In lieu of actual flying tales, this is a quick post with some information I've been meaning to share for a while. As I've mentioned many times before on here, one of the greatest things about the blog is all the people and pilots it's enabled me to meet from across the world. Sometimes our only correspondence is via email or Facebook but I've also been fortunate to meet some of you in person - from as far away as Australia! So it should be without any surprise that I wanted to share some upcoming plans and extend my hand in hopes I'll be able to say hello to a few more of you over the next couple of months.
AOPA Summit (Tampa, FL)
What used to be known as the annual AOPA Expo has been badged the AOPA Summit this year. This will be a first-time trip for me; in fact, it will be my first trip to any large-scale aviation gathering not counting airshows. Yes, I know I really need to get to Oshkosh still - planning on next summer, but I digress.
Anyway, I'll be in town from November 4th all the way through the end of the Summit on November 7th. Personally, it's all the seminars that I'm looking forward to - they're honestly the main reason I'm headed down to Tampa. There's quite a few folks from the AOPA Forums that I know are attending and I'm really excited not only to meet them, but also for all the things the Summit has to offer.
Operation Rain Check (ARTCC Tours)
What appears to be a nationwide education program hosted by our Air Route Traffic Control Centers is, at the very least, up and running around this area. I'm planning on attending events at both Indianapolis Center (ZID) and Cleveland Center (ZOB) in October and November. The events in Cleveland include a tour, simulation lab, and live monitoring session. Indy's is a different approach, more of a town-hall (not at the actual ARTCC facility) discussion with controllers and experts.
One of the things I've wanted to do since I first started ground school back in 2007 was visit an Air Traffic Control facility. Needless to say, I'm really excited about the opportunity to tour Cleveland. Similarly, any time you can learn from controllers helps build confidence in radio use and procedures so I expect the Indy event to be just as educational. I'll be in Cleveland on November 19th and over at Indy on October 22nd. By clicking the links in that last sentence, you can access the registration pages for each event.
ASF "What Went Wrong?" Seminar
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation hosts countless seminars throughout the country every year. Looking at my events page on the FAASafety site, there's probably five of these seminars in various locations between now and December. They're all set up to discuss accidents with investigators so that we can all learn from past mistakes. Sure sounds like a smart thing to learn more about to me. The closest event from my house is in Columbus on October 7th so that's where you'll find me. If you'd like more information (no registration is required) click either here or here.
Update 10/7 - I'm not going to be able to make it this evening. Thankfully the ASF schedules these fairly regularly, so I hope to make it to another one nearby soon.
If you'd like any more information on the WINGS Program, check out the end of my last blog entry. There's a bunch of useful links if you want to join or learn more about it. Both the ARTCC events and the ASF seminar are eligible for WINGS credit so be sure you are enrolled in the program if you'll be attending.
As far as actual flying goes, a few things are in the pipeline. This coming Thursday I'm planning on making the short hop up to Wapakoneta to visit Marty, who I happen to know from the aforementioned AOPA Forums, and enjoy a BBQ dinner. Then there's a decent chance Gina and I will fly up to the Akron area to visit family and/or to Kalamazoo for some WMU football (Go Broncos!) during what I hope to be beautiful October weekends. It's a wonderful time of year to be flying!