Hailed as the premier celebration of aviation in the Last Frontier, the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering enters its 21st season this weekend, May 5th & 6th. The Gathering takes place at the FedEx Maintenance Hangar at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Anchorage, AK. Hosted by the Alaska Airmen Association, the Gathering is a family-friendly event that attracts over 25,000 attendees, including pilots, aviation enthusiasts, aircraft operators and owners, vendors, and exhibitors. As more people gain an interest in flying, the number of attendees continues to increase each year.
Thousands of local Alaskans visit the Anchorage event, many of whom don’t have any formal attachment to aviation but still love to meet the pilots and see all the planes on display. Airplane shoppers will find a myriad of available aircraft for sale, and those interested in preservation can view beautifully restored historic aircraft.
The Great Alaska Aviation Gathering has become something of a traditional social event in Alaska, due to their tight-knit aviation community and the fact that most communities in Alaska are only connected to each other by air. The Alaskan aviation community looks forward to this exciting event where friends can converge for the weekend. To keep the event free to the public, the Alaska Airmen Association relies on the efforts of over 100 volunteers who are truly passionate about flying in the Last Frontier.
The event features hourly aviation presentations, with topics ranging from making wise insurance choices to learning about the United States Coast Guard’s aviation search and rescue capabilities. Major Brian Shul, a former USAF pilot, will be discussing his near-death experience after being shot down in Vietnam and his subsequent return to full-flight status, flying the SR-71 Blackbird. Additionally, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President and CEO, Mark Baker, will host an AOPA pilot town hall meeting.
When you’re not listening to a presentation, take the opportunity to check out the exhibits. There will be more than 200 exhibitor booths and a plethora of displays both inside and outside the FedEx hangar. The exhibitors comprise the entire aviation industry: from law enforcement and parts manufacturers to arctic gear retailers and engineering firms. It’s the perfect environment to learn something new about aviation or catch up on developments in related fields that will affect your own experience down the line.
The highlight of the Gathering has to be the annual plane raffle. Each year, the Alaska Airmen Association selects an Alaskan builder to refurbish an airplane. For the past three years, Above Alaska has been the selected team of builders to work on the raffle plane. Only 8,750 tickets are sold each year, and last year’s sold out weeks before the drawing. For those lucky enough to purchase a ticket this year, they have the opportunity to win an awesome Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub refurbished to factory new condition. The proceeds from the raffle help the Alaska Airmen Association to protect, preserve, and promote general aviation in Alaska.
Gleim Aviation will be at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering represented by none other than Dr. Irvin Gleim himself. Stop by Booths 6 & 7 to meet Dr. Gleim and check out our aviation training products, including the new, state-of-the-art Gleim Virtual Cockpit™ flight simulator. This simulator is the perfect solution for VFR and IFR pilots who want their own simulator for learning new maneuvers, practicing procedures, and building proficiency and confidence. An assortment of promotions will also be available, including free pilot kit upgrades, discounts on select online refresher courses for pilots and mechanic training courses, and Flight Instructor Refresher Course bonuses.
If you’ll miss the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering, you can still take advantage of our expo pricing online through Tuesday May 8, 2018, or call us at 800-874-5346 ext. 471.
We hope that everyone enjoys the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering as much as Dr. Gleim does!
About Gleim Aviation
Since 1980, the Gleim Aviation team of pilots, instructors, writers, designers, and programmers has helped aviators pass millions of FAA knowledge and practical tests using the unique Gleim Knowledge Transfer System. Gleim is an environmentally-friendly company headquartered in Gainesville, FL.