AOPA Fly-In – Frederick, MD (KFDK)

aopalogo2It is always a great day to meet-up with a bunch of other aviators and aviation enthusiasts and today was a excellent opportunity to do that.  I had planned to attend this event for the last couple of months and was glad to be able to attend.  The weather was decent and it looked like a few clouds and patchy fog might delay us but when I looked at the weather forecast first thing this morning I was confident that we wouldn’t have any issues.  Bryan and I met a friend Jake L. at the Chesterfield County Airport (KFCI) at 7AM and headed north to Frederick in Saratoga N111RW.  We flew up on an IFR flight plan but only encountered a few areas of clouds.  As expect we had to deal with quite a few other planes as we got close to the airport and when we were handed off from Approach to Tower Control there was a little confusion because there was VFR traffic paralleling us in.  We took the right of way and landed ahead of them as the Mooney in front of us was turning off the runway.

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AOPA Fly-In - 06062015 - 0806-Jun-2015 12:24, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32

After parking and securing the plane we started exploring.  Jeff & Bryan attended a seminar on engines while Jake checked out the vendor tent.  After that Bryan got to enjoy the Kid’s area for a bit which was very well done with bounce houses and other activities.  A quick tour through the vendor tent with a couple of interesting finds but without spending too much money is always good thing.  We then met back up with Jake for lunch where a bunch of food trucks gave us a great selection.  Bryan and I both had a piece of pizza and shared some tater tots.  After lunch we explored a bit more and looked at the static aircraft displays.  The Breitling Jet Team did a few flyovers and Mike Goulian performed an aerobatic routine which was very good.  Here are the links to a couple of videos that I took of the Breitling Jet Team: Video 1, Video 2.  We wanted to get good seats for Rod Machado’s presentation, which is always a favorite.  He has a knack of having a humorous presentation that you still learn something from.  After Rod’s presentation we spent a little time back in the Kid’s area and then returned to the main tent for the AOPA Town Hall which included updates from Mark Baker, president and CEO of AOPA, FAA Dep. Admin. Michael Whitaker and NTSB Chairman Chris Hart.  They did a great job of succinctly updating us on the current issues they are all working together on including ADS-B and 3rd Class Medical reform.  It was very interesting.

The last mission of the day was to enjoy the free ice cream!  While eating ice cream I ended up having a nice conversation with Melissa Rudinger who is AOPA Vice President Government Affairs and one of the hosts of the weekly AOPA Live.  Earlier in the day Bryan and I met Tom Haines’ who is the Editor in Chief and Sr. Vice President Media and the other host of AOPA Live.  Both were very nice and I thanked them for the work they do for us.

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AOPA Fly-In - 06062015 - 2306-Jun-2015 16:03, Apple iPhone 5s, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32

We then made our way back to the plane, did a quick pre-flight and briefed the departure procedures.  We would depart west VFR to the Martinsburg VOR and then pickup the IFR flight plan that I had filed from Martinsburg back to Chesterfield.  Everything went as plan and we leveled out at 2000 under the cloud deck while we picked up the clearance.  In short order we were cleared to 7,000 and direct to KFCI.  We went through a few clouds but didn’t really get bumped around too much.  I topped off the day with an ILS approach into Richmond Executive Airport with Jake as my Safety Pilot.  We put the Saratoga back in the hangar, and cleaned the bugs off the cowling and leading edges.  It was such a great day and I was glad to be able to share it with both Jake and Bryan!

Click here to see all of the pictures from the AOPA Fly-In on June 6th, 2015.

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Sounds like a great day! So, what goodies did you find?

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