AOPA Plans Washington D.C. Flyover to Celebrate General Aviation

Event includes coordination with the FAA, TSA, Secret Service and others.

The AOPA is organizing a Washington, D.C. flyover to celebrate general aviation. [Credit: Shutterstock]

Pilots are planning a unique event over Washington, D.C., next spring. That is when a parade of general aviation aircraft are set to fly over the nation’s capital through some of the area’s most restricted airspace.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) said it is organizing a flyover of the National Mall designed to showcase more than 20 “chapters” of the GA story in the U.S. AOPA President Mark Baker’s Beechcraft Model 17 Staggerwing will lead the event, representing aviation’s Golden Age. Other chapters will cover general aviation during and after World War II, trainers, vertical flight, seaplanes, experimental homebuilt aircraft, backcountry flying, business aviation, and more. 

“It’s going to be a special time for AOPA in May of 2024,” Baker said during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “What a sight it will be to see the history of general aviation flying over the National Mall as GA has given this nation so much over the past many decades. AOPA is uniquely positioned to be able to plan this complex event and execute it safely and professionally.”

The event is part of a celebration of GA’s contributions to society and AOPA’s 85th anniversary. The flyover will be broadcast live on YouTube with commentary from guests including Tom Haines, longtime AOPA editor-in-chief and host of  “AOPA Live This Week.”

Participating aircraft will fly in the Flight Restricted Zone, or FRZ, above the Lincoln Memorial, down Independence Avenue, and past the Washington Monument, AOPA said. Planning for the flyover includes close coordination with 15 interagency partners, including the FAA, the TSA, Secret Service, and Capitol Police. AOPA said the event also has the support of Congress.

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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