AOPA Summit 2011 - Who's going?

Discussion in 'AOPA Open House' started by gprellwitz, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Okay, I'm planning to go to AOPA Summit 2011 in Hartford, CT, Sept 22 - 24. I'm hoping to go GA from Chicago. I found the one last year pretty good, and I haven't been to the northeast for quite a while. Anyone else planning to be there?
     
  2. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No. AOPA hates fly-over country. Ironic, isn't it?
     
  3. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Of course, EAA doesn't, and you avoid their annual meeting too.:dunno:

    I agree that it would be nice for AOPA to visit the heartland once in a while.
     
  4. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I think I'll be going. May be bringing along some different aviation enthusiasts on different days.
     
  5. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey -- they took several of us Airport Support Network volunteers out to dinner in Cedar Rapids, Iowa two years ago. I thought that was nice.

    Of course, that was before their officer salaries became public knowledge. (Thank you, AvWeb!)

    After we learned that Phil received $2 million in farewell money, that free dinner didn't seem like so much anymore. :nonod:
     
  6. DutchessFlier

    DutchessFlier Line Up and Wait

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    Bunch of us from KPOU are going, and we can offer free tiedowns and a good fuel discount if you plan to fly into the area, but not all the way to Hartford, CT. We are about 1.5 hours drive from the event.
     
  7. steamee

    steamee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thinking of going Thursday or Friday.
     
  8. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I'm going up, probably be there Friday and Saturday.
     
  9. flyingriki

    flyingriki Line Up and Wait

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    I went when it was here in San Jose with a couple corporate types. Boring event to my simple mind. Caters to very high dollar crowd. Not quite the Boeing/Air Bus crowd but almost. Very lame for a small time aviator. My company felt the same way. And the FBO host really sucked at the way they treated us fly-ins without jets.
    I'm pleased to know it cost them a several hundred gallons of fuel my friends didn't buy on their next several trips through there with the big wings. :yesnod:
     
  10. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Always seemed like "Comdex for BizJet Drivers" to me.

    What's the draw for the individual owner/operator who isn't flying a jet, or high-end turboprop, or a mover-and-shaker public speaker there on an expense account shuffling through his PowerPoint slides in his company polo shirt, writing the whole trip off as a business expense?

    It's a lost event with no purpose, and pretty much a copy of NBAA with an airplane "parade" down some street usually added in.

    AOPA has been on my you-know-what list since they stopped actively questioning the FAA about drone use domestically and when Twombly said (via Twitter) that he'd at least publish list prices for all the mods done to the sweepstakes 182 so folks who owned them could actually think about some of them, and then the article came out with nothing. Not even an estimate of the total conversion/rebuild price.

    The organization is completely out of touch with the typical light-aircraft individual owner-operator.

    What's the point of doing a project like the Crossover Classic if you're not going to document the costs?! We all know it was all donated by advertisers... That's the POINT. Don't they want to sell their products?
     
  11. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, there are a lot of safety seminars at the conference, and we're having the ASN meeting there. In Long Beach the Kings were the speakers for the ASN meeting.
     
  12. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    The days of traveling to see Safety seminars is over. Attended a very good one with experts in their field online from ASF last week.

    They utilized GoToWebinar from Citrix and there was good interaction and questions. Way better than in a room full of people. Wasn't squinting at a poor projector showing slides from the back of the room either. Had a nice big screen all to myself.

    Sat in my living room with a laptop on my lap and later on went upstairs and threw the laptop on the bed while I changed clothes for an evening meeting after the seminar. LOL!

    That kind of tech turns in-person seminars into something you do if it's local, and maybe a friend or two are going so you can get dinner afterward/beforehand.

    Comdex died for the same reason. No one needed to go see the new tech in person other than the IT media. You could read all about it 24 hours later online for free.
     
  13. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Let's just say that you can meet and befriend some great people at these events that you never would at an online event. I now consider a certain genie and his wife "friends" after meeting them and having dinner at the last AOPA Summit. (Think about a genie and his flying carpet if you are having difficulties figuring out who I'm talking about.)
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Aladdin? Dunno. :(

    Maybe it'll hit me later. Is it a secret? Robin Williams? Ha!

    (Kidding. But I don't get it.)

    I get that it's a social event. Just not enough other "meat" there to win my limited vacation and travel budget over things like Oshkosh.

    Next "vacation" is to hammer out the Instrument rating. It'll have to be.

    No time to hobnob with the aviation bigwigs who've figured out how to get paid to attend these gigs. ;)

    Maybe I'll attend when I'm retired. Or figure out something aviation-related to do for a living. Doubt it.

    Heck Oshkosh wasn't even on my radar until friends cajoled me to go. Now it's on the "I won't miss it even if I have to hitchhike from Colorado" list. But I just don't see Summit ever making that list unless a friend begged me to be a "booth babe". But frankly, I don't have the legs for that. ;)

    Now I *could* see a company mixing Summit with a real activity...

    Say you show up a week early and work on an accelerated rating program, hard, and get to chat with experts on your aircraft or instrument flying or other well-known folk at dinner during the next week. Rod Machado does one evening's entertainment tailored to the students perhaps?

    Then back to hitting the books in the hotel with a study group (who'd probably end up life-long friends)... all working toward the same goal.

    Maybe have Max Trescott do an evening session on the G1000 if all are glass flyers.

    Or base the training off of the King's material and have them join the class for a "live" presentation or two, complete with built-in unavoidable blooper reel? ;)

    You see where I'm going here...

    A week of aerobatics training with dinners with famous airshow performers as a perk? Dinner is a fundraiser for some good cause?

    A week of tailwheel training and a special dinner with someone from the Flying Wild Alaska "cast" or other famous backcountry folks?

    Vacation with a purpose. Lots of other hobbies do this.

