May 7 : 12:00AM
MDT hosted our second annual fly in tweet-up, #MDT324 and over the course of the next week or two will be sharing the blog posts from the attendees. Attendee Mike Morgan visited us for the event for a 2nd year in a row. A little about Mike: He loves to fly. He became a passionate #avgeek when he lived in Orlando and watched planes for hours at ORL. He self-describes as being obsessed with Boeing, Marriott, United, and Taco Bueno. He is working towards a private pilot certificate and mostly flies in a C172. He hopes one day to own his own airline, and proudly fly an all Boeing fleet.
Mike shares, today, about his experience at #MDT324:
Friday, April 20th started just like any other normal Friday for me. Wake up early. Take a shower. Fumble out of my Marriott hotel room. Find my rental car. Drive to some airport. TSA. Board. Fly.
But, my destination would not be home on this Friday. After a two hour layover at EWR (Newark, NJ), I hopped on a Bombardier Q200 and flew at 8,000 feet to MDT. It was time for the second annual #MDT324 tweetup!
At 3:24pm we all met up to spend some serious time in #avgeekery. @airport_girl, Stephanie Gehman, Harrisburg's Marketing Manager, treated us to a behind the scenes look at the airport. Stephanie had lego airplanes for us to build (needless to say, Boeing won't be hiring us as engineers any time soon). We also took an airport quiz (Did you know that there are 4,200 window panes in the airport? Also, the apron takes up 45.1 acres.). Then we headed to dinner. Among us were @airport_girl, @BruceBere, @user47, @GehmanAndCo, and myself. I have met each of these great people at other airports around the country.
Here's what made this year's #MDT324 so amazing. We had a real conversation about the good that plane spotting offers. @user47 is an avid plane spotter, and he works hard educate others that plane spotting isn't doing any harm. We ate dinner at a restaurant that sat next to the ramp at another airport. While we were talking a little girl ran up to the fence to take a picture of a plane passing by. @user47 said, "That's why plane spotting is good." And he was right. Plane spotting encourages people to learn about engineering, physics, and it's even pushed me to learn more about business!
How many of you first watched a plane fly over head and thought, "I wonder how that giant hunk of metal stays in the air?" Maybe you watch planes at a hub and ponder what it takes to manage all of that. Plane spotting encourages curiosity. It causes people to learn and grow. The airline industry is treated like a bus service for potential terrorists, but should be regarded as an industry that makes the impossible possible.
Plane spotting builds community. Look at the folks who spot together with NYC Aviation, and other like groups. MDT offers an observation deck at the airport, and with visitors like Air Force Two it's well worth the trip (so book a round trip to MDT, you need the miles anyway!). My hope is that other airports will catch on and start to encourage the love of aviation, and stop trying to ban those of us who are passionate about it.
This was my second year to #MDT324, and once again I am very thankful for the opportunity to join my #avgeek friends. I am already planning next year's trip! I would really like to thank Stephanie and the Harrisburg International Airport for their hospitable spirit towards #avgeeks.
But, hey, I'm just some guy who likes to look at airplanes, so what do I know?
We look forward to having another crew of #avgeeks fly in for next year's #MDT324! Hope to see you there, Mike.
The thoughts shared in this post are those of the author and don't represent the viewpoints of Harrisburg International Airport.