Member News


Owner's cheat sheet for aircraft insurance

Sep 19, 2013

Insuring your aircraft is no easy task. It's a substantial investment, and understanding the ins and outs of the insurance industry can be confusing to put it mildly.

Insuring your aircraft is no easy task. It’s a substantial investment, and understanding the ins and outs of the insurance industry can be confusing to put it mildly.

What’s more, comparing insurance policies is rarely an apples-to-apples affair. But to make things a bit easier, here’s a simple checklist to help you navigate the process.

Coverages

• Is your liability limit smooth or with a sublimit? If with a sublimit, is it per passenger or per person?
• Does your hull coverage include “in motion” and “not in motion” incidents?
• Are medical payments provided under the policy? If yes, do they include the crew?
• What’s the scope of the covered territory and does it meet your needs?
• What’s the approved use under the policy and does it cover your flight operations?

Policy Details

• What deductibles would apply?
• Who can fly the aircraft? Does it include FAA-approved repair stations?
• Can I charge others for the use of my aircraft?
• Is there coverage for me if I rent or borrow an aircraft owned by others?
• Does the policy provide coverage for FAA ferry or special permit flights?
• What’s the airworthiness requirement?
• Are any premiums partially or fully earned at time of coverage inception?
• What are my obligations under the terms of the policy?
• What’s the notice of cancellation clause?
• Do I need to request coverage for additional parties (lienholder, landlord, etc.)?

Please visit us online for additional information.

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Preventing out of pocket from getting out of hand

Sep 04, 2013

A deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of your own pocket in the event of an accident for which you’re filing a claim.

Deductibles are a way for the insurance company to make you participate in the cost of a claim as an added incentive to be alert and avoid carelessness in the cockpit.

With a standard deductible, you may be required to pay anywhere from $0 to $2,500 toward your airplane’s repair cost. If you have an amphibious, seaplane, rotor-wing or other more specialized equipment, a much higher deductible would apply and possibly be expressed as a fixed amount from $10,000 to $25,000. It’s also possible you’ll pay a fixed percentage between 5 percent and 10 percent of the insured value of the airplane.

With other types of insurance, you generally see the premium drop when you take a higher deductible. Not so for aircraft insurance. Taking higher deductibles won’t lower the cost of your airplane insurance much, if at all, simply because insurers expect most claims to exceed a higher deductible, incurring the same amount of claim administration expenses as they would with a lower deductible.

There’s nothing wrong with asking about higher deductibles to lower the cost of your airplane insurance; just don’t be surprised if your insurance agent doesn’t have good news for you. But remember, your insurance agent is the person you should be able to count on to help maximize your airplane insurance while minimizing the cost.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Our first policy was written in September 1993 for a Cessna 172. We want to thank all of our members for helping us become the largest light aircraft insurance agency in the United States. We look forward to the next 20 years of serving the insurance needs of our members.

For more information, please visit us online.

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AOPA Insurance celebrates 20 years of coverage for members

Sep 03, 2013

In September, AOPA Insurance Services celebrates its twentieth anniversary protecting pilots and the aviation community through insurance and risk management services.

In September, AOPA Insurance Services celebrates its twentieth anniversary protecting pilots and the aviation community through insurance and risk management services.

“I am delighted to congratulate our colleagues at AOPA Insurance Services on this noteworthy anniversary,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “AOPA Insurance Services perfectly represents AOPA’s core principles through great service for our members with the goal of keeping them flying. I know the next 20 years will bring even more success.”

Launched in a partnership with Aon Insurance in September 1993, AOPA Insurance Services has since grown into a brokerage that offers coverage on a wide variety of aircraft, from historic and experimental aircraft to today’s most advanced business jets.

 
In 2008, the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOPA and it has assumed AOPA’s other membership insurance offerings, such as term life and accidental death policies. Three of the six original employees—Gina Monarez, Cathy Knotts and Brenda Jennings—still work for AOPA Insurance Services.

From its headquarters in Wichita, Kan., AOPA Insurance Services has expanded to offer a variety of innovative programs for pilots, including special insurance coverage for flying clubs and an accident forgiveness program. Under that program, pilots who take two AOPA Foundation Air Safety Institute online courses every six months can avoid both a deductible payment if they are involved in an accident and a premium increase when the policy is renewed.

In June, AOPA Insurance Services launched a new commercial program offering coverage to members who have aviation-related businesses, such as fixed-base operators and manufacturing and repair facilities.

“The changes made over the years have come from tailoring our products to fit what our members are asking for,” said Brenda Jennings, AOPA Insurance Services senior vice president and director of operations. “In addition to providing targeted services, we are also able to right now offer members the lowest rates we have seen in the industry since the 1970s. This is a very exciting time for AOPAIS.”

In addition to providing financial support for AOPA’s mission, AOPA Insurance Service has donated $1.8 million to the AOPA Foundation since 2009 to help safeguard the future of general aviation.

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EA+ Update: Overseas travel precautions

Aug 23, 2013

There are some basic safety tips every traveler should keep in mind, even if they are the most seasoned voyagers.

EA updateAOPA’s Emergency Assistance Plus Program (EA+) can help ensure you start out on the right foot and stay on track even if you get thrown a curve or two.

