Jun 16, 2018 – Twenty-one hearty UFO and Wright Brothers Master Pilots gathered at the AOPA’s first fly-in of the year. Friday was a beautiful day and Bill Webber and his son Rick flew in from Spokane, WA. The Missoula airport was buzzing with activity and the AOPA organization put on a great show. Saturday was a complete flip-flop for weather. Even though it rained all day the AOPA pancake breakfast had a huge turnout in the main hangar.

The UFO meeting was held at 11:30 in Hangar 8A that AOPA’s coordinator, Karla, had set up for us. And as chance might have it, it ended up in Charles Bloom’s hangar. He was asked by AOPA if he would volunteer his hangar for a special meeting. Little did he know it would be his own UFO group. Charles even had a great heater that he turned on and everyone was toasty warm on a gloomy cold day.

Karla dropped off box lunches for all of us and just as we were finishing up lunch, Mark Baker, President of AOPA, stopped by and gave us a nice talk about the AOPA accomplishments and what they are focusing on for the future. Basic Med was on the top of his list as many of the UFO members are now taking advantage of this great program. He also mentioned the High School program that AOPA has implemented using the STEM program to get the younger people interested in aviation and this program has had great success and continues to expand its reach.

Our Montana Area representative, Ed Gonsalves, ran this meeting and everyone had a chance to talk about their aviation experiences. So even though it was a gloomy day, we all had a great time.