AOPA Summit Archive

10 things I look forward to at AOPA Aviation Summit

Monday, October 7th, 2013

AOPA Summit BIG logo

 

The AOPA Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, which starts on Thursday, Oct. 10, will be my first — and last — time in attendance. While I will be working hard as part of the AOPA ePublishing team to get out all the news from the event, I also look forward to participating in some of the planned events. If you see me around, please come up and say hello — especially if you have a story to pitch! Below is a list of my top 10, in no particular order.

  1. Congratulate the winners. I was among those who helped choose the 2013 Flight Training Scholarship winners, and their stories were inspirational. I want to thank them personally as I continue my own journey as a student pilot.
  2. Fly in warbirds. Greatest Generation Aircraft will offer attendees the chance to ride in or even fly a Douglas C-47.  The Commemorative Air Force is bringing B-29 Superfortress, Fifi, a B-24 Liberator, and C-45 Expediter to Summit. And the Cavanaugh Flight Museum will be offering flights in the H-13B “Sioux,” made famous by M*A*S*H; North American AT-6SNJ; PT17 Stearman; and Travel Air.
  3. See new iPad tricks. I look forward to an education seminar with John Zimmerman, vice president of marketing for Sporty’s, who will share hidden tricks to get more out of your iPad as well as how to use high-tech iPad accessories in “Advanced iPad flying.” The panel is Oct. 10 from 3:15 to 4:30 p.m. in the Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom B.
  4. Pancakes and pilots town hall. Like you, I look forward to hearing from our new CEO and President Mark Baker at this event as AOPA goes into its 75th year. I also look forward to meeting our members.
  5. Summit before the Summit. The AOPA Center to Advance the Pilot Community will be holding a pre-Summit event on Wednesday, Oct. 9. The event will focus on the AOPA flying clubs initiative, excellence in flight training, research related to lapsed and rusty pilots, and intensive conversations with leading aviation innovators, led by our own Senior Vice President Adam Smith.
  6. Catch a star. This year’s Summit will feature celebrity appearances by Major League Baseball star Ken Griffey Jr., country-western singer Aaron Tippin, and legendary football player Ed “Too Tall” Jones.
  7. Learn from the aviation masters. I’m excited about the lineup of aviation greats who will be speaking at this year’s Summit, including sirshow legend Michael Goulian, Rod Machado and John and Martha King.
  8. Summit exhibitors. I’m one of those people who try and visit as many exhibit booths as I can during conventions, so I plan on seeing everything from the AOPA Flying Club Network at Booth #1806 to XM WX Satellite Weather at Booth #922.
  9. Check out the next generation of pilots.  AOPA and Youth Aviation Adventure are sponsoring a free three-hour hands-on discovery program for teens ages 13-18 at Airportfest at Meacham International Airport on October 12, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  10. Drool at Airportfest. This year’s Airportfest will have around 100 aircraft on display. Look for my photos on the Meacham AOPA Pinterest board.

And I hope you’ll all remember to bring a teddy bear for the Teddy Bear Drive, to benefit Cook Children’s Medical Center.

AOPA Flying Club Network Facebook Group Takes Off

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Last week at the AOPA Aviation Summit, our new Center to Advance the Pilot Community announced it was creating a network of flying clubs as part of a long-term initiative to facilitate flying club growth, which, in turn, will help grow the pilot population.  Center Senior Vice President Adam Smith did a PowerPoint presentation, “Special Interest Education: AOPA Flying Club Network,” to show benefits including the ability to share information and resources.

A mere week after starting the AOPA Flying Club Network Facebook group, we’re already at 639 (sorry, make that 644) members and growing.  The group was created to start a conversation among flying clubs and those who want to start or join a flying club, and what a conversation it’s been so far.  Topics already covered include:

  • Templates/models to create a club;
  • Aircraft used by flying clubs
  • Financing and insurance;
  • Setting club dues;
  • Attracting new members;
  • What members expect from clubs; and
  • Finding the time to fly.

So join the Facebook group, pass along your Twitter handle for our flying clubs list, and go here to join our email list to be updated on the latest news and events within AOPA’s Flying Club initiative.

Wish lists and budget buys

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

Super Decathalon

My dream aircraft!

On my commercial flight to AOPA Aviation Summit, I started daydreaming about the products that would be on display in the exhibit hall. If my purse had no limit, I thought, what would I buy? Immediately, I thought of a new pair of headsets. I’ve been borrowing a pair for almost a year now after my signature blue Sigtronics that I’ve had for 12 years started to interfere with communication. Then, I started making a wish list of everything else. List in hand, I set out in the exhibit hall with two budgets in mind: unlimited and a more realistic $500 limit.