    Golf with "regular" pros at a resort with an hour with a PGA celebrity thrown in.

    Ski at Vail with an instructor by day and dinner with a US Ski Team member at night.

    Or get more creative with the product Marketing budget other than booths full of company polo-shirt and khaki-wearing pretty people...

    Be the first ten aircraft signed up to buy X brand avionics, get a discount on a "mass installation" nearby the convention and free admission. Will be completed that week. Throw in a raffle for one free install. Aircraft and owner must be present to win. ;)

    Do that with five different vendors. Have AOPA join in with a raffle for something big... Like an episode of "Pimp My Ride". Ha. Let the manufacturers compete over turn-key packages installed by their pros while you enjoy the conference?

    The seeds of my "discontent" (heh heh) were sown when Jay mentioned he couldn't buy a prop and have it installed at Oshkosh. I started thinking, "Why not?!" Order in advance. Show up with airplane. Hand over the keys. Shop guarantees it'll be done at the end of the week. The aircraft is there with you anyway, might as well get stuff done!

    There's no originality in aviation Marketing, like they're not really trying...

    The manufacturers give stuff to AOPA. They rebuild one airplane a year and give it away. No prices. No "if you like what you saw on the rebuild airplane we'll do the same to yours for a guaranteed price of $X!", bring your airplane to Summit (arrive three days early if needed), we'll have our factory-trained techs get it done while you enjoy the show. You can stop by for a daily briefing from our shop manager on your aircraft if you like. Shuttle van leaves at 4PM every afternoon to the shop so you can see the progress in person if you like.)

    Or even... The dreaded "owner-assisted annual"! (Cue scary music.) A limited number of slots open to have your (insert type here) gone over by a type expert while you assist throughout. You will receive a day of training on shop etiquette, safety rules for working in the shop, and then you and your assigned mechanic will spend the next X days inspecting your aircraft. Afternoons will be advanced systems training on your type aircraft from the world's experts. (Manufacturers will have staff teaching these courses, perhaps.)

    Aviation Marketing doesn't attempt anything fun. Just miles of booths and rooms full of seminars.

    Yawn yawn yawn. Yes, memories of dinner with aviation movers and shakers *would* be all that is memorable about the current format! Aviation companies should be capitalizing on that.

    (Although maybe they are and it's the bizjet crowd that has enough money to do those events nowadays. Hard to say.)

    Buy our STOL kit. We'll install it during the show and the week following you'll get two days of training from a factory-certified CFI who'll show you the limits of the new performance handling characteristics of your aircraft.

    Heck, when I owned a Jeep, they bombarded me with "Camp Jeep" stuff. "Come learn the capabilities of your new Jeep vehicle with a driving instructor on a closed course near you!"

    Just random thoughts. Miles of booths, safety seminars in a big hotel, and random dinners with famous aviation folk isn't quite right.

    Needs more focus on "events". Real experiences. Not Death By PowerPoint in a hotel conference room.
     
  15. steamee

    steamee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I couldn't see myself participating for more than one day given the agenda, but I've never been to an aviation event that wasn't an air show and Hartford is under a 2 hour drive for me.

    I looked at the fly-in pilot briefing. Interesting. What do they require when it says "bring your own tie down"?
     
  16. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Google Greg Brown -- Flying Capet.
     
  17. jmcsherry

    jmcsherry Pre-Flight

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    Ropes and anchors.

    I flew in to Hartford last time it was there; a nice field, and they parked a zillion of us off in the grass in a side area. All you'd need would be some good rope and some of those corkscrew-in anchors. Ought to hold unless there's a tornado, and then you have other troubles.

    On other notes, I have found less to interest me in these "Summits" as they have inched up in the target demographic. The AOPA fly-in at the end of June every year was always interesting, and brief; three days of dog-and-pony is too little for too long.
    I'd go, just for the ASN meeting, but my nephew is getting married, and family trumps even aviation.
     
  18. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Okay, I'm here in Hartford. Anyone else here, and do you want to get dinner tonight or some other night?
     
  19. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Grant, how about Friday night? I'll be there and free after 5 PM or so. Call me.
     
  20. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds good.
     
  21. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I spent a very uneventful evening in Hartford once. It was quite sufficient for my purposes. No offense intended at any Hartfordians. Have fun.
     
  22. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    I lived in Hartford after college for a few months talk about borded to death!
     
  23. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm going to pick up my new C-182...

    Well I can dream, can't I?
     
  24. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, Tim and I got together. It happened that I was at a booth being run by a friend of his, so we went to a reception at the Science Center and then Tim and I went out to dinner at a local brew pub. We had a good time, despite the rain!
     
  25. kimberlyanne546

    kimberlyanne546 Final Approach

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    A pilot told me this is in Long Beach next year - anyone going to that? Not sure if I should go, but that is "near" me.


    Kimberly
     
  26. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    It was a very good time. It's always nice to see friends and airplane stuff in the same location... For anyone who ever has to spend a year in Hartford one weekend, the Steam brew pub is very good.

    Grant, how was Celtfest? I had to get on the road earlier than planned on Saturday.
     
  27. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Its in Long Beach every other year.
     
  28. mattaxelrod

    mattaxelrod Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Actually I think it's in Palm Springs next year.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2011
  29. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    Palm Springs was what was shown at the convention center.
     
  30. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was in Long Beach last year. Next year will be Palm Springs.
     
  31. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Pipers in the Valley were pretty good, but I scored a free ticket to the closing dinner at the aviation museum, so I spent the evening there.
     
  32. mattaxelrod

    mattaxelrod Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey! You edited my post!


    Shana Tovah!
     
  33. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Ah I stand corrected then!
     
  34. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Dang sorry about that Matt. I fixed it. I was going to qoute you and then obviously hit the edit button. Doh!