You want to do your best to stay away from areas where trouble can find you. So with the help of EA+ you can start with some intelligence gathering as soon as you start making travel plans. EA+ will provide information about your potential destinations with the latest news about weather, travel in the area, and even special events that would be taking place at the time of your visit.

Stay aware of your surroundings

Tourist sites can sometimes be places where you’re vulnerable to theft or other scams. Always walk with a purpose. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority.

In case of emergency
Make note of emergency telephone numbers you may need: police, fire, your hotel, and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Also be sure to have your EA+ worldwide phone number handy so that in the event an emergency, EA+ could forward a message via telephone or email to your family members.

During your hotel stay
When you arrive, familiarize yourself with the fire safety instructions in your hotel room so you know the location of the nearest fire exits and alternate exits. When you go out, secure your money and other valuables in the hotel safe. When you’re in your room, keep your hotel door locked at all times.

Safer transportation
Only take taxis clearly identified with official markings. Beware of unmarked cabs.

Problems can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. But by taking some basic precautions and enrolling in the EA+ program, you can travel more confidently wherever your travels take you.

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Changes?

Aug 16, 2013

If something in your life has recently changed—such as pay increases, promotions, marriages, purchasing a larger home, or having children—you probably need to add to your coverage.

If you're like many, you probably don't have enough life insurance.  Recent studies have shown that life insurance ownership is at a 50-year low, with half of U.S. households admitting that they don’t have enough life insurance to adequately support their loved ones.

Perhaps you already have some life insurance—but is it enough?  Inflation, economic conditions, and lifestyle changes can all eat away at the value of that life insurance. Does your current policy include aviation coverage? Many do not. If something happened to you, your current life insurance may not be enough to adequately support your loved ones. AOPA Group Term Life Insurance makes it easy and affordable for you to obtain additional life insurance with no aviation exclusions.

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AOPA + Boy Scouts = Lots of interest in aviation!

Aug 08, 2013

I went to a few summer camps as a kid, but not one of them can even come close to what thousands of scouts got to experience at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

Boy Scouts

Ziplines, skateboard parks, BMX bike trails, rock-climbing, paddle-boarding…..you name the adventure, they had it. And now, you can add general aviation to the list!

At the request of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), we exhibited and promoted AOPA AV8RS during the event held July 15-24 at the Bechtel Summit Reserve in Mt. Hope, WV with more than 30,000 Boy Scouts in attendance.    The tent was hopping the entire event, lines before we opened and all day long—all for the chance to fly.

Together with Redbird Flight Simulations, we set up eight flight experience stations using Redbird’s AOPA Jay.  These desktop simulator-like experiences are a great way to introduce general aviation and to AOPA AV8RS, our new teen membership.  Redbird generously provided eight AOPA JAYs that ran non-stop from 9 am to 5 pm each day providing personal, realistic flight experiences to nearly 4,100 teens.

We also had an R22 helicopter as part of our AOPA AV8Rs display, generously donated by AOPA member Paul Jackson.   Paul is also a member of the Virginia Helicopter Association and enthusiastically gives his time to share the love of flying with others.  The helicopter was a great attention grabber and helped drive traffic to our tent.   Thanks for sharing your helicopter with us Paul!

July 18 was designated by the BSA as “Airborne Day” which AOPA kicked off with a special flyover led by AOPA Pilot senior editor Dave Hirschman and five of his colleagues. Shannon Yeager, vice president of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community, presented a session on learning to fly and aviation/aerospace careers.

Watching the scouts’ exhilaration as they attempted to “land” the AOPA Jay at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, WV was priceless!  Participants received a highly-coveted patch and a “Certificate of Completion” for piloting the AOPA JAY which they presented at the Aviation Merit Badge tent for credit towards completing the merit badge requirements.   

I personally had an amazing time meeting and talking with the scouts and was amazed at how many were in flight training already—even a few with pilot certificates!  And, many of them said their parents were pilots and members of AOPA too!  What a great connection!

We certainly enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to these teens and encourage them to think about aviation as a hobby or career.  And, we certainly thank the Boy Scouts of America for the opportunity and hope we can do more with them in the future!

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Camping and aviation insurance

Apr 23, 2013

What could possibly beat the sound of a Stearman warming up for a dawn flight as your alarm clock?

What could possibly beat the sound of a Stearman warming up for a dawn flight as your alarm clock?

As thousands of Oshkosh, Wis.-bound pilots have discovered, there is no better place to make good friends than a campground surrounded by airplanes, pilots, and tents. Every year pilots and their families hopscotch from one airport to another enjoying America from a vantage point unimaginable in most of the world. So what does that have to do with insurance? Well, insurance folks think everything could have an insurance consequence, and camping under a wing is no different. Fortunately, you really don’t need to do much; the insurance companies have already done most of the work for you. To start, unless your policy restricts you to hard-surface airports, you are already covered for landing at that sod airstrip. Check your policy, but you will probably find that the place you land must just be designated and regularly used as a landing facility. While your friend’s fresh-cut hayfield may be out, most companies don’t restrict you to asphalt runways.

So what about your actual campsite? You are probably covered under two policies. One, if your aircraft insurance policy includes an extended coverage provision or endorsement, your liability protection likely extends to include the “use of the premises in or upon which your aircraft is parked." Two, if you have a homeowner’s policy, the definition of “insured location” probably covers a premises “…not owned by an insured but where an insured is temporarily residing.” Finally, while there is some limited coverage under an aircraft insurance policy for the theft or destruction of a passenger’s property (usually $1,000), in most cases your homeowner policy would again be the policy to respond to such losses.

