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Showcase connects pilots, industry experts

Nearly two dozen aircraft and almost 60 exhibitors awaited 600 AOPA members who had registered for the AOPA Aviator Showcase in Fort Worth, Texas, November 17 and 18—ready to provide information to everyone from prospective buyers and veteran aircraft owners to active pilots.

Hundreds of AOPA Aviator Showcase attendees had one-on-one time with nearly 60 exhibitors. Photo by Kollin Stagnito.

“Designed to connect pilots and aircraft owners to the general aviation industry,” AOPA said the consumer-focused showcase offered attendees the opportunity to meet with “experts in avionics and cockpit technology, flight planning and weather resources, and aircraft manufacturing and sales.”

Those who were interested in buying could talk to industry representatives about aircraft financing and insurance, as well as to dealers about finding the right aircraft. Those who wanted to breathe new life into their current aircraft talked to aircraft detailers, paint shops, and avionics manufacturers. Seminars provided additional information, ranging from buying an aircraft to over-the-top restorations based on all the modifications AOPA has been known to do to its sweepstakes aircraft. Safety seminars included weather topics and carbon monoxide detectors. With temperatures in the 40-degree-Fahrenheit range and high winds, the exhibit hall and seminars were extremely popular with attendees!

The showcase in Fort Worth was the last AOPA event for 2022, but more events are in the works for 2023. AOPA will kick things off with a fly-in co-located with the Buckeye Air Fair at the Buckeye Municipal Airport just west of Phoenix, Arizona, from February 17 through 19. Attendees will be able to enjoy an airshow hosted by the Buckeye Air Fair while also learning from safety seminars, browsing hands-on aircraft displays, and talking to industry experts that AOPA will assemble. Another AOPA event on the books for next year is an Aviator Showcase at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, in the fall. More events will be announced as the time gets closer, but be sure to mark these two on your calendar.

“The AOPA Aviator Showcase in Fort Worth was a good ending to a great event year,” said AOPA Director of Outreach and Events Elizabeth O’Connell. “We are looking forward to exciting events next year with our new model of bringing fly-ins to existing events around the country.”

Retrofits and many other products (not to mention strong, chilly winds) made the exhibit hall and seminars a popular attraction. Photo by Kollin Stagnito. Seminars covered a range of topics that present and future aircraft owners appreciated. Photo by Kollin Stagnito. Temperatures a bit cooler than hoped-for had people bundling up a bit to check out the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet. Photo by Kollin Stagnito. Photo by Kollin Stagnito.
Alyssa J. Miller

Alyssa J. Cobb

AOPA Senior Director of Media, Digital Media
AOPA Senior Director of Media, Digital Media, Alyssa J. Cobb began working at AOPA in 2004, is a flight instructor, and loves flying her Cessna 170B with her husband and two children. Alyssa also hosts the weekly Fly with AOPA show on the AOPA Pilot Video YouTube channel.
Topics: AOPA Events

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