The event took place on 16 and 17 September on the W.K Kellogg Airport (BTL). Despite the fact that the forecasted weather was OK at the time of announcement of the event, there was some rain in the day the event took place. There were at least a couple of thousand people who attended, so the rain didn’t stop anyone to come and enjoy the views and the shows.
Here’s what happened at the AOPA’s Third Fly-In
The first day, Friday, 16 September started at 6:30 with the Barnstormers party by Jeppesen – an American company that provides services for flight companies. Approximately 450 people came to the popular Friday night party which ended at 9:30 pm.
Saturday 17 September started at 7:30, very early, but there were about 20 campers that stayed on the fields with their airplanes and woke up early to have the delicious pancake breakfast at 8 am. From 7:30 to 10 there was an amazing number of people who came for the Rusty Pilots breakfast and seminar at “You Can Fly” Pavilion.
From 9 am to 4 pm the aircraft display and exhibits were open. New and old aircraft found their spots on display at AOPA’s third fly-in. The aircraft displayed completely amazed the attendees. Some of the impressive aircraft on display were rare and antique aircraft like one fully restored 1964 Comache 400, one 1959 Cessna 175 Skylark, and some more modern airplanes like B25-D Yankee warrior, a Textron G58 Baron, Cessna 182. The Cessna 182 will be part of the big prize on November 19 – a trip to Guatemala for two. Other aircraft displayed were a Pilatus PC-12NG, an Eclipse SE, a Mooney Ovation and many other impressive and beautiful aircraft, new and old. An estimated number of 172 airplanes flew in, including 35 from display.
From 9 am to 4 pm more seminars were open and had great success. For example, the AOPA Air Safety Institute seminar where Senior Vice President Gregory Perry gave a safety speech, “Mind over Matter”. Other interesting and very useful seminar for pilots was a seminar held by Adrian Eichorn on night flying.
Lunch was available for the attendees from 11 am to 2 pm. After lunch the AOPA’s President Mark Baker finished the fly-in with an interesting one hour speech about the news, accomplishments and efforts of AOPA to increase the interest of the new pilots in general aviation. At the end of the AOPA’s President speech, the attendees had half an hour to socialize and indulge with ice cream, and at 4 pm the event was closed.
The next AOPA Fly-In event is scheduled for 30 September to 1st October, where an estimate of at least 3000 people are expected to come. The next event will count as the fourth AOPA event this year and people are invited to enjoy the tasty food, the spectacular artwork and the aircraft exhibits and displays.