So, just what are the “rules” of airport camping?

Rule #1: Always call ahead, and get permission to camp. Your policy does not cover trespassing, so whether it is a public- or private-use field, and even if the airport directory says camping is approved, you need to make sure camping is approved.

Rule #2: Bring your own tiedowns. As an aircraft owner, you are legally required to act in a reasonable and responsible manner, so tie the plane down securely.

Rule #3: Keep your campground clean, picked up and safe… and make sure it looks better when you leave than when you arrived. Offer to help with chores or do a ramp foreign object debris (FOD)-sweep as a way of giving back, and a thank-you note when you get back home is always a good idea.

AOPA encourages local communities to be involved in the revitalization of their local airports, and to make them welcoming and inviting places for young and old. Many of these “user friendly” airports already have campsites available, and more are expected to become available in the years ahead. If you are interested in joining the effort to build aircraft viewing and picnic areas, playgrounds, and campsites at your airport, contact your local fixed base operator, airport commission, or flying clubs. If you should have questions concerning insurance, call AOPA Insurance Services at 800/622-2672 or go online.

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A great opportunity to support the AOPA Foundation and get free AOPA membership for life

Apr 01, 2013

Have you ever considered AOPA’s Life Membership? Through a one-time donation to the AOPA Foundation of $2,500 you can get a lifetime membership in AOPA, a $2,000 tax deduction, a framed certificate, lapel pin and a special membership card.

Have you ever considered AOPA’s Life Membership? Through a one-time donation to the AOPA Foundation of $2,500 you can get a lifetime membership in AOPA, a $2,000 tax deduction, a framed certificate, lapel pin and a special membership card.

Every day, the AOPA Foundation works to strengthen and protect the future of general aviation, so those who fly today can do so safely, and those who dream of learning to fly will have the opportunity to make that dream a reality.

Our Air Safety Institute is America’s undisputed leader in providing free safety training to tens of thousands of pilots annually. We support a national network of airport volunteers who stand ready to sound the alarm when a local airport is threatened by budget cuts, noise complaints, or development. We’re combating the huge dropout rate among student pilots, and helping more student pilots complete their training.

With this $2,500 donation, you’ll not only receive a lifetime membership in AOPA, but you’ll be contributing to the strength and future of general aviation. Make this special donation today.

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Letter to AOPA members from Chairman of the Board

Mar 25, 2013

Letter to AOPA members from Chairman of the Board


Fellow AOPA members,

With Craig Fuller’s announcement in February that he would be stepping down as our president in 2013, AOPA began the search for the fifth president of the association. We are beginning a national search for a leader who will continue to lead the fight for general aviation in Washington, D.C., in your home state, and at your airport. General aviation is under attack from regulators, a poor economy, rising fuel prices, and a shrinking manufacturing base. AOPA has had difficult issues to surmount in the past, but today we seem to be facing several major issues at once. Rest assured that AOPA’s advocacy team remains hard at work fighting for your freedom to fly as the Board of Trustees undertakes its search for a new president.

The Board of Trustees, an unpaid group of volunteers who all fly regularly for business and recreation, has begun the process to identify our next president. The natural question arises: Who are we looking for? The selection process is not an easy one; unlike most corporate searches, we must narrow the candidates to include only pilots. The candidate must be an outgoing, passionate aviator who believes in the critical value GA brings to our country and citizens. The candidate also must be an experienced businessperson who can lead and grow the world’s largest aviation association. The candidate must be able to articulate and fight for our cause and beliefs in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. The candidate needs to fight for our rights with an ever-burdening regulatory structure that has grown substantially since the tragic events of 9/11. Where the FAA was once the primary regulator, we now have agencies we did not work with before 9/11—like the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency—that are introducing policies or considering proposals that will limit our freedom to fly … and this does not include state and local authorities now positioning themselves as “protectors” of the public from GA aircraft.

Over the past several years, Craig’s seasoned Washington hand helped build the GA Caucus—the single most important bulwark against the current shenanigans on Capitol Hill; AOPA has continued to successfully beat back user fees at the federal level; we have fought against state-level GA tax increases and won numerous tax cuts that, when combined, save our members more than $100 million dollars a year in state taxes and fees; and we actively support local airport efforts through the work of seven full-time regional managers and more than 2,500 Airport Support Network volunteers across the country.  And in the past few weeks, we’ve been focusing efforts on the threat of massive FAA budget cuts that could close more than 200 control towers, restrict weather and flight services, allow the navigation system to deteriorate, and derail aircraft certification.   

The cost of flying continues to be a challenge for our industry.  For example, avgas prices have risen from an average of $4.44 per gallon in 2007 to $6.62 today. New single-engine aircraft are prohibitively expensive due to the ever-increasing costs of certification and declining production levels, thereby greatly increasing the overhead costs per aircraft. Here at AOPA, we are not immune. We draw our membership from the pilot population, which having stood at 827,000 in 1980, is down to 610,000 today.

