Workshops and Forums

Four forum sessions are scheduled daily at 9:30 and 11:00 a.m., and 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Most sessions are designed for a 1 hour presentation followed by a 15 minute Q&A session.

Additionally, we have speakers in YAZ (Youth Aviation Zone). These sessions are less formal and designed to engage youth.

The following presenters have outlined their topics:

AOPA’s Rusty Pilot Seminar

Jamie Beckett, AOPA You Can Fly Florida Ambassador

Life may have gotten in the way, but the dream of flight can be yours again. Returning to the skies is not as difficult as most rusty pilots think. Join AOPA’s You Can Fly Ambassador in Florida, Jamie Beckett, for an intensive but thoroughly entertaining 3 hour seminar that will start you on the path to a successful flight review. Completion of this seminar includes a logbook endorsement for the ground portion of your FAA mandated flight review.

Forum Area #1: Friday, 9:30-12:30

Aviation Careers – Outside the Cockpit

Jamie Beckett, AOPA You Can Fly Florida Ambassador

Show Tent/YAZ: Thursday, 11:30-12:30

Avionics for Light-Sport and Experimental Aircraft

Brian Hupe, Garmin

Gain the added safety of Garmin’s industry-leading G3X flight systems for experimental and light-sport aircraft panels with the ability to add optional autopilot systems, datalink weather, traffic surveillance, ADS-B “Out,” ADS-B “In” traffic and weather, geo-referenced charting, and more to enhance your situational awareness. Get a complete overview of the system and see what’s new.

Forum Area #3: Wednesday, 11:00-12:00
Forum Area #3: Saturday, 11:00 -12:00

Before and Beyond the Niihau Zero

KT Budde-Jones & Syd Jones, Authors

If you believe you know a lot about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor but don’t know about the Niihau Zero, you are in the same boat we were before before reading Syd Jones’ book about this obscure episode.

On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a battle damaged Japanese Zero landed on a remote, privately owned Hawaiian island. The Zero pilot survived for almost a week on what locals call the “Forbidden Island”, assisted by a local worker while terrorizing the island’s population before being killed by a native Hawaiian. Syd Jones book contains original reports as well as documents never before published that give unique perspectives into one of the most curious and thought provoking events of WWII.

The Author’s description of this interesting, and probably least known, story of what occurred on that Day of Infamy begins before December 7th and continues well into the two decades after. In this forum Syd will share his knowledge and insights about the event, the conflict that ensued in the days that followed Nishikaichi’s dead-stick landing, the secrecy that shrouded what happened to pilot and more.

Forum Area 1: Saturday, 11:00-12:00

Creating a Plan for Drones & Drone for Disaster Relief

Kat Swain, Senior Director of UAS Membership and Programs

Swain was among the volunteers who flew drones for the organization based at Texas A&M University, and dedicated to putting robots of all types, including drones, to work in disaster relief, search and rescue, and recovery. On March 22, 2014, a hillside collapsed in Oso, destroying 49 homes and killing 43 people. Swain and fellow volunteer drone pilots arrived in the following days and months to use drones to collect images for hydrologists and engineers who were working to stabilize the area and plan the recovery and rebuilding efforts to come.

About Kat:
Kat is responsible for developing and managing the UAS “Drone” membership and programs at Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Kat joined AOPA in March 2016. Before joining AOPA, Kat was Vice President for Measure UAS, a technology startup providing commercial drone service to several business verticals. Prior to that, Kat worked in innovation for USAA Insurance, developing and leading one of the first insurance drone operations and held several insurance leadership positions during her tenure.

Show Tent/YAZ: Thursday-Saturday, 9:00-10:00
Show Tent/YAZ: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, 1:00-2:00
Forum Area 3: Saturday, 2:30-3:30

Engine Longevity and Reliability

Randy Bibb, ASL CamGuard

Randy Bibb, Director of Marketing/Research and Development – ASL CamGuard

Randy has worked in aviation for over 25 years. He is an accomplished charter/corporate pilot with 4,000 PIC. He is a Certified Multi engine instructor having instructed at Oklahoma State University and Spartan College of Aeronautics. Randy has an extensive background in maintenance in the USAF-ANG as an avionics, navigation, flight control specialist on the F-16 fighter jet and the former owner of a Mooney Service center. Mr. Bibb has been with CamGuard for six years. Randy was a co-owner of a Mooney service center and enjoys maintaining aircraft as much as flying them!
Forum Area 1: Wednesday, 2:30-3:30, Thursday, 2:30-3:30
Forum Area 3: Thursday and Friday, 11:00-12:00 

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Learning to Fly but Were Afraid to Ask.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian,WAI

This fun and educational presentation answers some of the common myths people have about learning to fly. Plus, some practical tips on saving money on flight lessons, how to find a good flight instructor, information about what exactly is required to obtain a Private Pilot certificate and more are included.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian is a longtime aviation enthusiast and professional aviation educator, Peggy is a 2,200 hour commercial/instrument multi-engine pilot and flight instructor who has been flying for over 30 years. Most recently she added a helicopter and seaplane ratings to her flight qualifications.