Product

Unlimited budget

$500 budget

Airplane

I’ve been weak in the knees ever since I saw 5G Aviation’s fire-engine red Super Decathlon in the Parade of Planes on Oct. 10. So, I headed straight to the exhibitor outside the Palm Springs Convention Center to inquire. For $175,000, the base airplane would be mine; plus, I’d purchase two $1,995 training sessions from them to finish off my tailwheel endorsement and take an unusual attitude recovery class.

I’d buy a Cirrus SR22 for my distance-flying machine. That costs $449,900.

Subscription to Trade-A-Plane. I’m on a 10-year savings plan to buy a used aircraft, so Trade-A-Plane will help educate me on the market. A one-year subscription costs $9.95.

Headsets

Headsets are very personal items. I tried out David Clark, Lightspeed, Bose, and Clarity Aloft headsets in the exhibit hall. The Clarity Aloft headsets interested me because they wrap around the back of my head and fit inside my ears. Traditional headsets typically start hurting the top of my head after about two hours of flying. If I had an unlimited budget, I’d buy one from each headset manufacturer, fly around with them, and then pick my favorite.

I’d buy the tried and true David Clark H10-30 headset with passive noise attenuation for $270. David Clark will repair anything that breaks or goes wrong with the headsets—for free, no questions asked. Even though they don’t have active noise canceling, they are comfortably quiet.

Navigation

Garmin aera 796 portable GPS—oh, the luxury of not folding and unfolding a sectional a million different ways. The aera 796 costs $2,499.

I would enter every raffle exhibitors at Summit were offering to win a free iPad. Then I’d wait a few weeks for AOPA’s FlyQ EFB to be released and buy the VFR plus IFR subscription for $119.

Aviation adventure

Air Race Classic 2013—four days of flying over 2,133 nautical miles. The adventure costs $6,000 per team.

I’d live vicariously through The Aviators. I can buy a season on DVD for $20.

Sunglasses

Scheyden talked me into trying on their Albatross line, which costs $209. I have an older pair of Scheydens that have served me well. They’ve lasted three years so far, a remarkable feat for someone who has stepped on and rolled a nosewheel over sunglasses before.

Hazebuster exhibited some stylish sunglasses at Summit that range in price from $38 to $115.

 

Top 10 Things I Want To See At The AOPA Aviation Summit

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

The bad news for me is I won’t be at Summit this year.  But it doesn’t mean I can’t dream about all the things I would have done while I was there.  So below is my list, in no particular order.  And for those of you are are attending, have a great time!!

  1. The Parade of Planes. How often do you get to see a large mass of planes in a parade from the airport to the convention center? But thanks to the wonders of livestreaming, I’ll be able to see this event tomorrow, Oct. 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific time. I even get AOPA President Craig Fuller and AOPA Pilot Editor Tom Haines giving me their personal commentary on the festivities. And you can follow along using the Twitter hashtag #AOPAPOP.
  2. iPads, iPads, iPads There are some great iPad education sessions this year, including: Advanced iPad: Tips and Tricks for Becoming an Expert; iPad 101; iPad Weather Options; and iPad: Beyond the EFB.  And please use the hashtag #AOPAiPad so we can all follow along.
  3. The 2012 Elections’ Effect on GA. During the Friday keynote address, Fuller, actor/pilot Harrison Ford, Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, Haines and Flying magazine Editor Robert Goyer will discuss how GA will be affected after the election. The hashtag for the Friday keynote is #AOPAKey2.
  4. The Thursday Keynote. This event includes Adam Kisielewski, awounded war veteran and LSA pilot who will share his inspirational story. And Craig Fuller will moderate a panel with Haines, AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman and Editor at Large Tom Horne where they will talk about their global GA travels. The Twitter hashtag for this event is #AOPAKey1.
  5. The Center to Advance the Pilot Community.  Senior VP Adam Smith will join others with more details on this new initiative, including plans to work with flying clubs, along with the winners of the Flight Training scholarships and the Flight Training CFIs and flight school award winners.
  6. New Sweeps Plane.  Right after we give away the Aviat Husky, we’ll announce the next sweeps plane. Don’t ask me what it is!!
  7. Airportfest. Speaking of planes, check out the display of aircraft surrounding the convention center, ranging from the Beech S35 to the Van’s RV-14.
  8. A Night For Flight Gala.  This event provides a lovely evening of  food, fun, and amazing entertainment, all to benefit the work of the AOPA Foundation.  If you can’t make the event, you can still help by bidding on items at the online auction. There are prizes that fit any pocketbook, so please put in a bid by Oct. 13.
  9. The Exhibit Hall.  I’m a student pilot, so of course I want to see — and buy — the latest gear.  The Summit exhibit hall will have around 400 booths that will let attendees to just that!
  10. The people.  Having already attended Sun ‘N Fun and Oshkosh this year, I’m convinced we have the best members.  I’m sorry I won’t be able to meet more of them at Summit this year. But I’ll see you in Fort Worth in 2013!