As many of you know, AOPA’s revenues are derived from three primary sources: membership dues; advertising in AOPA Pilot magazine and other media properties; and revenue from products and services such as the credit card, Pilot Protection Services, and insurance services. Membership dues remained unchanged from 1990 until 2010 when we raised them $6 per year, a 15 percent increase. During that period of time, the consumer price index of all goods and services increased 76 percent.  Dues make up only 30 percent of our revenue.  And once the economic downturn took hold, we also saw advertising in our publications fall greatly. 

In response, we have worked hard to bring down our operational costs for 2013 while not sacrificing the day-to-day work we do on advocacy.  You will also see AOPA concentrate on providing revenue-generating services that bring more people into aviation, increase access to affordable aircraft, and grow the active pilot community. These initiatives will be focused toward areas in which we have already provided services in the past and allow us to keep the membership dues as low as possible. 

Through deliberate and careful stewardship, AOPA has reserves of $80 million invested in a diversified portfolio of investments. This may seem like a great deal of money, and it is, but let’s take a look at its importance in the coming years.  At its current levels, the reserves provide $3.2 million of revenue that we do not need to harness from membership dues or other initiatives. Additionally, when GA faces a major battle such as we saw at 9/11 or with user fees, these savings provide the ready reserve to fight battles on a national scale. Finally, strong not-for-profit organizations should have reserves equal or greater to their annual revenues, a position that AOPA occupies.

So as we thank Craig for his hard work, your Board is looking for one of you to lead us in the years ahead. We represent all of general aviation, but we will not lose focus on our core member, the pilot who enjoys flying his owned or rented piston single as many hours as he or she can afford. A patriot that is growing weary of the over-zealous regulation of this wonderfully American success story. A person who will fight for your freedom to fly. Someone who understands how prohibitive the cost of flying has become.

The Board loves to fly as much as you do. I have two boys ages 13 and 16; my greatest joy will be to have them participate in this amazing way of life. You can be assured that AOPA will focus, focus, focus on keeping this generation in the air and providing the opportunity to allow our children to experience the joy of flight.

I appreciate and value your membership. You are the only reason we enjoy the freedom to fly. 

Sincerely,

Bill Trimble


Attention members: If you would like to comment, we invite you to email future@aopa.org. While we may not be able to respond to every email, each will be read and taken into careful consideration.

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Bank of America newest AOPA Strategic Partner

Mar 08, 2013

AOPA announced March 8 a new Strategic Partnership with Bank of America that will further boost support for general aviation while offering AOPA members generous cash-back rewards.

AOPA announced March 8 a new Strategic Partnership with Bank of America that will further boost support for general aviation while offering AOPA members generous cash-back rewards.

The new partnership features the AOPA BankAmericard Cash Rewards TM credit card that offers 3 percent cash back on automotive gas and 2 percent on groceries for the first $1,500 in combined purchases in those categories each quarter, and 1 percent on all other purchases. For a limited time, AOPA members who are approved for the new card can earn a $100 cash-back bonus after qualifying transactions. ( See details and apply online.)

“AOPA and Bank of America have worked together in the past to the benefit of both our members and general aviation,” said Ed Thompson, AOPA vice president of corporate partnerships and products. “This new partnership strengthens that relationship by literally putting money back in the pockets of our member pilots and aircraft owners—money they can use for flying, increasing the value of their memberships, and bolstering general aviation.”

Through the Strategic Partner relationship, Bank of America also will be providing sponsorship support for programs and services that benefit AOPA members throughout the year, including at AOPA’s Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, in October.

Bank of America becomes AOPA’s fourth Strategic Partner along with Enterprise Holdings Inc. (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car), Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., and Aero-Space Reports.

“Bank of America is proud to strengthen our commitment to AOPA, which has been a terrific partner for more than two decades,” said Jake Frego, who manages Bank of America’s National Brands credit card and banking programs. “This renewal will enable us to continue building a card product that resonates with AOPA’s members. Over the years, we’ve developed a great appreciation for the emotional connection that they have with the organization and look forward to continuing to meet and exceed their needs.”

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New corporate partnership program plays an indispensable role in preserving the freedom to fly

Mar 08, 2013

Did you know your member dues only covers about 1/3 of what the organization needs to provide the advocacy, publications and other benefits and services your receive?

Did you know your member dues only covers about 1/3 of what the organization needs to provide the advocacy, publications and other benefits and services your receive? The rest of the funding comes from publications advertising, products and services like Pilot Protection Services (Legal Services Plan), aircraft insurance, and non-aviation insurance products, and our newest contributor(s): AOPA’s Corporate Partners.

Launched in September 2012, AOPA’s Corporate Partnership program currently has four Strategic Partners who have made the highest level of commitment: Enterprise Holdings, Inc. (Enterprise, National and Alamo car rental brands), Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, Co., Aero Space Reports, and Bank of America.

These partners provide year-round support to AOPA’s programs and services while also helping AOPA members save money through special offers and discounts so that they have more money to fly! You can save on car rentals (Enterprise, National, Alamo), aircraft title searches (Aero Space Reports), and pilot supplies and aircraft parts (Aircraft Spruce). And with the new AOPA BankAmericard Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card (Bank of America), you can earn cash back on your purchases every day.

Learn more about AOPA’s Corporate Partnership program by visiting: aopa.org/info/partnership/partnership.html. Supporting our partners supports AOPA!

