learning experience. Anyone for Sun ’n Fun in April?
Pick a destination and set a date. Get the word out (social media is your friend here). Talk to the fixed base operator (FBO) at the destination: In exchange for the traffic you’ll be bringing, the FBO might provide a fuel discount, access to a courtesy car, or other goodies.
AOPA’s Destinations page features an interactive map and great places to visit. Download AOPA’s cross-border travel guide on the international flying resource page for a checklist, departure/arrival information, U.S. Customs special procedures, and more.
Flying somewhere as a group is not the same as formation flying. Leave that to pilots with formation training—never attempt to “join up” with another airplane in the air.