ShowTent/YAZ : Friday, 11:00-12:00


Tony Alfaya, FAA FAASTeam

Forum Area 4: Friday, 9:30-10:30

Former NASA Astronaut, Dr. Story Musgrave presents “Lessons of Life”

Dr. Story Musgrave, Former NASA Astronaut

Story Musgrave, born in 1935 on a dairy farm in Stockbridge, MA, never finished school, but instead, ran off to Korea with the U. S. Marines where he became an aircraft electrician and engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines and over the next 58 years and accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft. Musgrave is a parachutist with over 800 free falls, has six graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, and literature and has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was also a part-time trauma surgeon for the duration of his 30-year astronaut career and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger’s first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead space-walker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission, and operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia.

Show Tent/YAZ: Friday, 1:00-2:00

Future of Unleaded Avgas

Chris D’Acosta, Swift Fuels LLC

Meet Chris D’Acosta, of Swift Fuels! Swift Fuels is a global leader in the development of unleaded avgas to replace 100LL. Swift Fuels has introduced an unleaded 94-motor-octane fuel for aircraft whose engines specify minimum 94-MON or less (generally, engines with lower compression ratios). This encompasses approximately 50 percent of the U.S. fleet – and includes autogas certificated aircraft, light-sport aircraft, and aircraft with engines rated 94-MON or less. You will learn about Swift Fuels’ nationwide deployment plans. The transition to unleaded avgas begins now!

Forum area #3: Thursday, Saturday; 9:30-10:30


Garmin Experimental Avionics– G3X Touch and ADS-B Solutions

Brian Hupe, Garmin

Learn about Garmin’s industry leading G3X Touch flight system for experimental aircraft with the ability to add optional autopilot systems, data-link weather, traffic surveillance, geo-referenced charting and more to further enhance your situational awareness. Discussion will also cover ADS-B products and recommendations for both new aircraft or retrofit installations.

Brian Hupe has worked for Garmin since 2006 in aviation engineering and sales. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, is an instrument rated pilot and a homebuilder.

Forum Area #2:
Wednesday, 11:00-12:00
Thursday, 2:30 -3:30
Friday, 12:30-1:30
Saturday, 12:30-1:30


How to Start a Successful Flying Club

John Rousch, President, Heartland Flying Club; VP of EAA Chapter 1240

If you’re interested in finding a way to keep your flying budget within reason, meeting new friends, and expanding your flying skills and knowledge, come and be a part of the forum on developing a flying club. Using the Heartland Flying Club based right here in Sebring as an example, you will learn how it was formed, how a membership and fee structure was determined, explore different aircraft options, scheduling and the optimum, number of members per aircraft. A flying club is a great way to fly inexpensively and still have the freedom to fly when you want. Come and learn how to select the right club for you or how to form one.

Forum Area #1: Saturday, 9:30-10:30

Light Sport Buying and Flying Tips

Lou Mancuso, President, Bristell Aircraft

Our power point presentation LSA Buying and Flying Tips gives prospective buyers tips on what to look for when considering a purchase of an LSA. It also includes operational tips to keep the pilot safe.

Forum Area #2: Thursday-Saturday, 9:30-10:30

NOAA – Hurricane Hunters/Meteorology Updates


Specially equipped NOAA aircraft play an integral role in hurricane forecasting. Data collected during hurricanes by these high-flying meteorological stations help forecasters make accurate predictions during a hurricane and help hurricane researchers achieve a better understanding of storm processes, improving their forecast models.

Forum Area 2: Thursday, 12:30-1:30
Forum Area 3: Thursday, 12:30-1:30
Forum Area 4: Thursday, 11:00-12:00

Pilots Guide to Rotax Aircraft Engine Maintenance, The Two Strokes

Phil Lockwood, President, Lockwood Aviation

If you fly an aircraft powered by a 2 stroke Rotax Aircraft Engine, or plan to in the future, you don’t want to miss this informative presentation. Phil Lockwood, president of Lockwood Aviation Supply, The number one Kodiak Authorized Rotax Service Center in North America, will offer his insight into the best ways to maintain and operate your Rotax Aircraft engine. Phil will demystify the latest service information on the most popular 2 stroke Light Sport Aircraft Engines in the world. Phil will also discuss the latest information on fuel and oil for the Rotax.

Forum area #2: Thursday, 11:30-12:30

Rotax 912/914 Service and Operating Tips

Phil Lockwood, President, Lockwood Aviation

If you own, operate or have any interest in the bestselling LSA engine in the world today, the Rotax 912, you won’t want to miss this presentation. Get the latest details on the new electronically fuel injected Rotax 912is and the latest tips and tricks on installation, service and operation of all 9 series Rotax aircraft engines. Phil will also include his latest recommendations on fuel and oil. Phil will take questions at the end of the presentation.