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AOPA Aviation Job Board launches

Mar 06, 2013

Looking for an aviation-related job or have a job opening that you would like to advertise to AOPA members? The just-released AOPA Aviation Job Board allows free posting of resumes and searches for aviation-related jobs--more than 1,000 jobs are already posted.

Looking for an aviation-related job or have a job opening that you would like to advertise to AOPA members? The just-released AOPA Aviation Job Board allows free posting of resumes and searches for aviation-related jobs—more than 1,000 jobs are already posted. Employers can list new job openings for a fee.

“The AOPA Aviation Job Board is a great tool to connect our base of passionate aviators with opportunities in the aviation industry,” said AOPA Vice President of eMedia Chris Ward. “We believe that companies will see the advantage of hiring individuals who understand business from the perspective of a pilot, whether the role is in in the cockpit, in the hangar, or in the accounting department.”

The site spans the world of aviation, with career opportunities directly related to aviation and indirectly supporting the aviation community. Companies such as Honeywell, General Electric, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, and Mayo Clinic have listed jobs, as well as government agencies, including the FAA, Army National Guard, and Navy.

Through this member benefit, members can post their resumes directly to the job board for free, and employers can review them right there. Job seekers can search the growing list of openings around the country in fields ranging from engineering to management, post their resume, and set up an email job alert based on positions and locations in which they are interested.

Employers who are AOPA members can get a discount on posting open positions. Single job postings can be purchased for 30, 60, or 90 days. Prices start at $125 for 30 days for AOPA members and $200 for nonmembers. Packages also are available for multiple job listings for different time periods as well as a one-year unlimited job posting option ($5,700 for members, $9,000 for nonmembers). ( See all posting packages.)

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Pilot town halls scheduled for 2013

Feb 28, 2013

Will AOPA fly in to an airport near you in 2013? AOPA President Craig Fuller will meet with pilots across the nation and discuss the issues that most directly affect pilots’ freedom to fly in a series of pilot town hall gatherings, kicking off 2013 with an event at Chicago's DuPage Airport March 21.

Will AOPA fly in to an airport near you in 2013?

AOPA President Craig Fuller will meet with pilots across the nation and discuss the issues that most directly affect pilots’ freedom to fly in a series of pilot town hall gatherings, kicking off 2013 with an event at Chicago’s DuPage Airport March 21.

In these events, located in major metropolitan areas, Fuller will share his perspective on the current state of general aviation and AOPA's initiatives to grow the pilot population; discuss AOPA's efforts in Washington, D.C.; and highlight key efforts around the country to protect airports, prevent tax hikes, and build the GA community. Other scheduled locations include Houston, Minneapolis, Boston, Denver, and Atlanta. Find details in the online schedule, and check back for updates to find out if Fuller is coming to your area.

The pilot town hall gathering on March 21 will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Travel Express Aviation at DuPage Airport in West Chicago. The event is free, but RSVP by email. If you are flying in, aircraft parking is available at Travel Express Aviation, which may be contacted by phone at 630/584-6462 or by email to make arrangements.

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Fuller to step down as AOPA president and CEO

Feb 28, 2013

AOPA President Craig Fuller has notified AOPA's Board of Trustees of his intent to step down from his position and from the board. He plans to remain in his current role until a successor is ready to assume the position. The board will conduct a national search for his successor.

AOPA President Craig Fuller has notified AOPA's Board of Trustees of his intent to step down from his position and from the board. He plans to remain in his current role until a successor is ready to assume the position. The board will conduct a national search for his successor. Following the decision to leave AOPA, the succession process was developed by working together, said Chairman of the Board William C. Trimble III.

Fuller, who took office Jan. 1, 2009, and is only the fourth president of AOPA since the association's founding nearly 75 years ago, will assist with the search for a new president and the transition to a new administration.

craig fullerIn conveying his decision to the board of trustees, Fuller, 62, noted that he made a five-year commitment to AOPA when he was appointed president. As he approaches the fulfillment of that commitment, he said he is looking forward to taking on new challenges and opportunities. "I have flown since age 17, and flying has been part of my life ever since. I will always be grateful to the AOPA Board of Trustees for having given me the opportunity to serve the general aviation community and AOPA's 385,000 members in a leadership position," said Fuller. "It has been a privilege to work with my colleagues on a strong set of initiatives that have built on the decades of hard work by AOPA Trustees and members of the management team. With the end of my five-year commitment approaching, this is an appropriate time for me to consider new opportunities and allow the Board time to recruit a successor.

"The process of finding a new leader can now go forward as all of us at AOPA roll up our sleeves to fight the day-to-day battles that seem to keep coming our way," said Fuller. "The team will not miss a beat this year as we lay the groundwork for the future."

"During his more than four years as president of AOPA, Craig served nobly and professionally. He has advocated strongly on behalf of the general aviation community in Washington, built bridges with the other aviation associations, improved member communications and generated promising ideas for tomorrow," said Trimble. "We recognize the importance of finding a leader who can continue to inspire all of us in these challenging times. We are focused on finding a leader who shares our vision and convictions as well as the talent and capabilities necessary to achieve our goals." Trimble, who has chaired the AOPA Board of Trustees since 2005, said the board will form a search committee shortly and retain an executive search firm to begin looking for AOPA’s new leader.

