Pilots converge on Missoula for fly-in

Posted at 6:26 AM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 08:26:31-04

MISSOULA – Hundreds of enthusiasts crowded Neptune and Northstar aviation hangers over the weekend to network about their shared love of the big skies.

The massive expo in Missoula was selected for what is called a fly-in, where pilots can come and land and stay in Missoula for the duration of the event.

Organized by the nonprofit Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), thousands of aviators of all ages and backgrounds came to share stories, learn about products or see the latest advancements in tech.

Missoula was selected out of hundreds of cities because of the support AOPA received. The hangar space was donated by Neptune and Northstar aviation and were packed with booths and seminars about all things aviation.

"We have over 300 volunteers that are involved in this event. It takes a lot to put this on, and so it was great that the community was willing to step up and do what they had to to do to pull this type of an event off," said Missoula International Airport Director Cris Jensen.

"And so I think that’s why we were selected, and of course Montana itself is a big draw I think that there are a lot of people wanting to come here and this gave them a reason to come here," he added.

Many pilots expressed hope that events like this would inspire the next generation of pilots.