Skies Of Grey Can't Keep Members Away
Despite threatening skies all day, more than 3,000 pilots and
aviation enthusiasts attended the 16th annual Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In and Open House held last Saturday,
June 3, at the Frederick Municipal Airport (FDK) headquarters of
AOPA in Frederick, MD.
The highlight of the show was the launch of AOPA's newly
expanded Project Pilot program, with a flag-raising ceremony
featuring AOPA President Phil Boyer and AOPA Project Pilot
Spokesman Erik Lindbergh.
As Aero-News reported last week in an ANN
Special Feature aero-cast, Project Pilot calls on each
AOPA member to become a Mentor to someone they know who is
interested in learning to fly, in order to increase the number of
new pilots in the aviation community. Members who signed up at
Fly-In to be a Mentor received an AOPA Project Pilot duffel
"Expanding the pilot population is absolutely essential to
keeping general aviation in the United States strong," stated
More than 100 aircraft flew in for the event, under the control
of a temporary control tower that was set up at FDK for the day. In
addition, AOPA reports that thousands of people drove to Frederick
for the event.
"Each Fly-In is an
opportunity for us to open our doors to our members and the general
public," said Boyer. "We enjoy meeting face-to-face with the
members we serve throughout the year, and also share our enthusiasm
about general aviation with the public."
At his annual Fly-In "hangar session," Boyer spoke to hundreds
of pilots about general aviation issues in the Mid-Atlantic Region,
followed by Lindbergh's presentation about how he became a pilot
and the importance of Mentors in aviation.
Next up was popular aviation humorist Rod Machado, who presented
a seminar about in-flight emergencies that, in typical Machado
fashion, combined laughter with education.
On the ramp, 44 general aviation aircraft were on display --
headlined by AOPA's Win a Six in '06 sweepstakes airplane, a 1967
Piper Cherokee Six. Now sporting a new avionics panel, the Cherokee
attracted crowds of curious pilots throughout the day... each
hoping to be the winner of the airplane early next year. Anyone who
joins or renews membership in AOPA during the 2006 calendar year is
automatically entered in the Sweepstakes.
Next up for "The Six" will be a fully refurbished interior, and
a new paint scheme. It will make appearances at upcoming aviation
shows -- including the AOPA Expo in Palm Springs, CA on November