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AOPA Fly-in: Extend your summerAOPA Fly-in: Extend your summer

Join AOPA in Tampa for the final fly-in of 2017

October Briefing
Peter O. Knight airport sits on the southern end of Davis Islands.

Let’s end fly-in season on a high note. If you’ve never been to Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa (and if you have, you know where this is going), you’re in for a treat. Situated on the tip of Davis Islands, Peter O. Knight has a gorgeous setting, with runways and taxiways bordering Hillsborough Bay and the shipping channel. Flying in, you’ll have a beautiful view of the waterways and Tampa’s sparkling skyline. On the ground, you’ll delight in the picturesque airport, which borders a yacht club and provides incredible views of massive cruise ships and tankers in the Port of Tampa heading out to sea. The airport is truly a magical place, and for the AOPA Fly-In at Tampa, presented by Peter O. Knight Airport, the airport management and FBO are rolling out the red carpet.

“We are excited to host this great event and welcome AOPA to the Peter O. Knight Airport and City of Tampa,” said Brett Fay, senior manager of general aviation for the Tampa International Airport authority. “We are fortunate to have one of the most beautiful waterfront airports in the country, which provides an experience and atmosphere that is second to none.”

In addition to the speakers, seminars, exhibitors, and aircraft display at an AOPA Fly-In, experience downtown Tampa, fly-out on one of our planned excursions, or tour nearby MacDill Air Force Base. Our new two-day schedule starts with day-long workshops on Friday, followed by an open house and cocktails with exhibitors, and the always popular Friday-night Barnstormers Party. Food is a highlight at our fly-ins and there will be plenty to choose from on site, but downtown Davis Islands is close with great neighborhood restaurants. The day concludes with an ice cream social with AOPA President Mark Baker.

Let us know you’re coming. RSVP online.

‘It started with a yellow airplane’

Celebrate 80 years of Piper aircraft with a tour

October BriefingIn 1937, William T. Piper had a dream, a dream that everyone should fly an airplane. Now 80 years later, the Piper Aircraft Co. makes aircraft for every stage of an aviation dream—from trainers to turboprops.

More than 130,000 Piper aircraft have been manufactured since 1937 and, in 1984, the company moved to Vero Beach, Florida. Visitors are welcome to tour these facilities Monday through Thursday, by appointment at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. These guided tours show the progression of manufacturing at Piper from the first airplane in 1937 to today’s fleet, which includes the Meridian, Malibu, and M600 in addition to piston models. You can see all the models in various stages of assembly in the 700,000-square-foot factory. Tours take two hours and are usually guided by former Piper employees, many of whom liven up the tour with personal stories.

The tour begins at the Cherokee assembly line, although all the models pass through here first. You’ll see the rolls of metal cut to fit the aircraft specifications. Other sections of the factory show welding, avionics, machining, engine drop, the inspection line—start to finish, the Piper models are all handmade here.

This fascinating tour requires you to wear ear plugs and protective eyewear, and open-toe shoes are not allowed. This is a working factory and while you’re welcome to see the beehive of activity, there’s loud, intense work going on. You can rest your feet in the gift shop!

For more information, call 772-567-431 or email


Julie Walker

Julie Summers Walker

AOPA Senior Features Editor
AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Summers Walker joined AOPA in 1998. She is a student pilot still working toward her solo.

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