About halfway between New York and Boston, you’ll find a destination with deep maritime roots and more to see and do than you can fit into a single weekend visit. You’ll probably want to visit Groton, Connecticut, the home of AOPA’s third Fly-In of 2017, October 6 and 7, more than once. The local pilots, aviation service providers, and other members of the Groton New London Airport community hope it becomes a habit.
The last surviving wooden whaleship in the world is moored just down the road at Mystic Seaport. The first nuclear-powered submarine in the world can be toured at the Submarine Force Museum, on the grounds of the U.S. Navy’s first submarine base. Mystic Aquarium is among the region’s top family destinations for fun and learning, offering rare opportunities for close encounters with seals, penguins, and whales. There are two world-class resort casinos nearby, restaurants, shopping, and 18 holes of golf next door at a public course that dates to 1898.
“There’s so many things to do around here,” said Franz Edson, a local pilot who has flown out of Groton for 15 years, having come to aviation by way of sailing and a career as an executive for Electric Boat, the renowned maker of submarines since 1899. Edson retired from that company three years ago, and he has since set his skills to work building a disparate group of local pilots and aviation service providers into a community. He began by organizing an open hangar party, a cookout with a tent, and tours of the T-hangars. People got to know each other, and Edson soon got to thinking about inviting fellow AOPA pilots to visit and find out firsthand what the airport, and the region, have to offer.
“There’s a lot to do in this area besides flying,” said Edson. “My vision was always, it’s much more than just this fly-in.”
There’s so much more to an AOPA Fly-In; come see what the aviation community is buzzing about.