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly for thousands of aviators and aircraft owners. From its headquarters in Frederick Md., offices in Washington, D.C., and seven regions of the United States, its representatives interact with local, state, and federal elected officials and government representatives to ensure the safe and steady growth of general aviation. AOPA offers members a variety services, including flight planning products, safety seminars and studies and publications, as well as insurance, legal, aircraft financing and title services.

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AOPA EA plus steps in to help

Feb 25, 2013

Should an accident occur while you are traveling, finding treatment can be difficult. Don't find yourself unaware and unprepared should the unthinkable happen to you while traveling.

When accidents happen, getting treatment fast is a top priority, and finding that treatment close to home usually isn’t difficult. But, should an accident occur while you are traveling, finding treatment becomes that much more difficult.

Where is the nearest hospital? What quality of care will I receive? How am I going to get home? Those are all questions you hope to never find yourself asking.

But the reality is that accidents can strike anyone at any time. Something as simple as falling down the stairs could result in a painful injury and an extensive hospital stay.

Don’t find yourself unaware and unprepared should the unthinkable happen to you while traveling. Enroll in AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) to gain access to 24-hour emergency and medical assistance.

AOPA EA+ helps pay for emergency costs your health insurance will not generally cover, making sure you get the medical care you need, when you need it. If an emergency occurs, AOPA EA+ automatically steps in to help with more than 20 emergency and medical services so you can focus on your recovery and not on costs. You even have the option of including coverage for return of your aircraft if traveling via GA.

Costing just pennies a day for AOPA members, AOPA EA+ is both affordable and just too important to ignore. Enroll today.

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EA plus helpful even when disaster doesn't strike

Feb 19, 2013

Utilize the expertise of the EA+ assistance coordinators for news updates about your destination or to find lost luggage.

The name Emergency Assistance Plus can conjure up some uneasy feelings. Isn’t that what I’d need if I had an accident while traveling? Well yes, EA+ is there for you with 24-hour emergency and medical assistance should an accident strike, but those aren’t the only benefits available to you.

Utilize the expertise of the EA+ assistance coordinators to help provide updated information about your destination such as the latest news about weather, travel in the area, and any special events that are taking place at the time of your visit. EA+ can even help track down any luggage that doesn’t find its way to your final destination.

Although what makes EA+ so essential is the access to top-quality emergency assistance services, there are also lots of not-so-well-known benefits you can take advantage of any time you are planning a trip.

Not already enrolled? Sign up today!

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Volunteers Needed International Learn to Fly Day

Feb 08, 2013

To promote air mail service and aviation in 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the U.S. Postmaster-General created a National Air Mail Week campaign in which 210 Minnesota cities adopted special seals and pilots from around the state delivered the mail to Wold-Chamberlain Field for a major celebration. The 75th anniversary of this event coincides with International Learn to Fly Day on Saturday, May 18, an annual event to support flying through airport open houses, flights and special events.

Volunteers Needed: International Learn to Fly Day

To promote air mail service and aviation in 1938, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the U.S. Postmaster-General created a National Air Mail Week campaign in which 210 Minnesota cities adopted special seals and pilots from around the state delivered the mail to Wold-Chamberlain Field for a major celebration. The 75th anniversary of this event coincides with International Learn to Fly Day on Saturday, May 18, an annual event to support flying through airport open houses, flights and special events.

AirSpace Minnesota, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that celebrates the region’s past, present and future aviation legacy, is organizing a commemorative event to reinforce the importance of Minnesota airports and aviation to Minnesota’s economic past and future. On May 18 , Minnesota communities are invited to send a pilot representative to a celebration in the Twin Cities. The concept includes:

• A send-off event at each airport with participation from postmasters, mayors, historical societies and other business and community leaders.

• Arrival at the Anoka and Flying Cloud MAC reliever airports. Pilots will be welcomed and photographed on arrival.

• Shuttle to a ceremony adjacent to MSP at Fort Snelling, where all pilots will deliver their commemorative item and be thanked by dignitaries. An exciting social event featuring the Piccard family (for whom Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek was named) and other special guests and activities will follow.

“This is a unique opportunity for our aviation community to engage in a coordinated media effort that highlights the value of aviation in a dynamic, high profile way,” said Dale Klapmeier, Co-Founder & CEO of Cirrus Aircraft and AirSpace Minnesota Board Chair. “We hope people will have fun with this and use it as a great kick start to cross-promote all the wonderful summer aviation events available in our region.”

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Whats the 1 thing more than 50 of our members have in common

Feb 08, 2013

What’s the #1 thing more than 50% of our members have in common?

What’s the #1 thing more than 50% of our members have in common?

They don’t get renewal notices in the mail.   

If you’ve already signed up for AOPA’s Automatic Annual Renewal program , you know what I’m talking about.  You enjoy no bills, invoices, or checks to write and you have the peace of mind knowing your membership is always current.

How can you sign up for this great program?  It’s simple: 

Plus, when you enroll in the program, you’ll get a $4 discount on your AOPA membership dues and will receive FIVE additional entries into the AOPA Debonair Sweepstakes*, increasing your  chances of winning the sweepstakes airplane— a completely restored 1963 Beechcraft Debonair B33!  

