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After the Checkride: Plan a group fly-outAfter the Checkride: Plan a group fly-out

Aviating’s better with friends

March 2018 Preflight

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.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.

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