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HomeThe Ten Fly-In Commandments

The Ten Fly-In Commandments


By Bob Kinney, Past Chairman

CPA Fly-in Committee


Take a moment to read through the planning process hosts go through (How to Plan a Fly-in).  The task can be monumental!  Itll give you an appreciation for what your event host has done.


Register as early as you can.  

Send your event registration as soon as possible after registration opens.  This helps the host with early planning and allows him/her to make accurate projections as to the number of rental cars needed, accommodations required, etc.  Even though the host probably would make every attempt to help you out, please dont contact him/her after the registration deadline to request a late registration.  To expect this person to squeeze one or two more folks into the program late in the process is unfair and quite often, a lot of work.


Offer your help.  

The host can almost always use assistance with planning and managing the Fly-in.  If you have prior experience attending or hosting a Fly-in, youre even more valuable.  Rental cars need drivers.  Happy hours need organizing.  There are many details that need attention that you can help with.  If you offer and your help isn’t needed, its not because youre not appreciated but probably because your host just has all the bases covered and wants you to enjoy your time.


Be on time!  

This is a big one.  The greater the number attending, the more important punctuality is.  When youre asked to meet for a tour, hike, dinner, or the ride back to the airport for the flight home, be on time!  Making the group wait for one or two delinquent people is rude and it can be costly.  If restaurant reservations are cancelled because of a late arrival or an additional wait time charge is assessed by the tour bus driver who had to wait for one late person, it can destroy a Fly-in budget.  Close management of finances is a must for event costs to remain affordable.


Rental cars have needs too!  

If youre called on to drive one of the rental cars at a Fly-in, please keep all fuel receipts and turn them in to the Fly-in host immediately at the end of the event, preferably before departing on the homeward-bound flight.  Write your name and address on the receipt to ensure you get reimbursed by the CPA for your fuel expenditure.  Its also important that you retain the rental company paperwork to be turned in to the Fly-in host.  Once again, write your name on that paperwork so the host can keep track for accounting purposes.


Be courteous.  

That sounds like a gimme”, but hosts have had to deal with participants who are rude to tour operators, bus drivers, hotel/motel personnel and even hosts themselves.  Remember, not everything goes as planned at events like this.  The host is trying his/her best to reconcile problems.  If you can help in a positive manner, then do.  Otherwise, chill!  For crying-out-loud, dont complain!   If pillows are too hard, let the hotel know but understand it isnt the hosts fault.  Its also not the hosts fault that the weather isnt perfect, the restaurant has slow service, the rental car isnt running right, or your Teddy bear has an eye thats popped off.  One grump in the group can ruin the experience for everyone.


Be patient.  

The Fly-in host is trying to herd” scores of people to their proper destinations for events.  Theyre trying to meet tour schedules.  They have any number of volunteer drivers to deliver to car rental agencies.  Theyre trying to track incoming aircraft to ensure someone isn't sitting at a small airport in the middle of nowhere with a mechanical problem.  Overall, these folks have taken on a huge responsibility and patience by all really helps.  It doesnt help, however, when part of the people jump into a rental car and head out” on their own.  Folks get lost that way and guess who gets the blame?  Youre right. . .the host.  


Say Thanks!  

Thats right.  Its really simple but is so darned important.  Profusely thank the members who hosted your Fly-in.  They did it because they recognized the opportunity to share something special with their flying friends and they accepted the challenge and quite often, the extra expense.  All they really want to see is smiles on the faces of their CPA flying family.  


Host a Fly-in.  

Youll be much more empathetic to the plight of those who have gone before you.  Youll have the opportunity to share a special destination with the rest of us and probably have a kick doing it.  


Youre the Colorado Pilots Association!  Always present yourself as a representative of the CPA in a manner that does us proud.  


Come fly with us.  

If youve never been on a CPA Fly-in or havent done so in a number of years, its time to see what youve been missing.  In the past few years, Fly-in planning and execution has grown to an art form.  Yes, occasionally things go wrong, but more often than not, good hosts have done their homework and you add to your list of life experiences thanks to the Colorado Pilots Association.  Youll have a great time.  I guarantee it!