Monday, September 28, 2015


I flew up early to the AOPA event at Colorado Springs, CO. My sister lives across the street from the Broadmoor  Hotel, and we were able to enjoy family along with attending the AOPA regional fly in.

My wife and myself at the Broadmoor.

My sister and wife at the Broadmoor.

Broadmoor hotel

Our flight up to Colorado Springs (COS) had 20 mph headwinds, and we stopped in Las Vegas, New Mexico (LVS) for fuel. It was a little choppy all the way up and made for a long day. Flying time in my Bonanza was 4.8 hours plus the fuel stop. Controllers were great at COS. We taxied into Colorado Jet Center, unloaded the plane and asked for our rental car to be brought up to the plane. Unfortunately Enterprise blew it and did not have our car there. We had to be taken over to the terminal to pick up our car. 

I have never seen so many bugs as were on our airplane. A half an hour later the windshield was clean, and the bugs were removed from the leading edge of the airplane. I think I used 1/2 can of pledge to do this. Then we left for my sisters house.

On Friday we did the tourist thing around my sisters hood. First stop was Garden of the Gods which is an amazing view.

We also went to several other areas. On Friday night we had dinner at my Bother In Law's country club. This was at the Cheyenne Mountain Country Club which is the second oldest country club in the US, and there are only 70 members. Jackets are required dress code. The weather was so enjoyable we dined on the patio.

Saturday was the AOPA event. This is the first regional 1 day event I have attended. It was definitely regional. I had attended numerous AOPA EXPO's/Summits all lasting 3 days. I definitely enjoyed the EXPO's more. There was not one person I knew in attendance other than Rod Machado. Being an extrovert I chatted up a lot of people and vendors and made a lot of new friends.

The morning started for me with an AOPA Air Support Network (ASN) breakfast meeting. The new ASN director has only been with AOPA for 10 weeks and did not supply a lot of information at the meeting. The regional director for AOPA Rocky Mountains division was also brand new, and his comments were directed to his territory. Next to speak was Mark Baker, President & CEO of AOPA. He announced that there were now 67 Senators on board for Pilots Bill of Rights 2, which includes 3rd class medical reform. The problem is Congress has not brought this bill out of committee, therefore it can not come up for a vote. It looks like we are back to situation we were in last year, and the whole process will have to start over next year unless a miracle happens.

After the ASN breakfast was over there was a schedule of events with 3 speakers at the same times on different topics during the day. At 1:30 Rod Machado spoke to a packed house in the biggest hangar I was ever in. It was getting hot and there was no air flow in the hangar, but Rod held everyones attention for the entire time. As always Rod talks about safety using humor. His main point of the day was fuel starvation providing statistics that 50% of fuel starvation was within one mile of the airport of destination. His answer to this was to file for an airport 1 mile closer from departure. You have to love his sense of humor...but you get the point. It amazes me that Rod can give speeches throughout the years and only repeated one story from the past that everyone loves to hear.

After Rod was finished Mark Baker gave an hour presentation and the event was over. Most of what was said was covered in the ASN meeting.

AOPA 3rd Class Medical Reform petition

Vendors were also here. Most were regional to the area. I had some great conversations with ForeFlight and Appareo who makes Stratus..

There was also an excellent static display.

Beechcraft has a new Baron and G90 King Air.

Cessna had a Caravan and TTX. AOPA had the Cessna 152 restoration plane that goes for $100,000

Cirrus had 5 planes there including the 6000 delivered Cirrus. The paint scheme was amazing.

I was told that 300 planes flew into the event in crystal clear weather.

These planes filled up the north and south ramps. A F16 and 139 arrived for the static display.

One of my favorite planes was this Beech Staggerwing.

There were other interesting planes on the ramp and I included two. One was a Beech 18 and the other a Cessna Peterson conversion with a Canard wing on the front and tundra tires. I was told this Cessna can land at 35 mph.

Was this event as good as and EXPO...not in the least. Was it fun and informative...yes.
The flight home the next day was only 4 hours with no winds aloft. Was hoping to have a 20 mph tailwind home but knew that was not going to happen. Overall it was a great trip for us, and I was glad we went, seeing family and making new friends. Of course it is always great seeing fantastic airplanes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


First I would like to thank everyone for their emails and phone calls of support for my wife. She had her transplant May 27 and the kidney is doing great. She does have other ancillary problems which will take time to correct, but overall she is doing well.

Missed Oshkosh this year but plan on attending two upcoming aviation events.

 The first will be AOPA's one day show in Colorado Springs, CO on September 26, 2015. I am not a proponent of a one day event versus the three day event, EXPO and SUMMIT, that AOPA used to have. The one day event does not give you much time to chat with friends, and you do not know who is going. It seems to me to be a very rushed event.

The second is NBAA National Convention in Las Vegas, NV November 17-19, 2015. This is the 5th largest trade show in the US, and it is big featuring 1,100 exhibitors. The two halls where this is housed are huge. It is a three day show along with a static exhibit at Henderson airport. Last time I was there saw an Airbus 320 business jet. I must admit it was something special.

I will be posting on both events after they happen.