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A wide array of aircraft representing virtually every chapter of general aviation’s storied history will be on full display over the National Mall during a spectacular May 2024 commemoration of the numerous contributions the GA industry has provided to our nation since 1939. The planned celebration, coinciding with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s 85th anniversary, was announced by AOPA at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisc.

The flyover will be broadcast live on YouTube with commentary from longtime AOPA Live This Week host Tom Haines and other special guests.

This special event will take place over one of Washington, D.C.’s most restricted flight zones, P-56, something that’s never been done with GA aircraft. Spectators on the ground and online will watch the aircraft fly above the Lincoln Memorial, down Independence Avenue, and past the Washington Monument. The flyover is being closely coordinated with 15 interagency partners, including the FAA, the Transportation Security Administration, the Secret Service, and the Capitol Police, and has the support of Congress.

The flyover will consist of over 20 different “chapters” telling the story of GA in America starting in the Golden Age with AOPA President Mark Baker’s Beechcraft 17 Staggerwing. Also included will be aircraft representing GA during and after World War II, the GA trainer era, vertical flight, backcountry flying, seaplanes, corporate and business aviation, technically advanced aircraft, experimental homebuilts, airshow performers, and other examples of GA aircraft that support public service missions.

“It’s going to be a special time for AOPA in May of 2024,” Baker said at AirVenture. “What a sight it will be to see the history of general aviation flying over the National Mall as GA has given this nation so much over the past many decades. AOPA is uniquely positioned to be able to plan this complex event and execute it safely and professionally.”

Planning for this celebratory flyover will continue throughout 2023, and pilots have already been identified.

AOPA Communications staff
AOPA Communications Staff are communicators who specialize in making aerospace, aviation and advocacy information relatable for all.

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