FREDERICK, MD – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) announced the 2017 AOPA Fly-Ins will be held in Camarillo, California (April 28 and 29), followed by Norman, Oklahoma (Sept. 8 and 9), Groton, Connecticut (Oct. 6 and 7), and Tampa, Florida (Oct. 27 and 28). Thanks to a tremendous response from members, exhibitors, and Fly-In attendees to date, AOPA has expanded each of the four regional Fly-Ins for 2017, adding a second day to allow attendees to experience more hands-on aviation, and more of what has drawn praise and sparked enthusiasm from the nearly 44,000 who have attended an AOPA Fly-In to date.
AOPA Fly-Ins for 2017 will offer more to experience–from camping and camaraderie to workshops and clinics offering opportunities to learn new skills, fly more affordable, or make the jump from aircraft renter to owner.
“We’re listening to our members who have asked for more extensive content, and we’re excited to bring new things that will deepen relationships and expand your flying skills,” said AOPA Director of Outreach and Events Chris Eads. “This has been about us really listening to the members.”
Each event will now feature two full days of activities, including an expanded roster of learning opportunities and workshops beginning on the Friday of each event at 9 a.m. These workshops will cover a range of topics such as mountain flying or owner-performed maintenance that will help make flying more fun, affordable, safe, and accessible.
AOPA launched the regional Fly-In events in 2014, shifting from a single annual convention to this new approach that was designed to gather members together at locations closer to home, and make it possible for more members (and guests, including future pilots) to attend. That proved to be a formula for success: total attendance grew 15 percent between 2014 and 2015, and 33 percent between 2015 and 2016. Nearly 44,000 visitors and more than 6,000 aircraft arrivals have been logged during the 16 regional Fly-Ins to date, safely handled by a team of AOPA staff backed up by hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers. The Fly-Ins have also proved to be a venue where friendships are forged, gatherings where the aviation community has grown stronger.
As AOPA looks to the future, growing the general aviation community remains a top priority. The regional Fly-Ins will continue to serve that goal by bringing pilots together to experience a rich array of skill development, group flying, and a little bit more for everyone to get their hands on.