Looking back on Copperstate 2019 and the Buckeye Air Fair, held in parallel, I’m excited about the state of General Aviation and where we’re headed. The buzz and excitement of the tens of thousands who visited Copperstate seemed to share my feelings. Our APA booth was packed from start to finish, three full days. Even the unseasonably chilly weather didn’t slow the crowds. Hundreds of people stopped by to chat, learn about the APA, join the APA, and share their experiences and ideas. The rest of the hangar was packed with avionics vendors, schools, and suppliers who shared that same enthusiasm and packed booths. Outside the hangar, dozens of new aircraft vendors, light-sport displays, and grassroots manufacturers populated the grounds. The afternoon skies were filled with incredible airshow performers to include the one and only Yak-110. If you haven’t seen this wild aircraft, you truly missed out.
The combination of aircraft, radial engines, and a jet make for one of the most amazing airshow performances in history. For close to a decade, GA seemed to be in a slump. With increasing regulations, increasing costs, pilot population aging, etc. There didn’t seem to be any hope for recovery. Copperstate highlighted the hope we have. BasicMed, an FAA funding bill finally in place, “affordable” avionics, and exciting aircraft are breathing life back into GA. Events such as Copperstate help to fuel this hope. What a great time to be in aviation, and rumors are that the event will be even better next year! Your APA will continue to be the voice of GA in Arizona, and we’re excited about what we can all accomplish together! Check our calendar for upcoming events – I hope to see you there!