November 6, 2009
Everyone can participate in this week's AOPA Summit in Tampa via the Internet, with a slew of new online features being tried out for the first time. Folks with interests in common can meet up via AOPALive.org, or use the meet-up function to connect with live people at the show. David Allen, webmaster for mytransponder.com, a social media site for pilots and aviation enthusiasts, is working with AOPA to help engage the pilot community. "We've had such a great time, and we're learning stuff," he said on Friday morning. Several people stopped by to meet up with Walter Fricke, who later in the day would be accepting AOPA's Laurence P. Sharples Perpetual Award for his work providing GA transportation for wounded veterans. "AOPA is trying to bring the show to the virtual audience, and to bring that audience to the show," Allen said.
Saturday's meetups will include sessions on how to make aviation more social, online weather, a discussion for student pilots, and a chance to talk with members of the Flying Physicians Association. From its main stage, the Summit will be streaming video of a Town Hall session with AOPA President Craig Fuller, a session on medical certification, and more. The online features are open to all, not just AOPA members.