Forum area #2: Saturday, 11:00-12:30

TFR and ADIZ: How to Avoid a Fighter Escort

Doug Dal Soglio, HQ NORAD

HQ NORAD-Doug Dal Soglio will talk face-to-face with general aviation pilots on how to avoid TFRs and what to do if they’re intercepted.

“The rate of violations we’ve seen over the last nine years has gone down, but more can be done,” Dal Soglio said.

The team is capitalizing on the whole of government effort, including collaborating with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and other government and industry leaders to reach and educate more pilots.

“Our goal is prevention through education,” he said. “We have credibility because we share their love of flying, and try to inject humor and camaraderie to make a lasting impression. The true difference will be told when there are fewer TFR, prohibited area and ADIZ violations and a reduction in NORAD scrambles against general aviation aircraft.”

Forum Area 1: Wednesday, 11:00-12:00; Thursday- Saturday: 12:30-1:30

The intersection of homebuilt and part 23: Panel Discussion

Robert Goyer, Plane & Pilot Editor-In-Chief

Robert Goyer, long-time aviation journalist, VP and Editor-In-Chief of Plane & Pilot, will moderate this unique panel discussion with Tom Peghiny, Flight Design USA; Sebastien Heintz, Zenith Aircraft; and Dan Johnson,

About the Moderator and Panelists:
Robert Goyer, VP, Editor-In-Chief of Plane & Pilot is an award winning editor, a writer and a photographer. He is the recipient of the National Business Aviation Association’s Platinum Wing Award for lifetime achievement in aviation journalism and was the inaugural Bonnier Editor of the Year. An aviation writer and photographer since 1990, Robert has written extensively about sport aviation, general aviation, the LSA world and business aviation. He has photographed hundreds of cover stories and has been writing his influential Going Direct column for more than a decade. Robert is a commercial, multi-engine, commercial land and seaplane pilot with thousands of hours and is type rated in the Cessna CitationJet. He owns a vintage Cessna 182 and lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.

Dan Johnson, has been called “the leading reviewer of recreational aircraft” after writing hundreds of pilot reports on Dan is a 5,500-hour Commercial, Instrument, Multiengine Pilot and former Certified Flight Instructor, with a focus on LSA, ultralight aircraft, and homebuilt aircraft.
Sebastien Heintz, owner and president of Zenith Aircraft Company, is the 2017 recipient of EAA’s Freedom of Flight Award for his contributions to aviation, and the recipient of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association’s (LAMA) 2017 President’s Award.
Tom Peghiny, is President of Flight Design USA, the North American distributor for the Flight Design certified Special Light Sport Aircraft. The Flight Design CT series is the 2nd largest seller of Light Sport Aircraft in the USA with a 10 percent market share as of 2017.


Forum Area 1: Thursday, 11:30-12:15

UAS: Polk State College

Ryan Wallace, Polk State College

Forum Area 3: Saturday, 12:30-1:30

Would a Real Lady Fly an Airplane?

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President, WAI

This is a look at women’s involvement in aviation from the early days of the Wright Brothers, during WWII, and through today.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian is president and founder of Women in Aviation International (WAI). The organization was incorporated in 1994 as a result of the success of the annual International Women in Aviation Conference begun in 1990. The conference began with 150 participants in 1990 and had grown to more than 4,800 attendees. WAI represents nearly 12,000 women and men from all segments of the aviation industry including general, corporate, commercial, and military.

Forum area #3: Friday: 9:30-10:30
Parking Lot: Friday, 12:30-1:30

You Can Fly

Jamie Beckett, AOPA You Can Fly Florida Ambassador

Jamie’s preferred mode of transportation is a bright yellow and black Reimagined Cessna 152, which he often refers to as his company car.

Jamie holds commercial land and sea ratings for airplanes, as well as instrument and multi-engine instructor ratings.

An A&P mechanic with a penchant for the classics and a frequent contributor to a wide variety of aviation publications, Jamie’s passion for general aviation is truly infectious.

You Can Fly: It’s not just a slogan — it’s a literal statement. You Can Fly less expensively and with more satisfaction than ever before. Yes, you really can. And, Jamie will tell you how.

Forum Area 3: Thursday, 12:30-1:30

Zenith Aircraft Hands-On Kit Building Workshop

Sebastien Heintz, President, Zenith Aircraft Company

Learn about building your own light-sport aircraft and about the real advantages of owning and flying an airplane that you’ve built yourself. In the hands-on workshop process, participants tackle many activities including learning how to read drawings (blueprints) and work from assembly instructions (manuals). Learn the procedures for putting together an aircraft assembly, including drilling, de-burring and blind riveting. As part of the building process participants cut, file and fit the aluminum alloy (sheet metal) parts. During the 2-day workshop, participants actually construct a Zenith Aircraft rudder assembly from a standard kit. The workshops will be offered twice: Wednesday – Thursday and Friday – Saturday. Additionally, a free, one-hour, hands-on workshop seminar and demonstration will be held daily from 12:30-1:30 at the Zenith Aircraft workshop tent.
Sign up here.

Location/Day: Zenith Workshop Tent, Daily


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