You’ll also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re saving your association money and doing something good for the environment by eliminating the need to send renewal notices and forms.  And what’s even better is the money AOPA saves by sending fewer renewal mailings goes directly to providing you with more services and advocacy.

Join more than 200,000 of your fellow AOPA members and enroll in AOPA’s Automatic Annual Renewal program today by going online to www.aopa.org/aar, calling AOPA’s member services staff at 800/USA-AOPA, or by checking the Automatic Annual Renewal option on your renewal form. The credit card you provide will be charged once a year, in your renewal month, and you’ll receive an automatic confirmation from AOPA. Your transaction is secure, and you can cancel at any time.

*See our official sweepstakes rules

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Get AOPA Pilot on your iPad mobile phone

Feb 01, 2013

Millions received new iPads, iPad minis, Android tablets, and smartphones over the holidays. Pilots quickly discovered the value of such devices in the cockpit, but the best part about these convenient tablets is their versatility.

Millions received new iPads, iPad minis, Android tablets, and smartphones over the holidays. Pilots quickly discovered the value of such devices in the cockpit, but the best part about these convenient tablets is their versatility. For pilots, the usefulness continues outside the cockpit, especially for viewing aviation e-books and magazines.

AOPA Pilot and Flight Training are among the aviation magazines viewable through an iPad app. The enhanced digital editions can also be viewed on most any other electronic device, from Android to PC desktop.
Once you access the magazine, enjoy “flipping” through the pages as they come to life with extra content, including videos, polls, and more. You can click on ads and links within stories to go right to the sites that interest you while reading the magazine. Best of all, with the digital edition, you’ll be among the first to receive your copy with an email notification—no more waiting at your mailbox.

You can switch from the print to digital edition for free, or pay $10 to add the digital edition to your existing print subscription.

Also consider AOPA’s e-books, “The Best of ‘Never Again,’ Vol. 1” and “The Best of ‘Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents,’ Vol. 1,” available for purchase on AOPA’s website with a special introductory price for members who are logged in.

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Matching gift prompts impressive return

Jan 24, 2013

A $60,000 matching grant and challenge from longtime AOPA Foundation supporter Bennett Dorrance inspired members to donate $300,000 to preserve and protect the freedom to fly.

Pilot, philanthropist, and longtime AOPA supporter Bennett Dorrance issued a challenge, and donors responded with one of the most successful campaigns in AOPA Foundation history.

Dorrance pledged to match $60,000 in donations to the AOPA Foundation, and AOPA members responded with that and more, adding $300,000 to the $60,000 donated by Dorrance.

AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg said donors “responded with amazing generosity,” providing funds that are critical to the AOPA Foundation’s mission in an amount that “greatly exceeded our expectations” for the 2012 campaign.

Tax-deductible donations to the AOPA Foundation support an array of initiatives and activities, all geared toward preserving the freedom to fly. The foundation supports the Air Safety Institute, which conducts safety seminars and research, and has produced a broad catalog of online courses, safety quizzes, videos, and other training products. The funds raised will also go toward efforts to support the Center to Advance the Pilot Community, protect endangered airports, and support the foundation’s new Giving Back initiative, which supports student pilot scholarships and youth and military memberships, and grants funds to nonprofits doing good work through general aviation.

Dorrance, a member, is also the developer of Scottsdale Hangar One in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The AOPA Foundation relies on donations from those who believe that general aviation is worth protecting and preserving. Your contributions help the foundation take on the difficult challenges affecting pilots and aircraft owners that membership dues alone cannot support. Play your part and donate today at www.AOPAFoundation.org.

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Less Mail in 2013

Jan 11, 2013

As I drove into work today, I saw two rainbows. And, it instantly changed my perspective on the day and my outlook on the coming year. I truly believe 2013 is a new beginning and after this morning, one with a pot of gold at the end, for all of us!

As I drove into work today, I saw two rainbows. And, it instantly changed my perspective on the day and my outlook on the coming year. I truly believe 2013 is a new beginning and after this morning, one with a pot of gold at the end, for all of us!

2012 was a challenging year economically and it required us to look at how we might market membership a bit differently in 2013. We identified efficiencies, looked at ways to streamline our communications to you, and identified new ways to improve member satisfaction.

What does that mean for you? In the coming months, many members will notice fewer communications from AOPA membership—particularly in membership renewals. So, please be sure to renew on time or better yet, sign up for Automatic Annual Renewal ! It will reduce the clutter in your mailbox and allow us to spend money on protecting your freedom to fly instead of trying to get you to renew! I hear a lot of feedback from AOPA members, including frequent requests for less mail from AOPA—so I hope this will be a welcomed change for you.

Your membership is critical to this organization, and your voice matters. I assure you that AOPA will continue to listen to your feedback and deliver real value for your dues dollar. The power of AOPA’s membership, – nearly 400,000 strong – is put to use every day as we carry on the fight to keep flying safe and affordable for GA pilots.

What’s ahead for 2013?

First and foremost, we will continue to preserve your freedom to fly, building on our past success defending against user fees, GA tax increases, and threats to local airports. We will also expand our new FlyQ suite of digital flight planning tools, which gives you robust flight planning, airport information, and aviation weather wherever you go. Additionally, AOPA has launched the Center to Advance the Pilot Community to help increase the pilot population and secure the future of general aviation. Click here if you&rsquod like to learn more about what AOPA is working on for 2013.

