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AOPA Fly-Ins: Ready to move on

Let’s meet together in 2021

It has been  an overused phrase, but an accurate one, when we say that 2020 was an unprecedented year. When thinking about gathering for aviation events—a hallmark of what makes general aviation so special to many of us—one thing is for certain: We are all ready to move on and experience life together again.
Pilot Briefing January 2021
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As we enter the new year, AOPA has taken a bold step to meet with members and pilots across the nation in fresh, creative formats designed specifically with flexibility and scalability in mind.

With the uncertainty of what 2021 will look like with a lingering pandemic, AOPA again decided to forego our major, large-scale regional fly-ins. Instead, we’ve developed two new event models that will bring the community together in small, organic, flexible, and safe environments.

To connect pilots and aircraft owners with the aviation industry’s vast array of products, services, aircraft, and equipment, AOPA will offer two AOPA Aviator Showcase events. These events will be one-day gatherings with an exhibit hall, an aircraft sales display, and technology-related seminars. Attendees will meet with industry leaders in avionics and cockpit technology, flight planning and weather resources, and aircraft manufacturing. You’ll find anything you could ever want for your airplane: from gadgets and gear to oil and anticorrosives; lights, batteries, props, engines, flight bags, all the way to specific parts you need for your aircraft and more. Local services such as paint shops, avionic shops, and aircraft detailing will be there to help you improve your aircraft. Want to buy an airplane? Meet with aircraft financiers, insurers, and aircraft manufacturers and dealers.

The first AOPA Aviator Showcase events will be held in the spring in the southwestern United States, and the second in the fall in the mid-Atlantic region. Specific dates and locations will be announced in early 2021.

To bring together pilots and AOPA leadership in a highly relational and intimate setting, AOPA will offer a series of very small gatherings that we will conduct along a multi-stop air tour across the United States. On three different trips in 2021, we will make daily stops at airports across the country to hold three- or four-hour AOPA Pilot Gatherings intended to draw in no more than a couple hundred attendees at each stop. At each event, Mark Baker will present a Pilot Town Hall, our AOPA Air Safety Institute will conduct a safety seminar, and we will enjoy some roundtable discussions with AOPA leadership over lunch.

The AOPA Pilot Gathering Air Tour routes and locations are being developed during the first quarter of 2021 and will be announced closer to the events. These tours will maintain a high degree of flexibility to account for important factors such as weather patterns and pandemic conditions. For those who wish to join us in a more virtual way, online participation opportunities will be offered. Keep an eye on the AOPA events website and online articles for updates. Preregistration and attendance fee will be required. We look forward to seeing you around the country in 2021.

Chris Eads, AOPA Senior Director, Outreach and Events. Photo by Mike Fizer.
Chris Eads
AOPA Senior Director, Outreach and Events
Chris began working for AOPA in 2013, but has been a private pilot and AOPA member since 2001. He flies VFR all over the country both for fun and as a part of his role leading AOPA events and regional fly-ins.

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