The first Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Fly-In of the year will be held May 20-21 in Beaufort, N.C., at Michael J. Smith Field (KMRH).
“AOPA Fly-Ins are a great way for our members, pilots, and aspiring pilots to see new places and meet people who share a passion for aviation,” said AOPA Director of Outreach and Events Chris Eads. “From Friday’s Barnstormers Party to aircraft displays to safety seminars, we have a lot packed into a short amount of time. Beyond the fly-in, Beaufort is a great town with a long history and amazing beaches, and there will even be a music festival downtown during the fly-in — lots to see and do.”
At this weekend’s fly-in, more than 34 aircraft are expected to be on display, including the turbodiesel twin Diamond DA62, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk, and Sikorsky UH-53 helicopters. In addition, the DC-3 Clipper Tabitha May is scheduled to fly in for the display.
Since the regional fly-ins kick off in 2014, more than 26,600 people have attended the events, held around the country. According to AOPA officials, the estimated location economic contribution per fly-in is $680,000.
Some more numbers: 27,246 have been served at the fly-ins, which have attracted 4,347 aircraft.
- MRH Fuel Discount: 75 cents a gallon fuel discount on May 20, and 50 cents a gallon on May 21.
- Fly-In Procedures Packet is available here.
- Camping is free at the airport but space is limited, so officials recommend you reserve ahead of time here.
- Hotel information is available here.
At The Fly-In
- 6:30-9:30 p.m. Barnstormers Party Presented by Jeppesen
- 7:30-10:30 a.m. Rusty Pilots Seminar
- 8-9:30 a.m. Pancake Breakfast
- 9:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Seminars, Safety Briefings, Aviation Product Showcase, and More
- 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Lunch
- 2:35 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Pilot Town Hall With AOPA President Mark Baker
- 3:30-4 p.m. Ice Cream Social
- 4 p.m. Fly-In Ends
A detail scheduled is available here.
AOPA officials note that volunteer spots are still available. Find out more here.
Beyond The Fly-In
- First Flight: A little over an hour’s flight north of Beaufort is Kitty Hawk, the birthplace of powered flight. Aircraft parking at First Flight is limited, but Dare County Regional Airport is a good alternate landing site. From there, ground transportation can be arranged to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial and museum. For the week prior to the AOPA Fly-In and the week after, mid-size rental cars at Dare County will be discounted by as much as 40%. In addition, fuel prices will be discounted for fuel truck service at the self-service rate. Find out more here.
- Ocracoke Island: One of the greatest pleasures of being a private pilot is the ability to access remote areas like Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. Fly in for a visit on your way to or from the AOPA Fly-In in Beaufort, May 20 and 21.
- Cape Lookout National Seashore: Pilots visiting the AOPA Fly-In at Beaufort, North Carolina will be a short hop from Cape Lookout National Seashore, voted the top national park beach by readers of USA Today and 10Best.com. The cape’s seashore stretches from Beaufort Inlet on the south to Ocracoke Inlet on the north and is known as much for its wild horses as it is for its pristine dunes, wide beaches, and limited access.
- Pirate History: There’s a load of pirate lore, too. Indeed, an early 1700’s Beaufort County resident was the infamous Edward Teach, widely feared as the seagoing British pirate Blackbeard. Ironically, the rogue’s pillaging brought prosperity to the Bath Creek area when hotels, pubs, and shops sprang up to entertain the pirate’s crews.
- Beaufort Music Festival: The festival takes place in May on Beaufort’s historical downtown waterfront. The town is packed on Friday and Saturday with bands performing for free, food trucks and a fun-filled kid area.
- The Crystal Coast Boat Show: Special just for AOPA Fly-In attendees, visit The Crystal Coast Boat Show for a free breakfast on Sunday, May 22, at 9 a.m. on the Morehead City Waterfront (807 Shepard Street). Also included is a free preview of the boats in The Crystal Coast Boat Show. A trolley, provided by The Boathouse at Front Street Village, will pick up and drop off from Michael J. Smith Field (KMRH). Trolley departs at 8:30 a.m. To register, call 252-808-0440, or email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org. Breakfast sponsored by The Boathouse at Front Street Village, SeaTow Crystal Coast, and Wells Marine Insurance.