Thank you for your continued membership. We are looking forward to a tremendous year...and hopefully a couple pots of gold at the end of the rainbows!

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AOPA Debonair Sweepstakes

Jan 10, 2013

AOPA’s Debonair Sweepstakes is underway! This time, AOPA is giving away a completely restored 1963 Beechcraft Debonair B33 with an all-new ergonomic interior, the latest avionics, and up-to-date airframe mods.

AOPA’s Debonair Sweepstakes is underway!  This time, AOPA is giving away a completely restored 1963 Beechcraft Debonair B33 with an all-new ergonomic interior, the latest avionics, and up-to-date airframe mods.  This unique airplane will truly be a modern classic with a one-of-a-kind look and appeal. 

You have a chance to make the Debonair yours – or win one of 74 other prizes we’re giving away – just by renewing your AOPA membership.  Visit www.aopa.org/sweeps to learn more and follow the restoration progress.

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AOPA PAC

Jan 10, 2013

AOPA’s Political Action Committee continues to be a strong force in Washington DC thanks to all of the AOPA members who supported our efforts in 2012.

AOPA’s Political Action Committee continues to be a strong force in Washington DC thanks to all of the AOPA members who supported our efforts in 2012.

Our strength in 2013 will again come from member AOPA PAC contributions. Beginning early 2013, we’re going to be facing enormous challenges in Congress. User fees will be back on the table, along with “sequestration” budget cuts, Avgas tax increases, and more. We’re going to need all the help we can get to win these political fights. And we won’t have the strong backing in Congress that we need unless we stand by our friends now, when they need our help most. Visit www.aopa.org/members/pac/ to make a contribution.

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Printed airport directory an essential cockpit backup

Jan 03, 2013

Technology has made great strides to make flying easier and more user friendly, but what happens when that technology fails? The 2013/2014 AOPA Airports Print Directory is still considered an essential cockpit resource for thousands of pilots for good reason.

Technology has made great strides to make flying easier and more user friendly, but what happens when that technology fails? The 2013/2014 AOPA Airports Print Directory is still considered an essential cockpit resource for thousands of pilots for good reason.

Containing crucial information on more than 5,000 public-use airports, seaplane bases, and heliports—including more than 7,000 FBOs and businesses—the AOPA Airports Directory puts all the vital information you need quickly within reach in an easy-to-use format. Airport diagrams; aeronautical charts; international landing facilities; Customs and Border Protection information and entry requirements for Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean; and AWOS, ATIS, and FSS frequencies and telephone numbers are all included.

In addition, the directory provides you with more than 40,000 restaurants and local attractions, as well as car rental and taxi service listings for each airport.

Don’t get caught empty handed on your next trip. The directory costs $19.95 for AOPA members. Order your copy of the AOPA Airports Directory today or call 800/872-2672.

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AOPA Insurance customer uses airplane to carry rescue dogs

Jan 02, 2013

Steve Sweeney recently put his pilot certificate to use transporting rescue dogs for the group Wings of Rescue. Like thousands of other AOPA members, he depended on AOPA Insurance Services to protect his aircraft.

steve sweeney

Steve Sweeney describes learning to fly as his “22-year excursion,” as he took his first lesson in 1973 but didn’t earn his private pilot certificate until 1995. And recently Sweeney has found his true passion in volunteer work. Working with a group called Wings of Rescue, Sweeney transports rescue dogs.

He has 2,800 hours of flying time, mostly in his first airplane, a Cessna 182. As a California-based, self-employed database business developer, he had need for greater speed. “What’s more, I always wanted a pressurized airplane,” Sweeney said, “so three years ago I traded up to a P210.”

His involvement with Wings of Rescue began when he received a letter in the mail about the organization, which transports rescue pets—mainly dogs—from one geographic area to another where the animals stand a better chance of being adopted, rather than euthanized. A future Wings of Rescue mission will fly 60 chihuahuas from Los Angeles to New York City.

Sweeney said, “My wife, Megan, told me that this is something we must do. I had always thought that once you have a pilot’s license, you have an obligation to share it so we called and volunteered.” Sweeney and his wife took part in their first airlift on Dec. 7, 2012.

Founded by AOPA members Cindy Smith and Yehuda Netanel, Wings of Rescue differs from other dog rescue organizations in that its goal is to consolidate missions from different pro-adoption groups in order to maximize the efficiency of the aircraft. In addition, Smith and Netanel have recruited larger airplanes to fly the rescue missions so that more dogs can be saved. Sweeney flew his mission in his Cessna P210, but a recent mission included a Piper Meridian, TBM, and King Air.

Whether making the entire trip, or serving as a feeder flight for a longer mission, Steve and Megan have thoroughly enjoyed the rescue flights. As for the dogs, Sweeney described them as “incredibly good passengers.” In sum, Sweeney said, “I love flying, I love my airplane and I love sharing it with the dogs.”

Thousands of AOPA members like Sweeney depend on AOPA Insurance Services to protect their aircraft. With such a valued asset carrying precious cargo—whether family, friends, or man’s best friend like Sweeney—pilots know they can rely on AOPA Insurance Services to understand their particular aviation needs and provide the security and protection they need. For a free, no-strings quote, go to the website.

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