Member News


Looking ahead to 2013

Dec 27, 2012

2013 will be a pivotal year for AOPA, with issues to address that will affect members’ flying in the short and long term, according to AOPA President Craig Fuller.

2013 will be a pivotal year for AOPA, with issues to address that will affect members’ flying in the short and long term, according to AOPA President Craig Fuller.

“For 2013, AOPA has developed priorities that help us advance our freedom to fly: protecting the freedom to fly through our unflagging commitment to advocacy; sharing the freedom to fly by providing information and extending knowledge through our print and electronic media outlets; and building on the freedom to fly by inspiring and engaging the next generation of pilots, while helping today’s pilots find cost effective ways to spend more time flying,” said Fuller. Below, key AOPA executives outline their priorities in 2013.

Melissa Rudinger, senior vice president of government affairs, said that since the Obama administration is continuing, she expects 2013 will look a lot like 2012. “But with the looming debt crisis, the challenges become greater because there’s more pressure on the federal government to find new revenue streams,” she said. “The government will look at all possibilities to raise revenue, including possibly calling for user fees.”

AOPA also faces cuts in programs that are vital to general aviation, said Rudinger. The big issues the government affairs team sees in 2013 are making sure the transition to NextGen continues for the viability of the system; fighting off user fees; continuing to push the FAA to reduce regulatory barriers on GA; hoping for positive news on the exemption for a third class medical; working on the Part 23 Aviation Rulemaking Committee; and continuing to move ahead on an alternative fuel to 100LL.

Lorraine Howerton, vice president of government affairs and the face of AOPA on Capitol Hill, said her main priority is to ensure that the community is not assessed user fees. “If we have to come up with ways to participate in our fair share of deficit reduction, we want to ensure that it won’t adversely affect the freedom to fly or the pilot population,” she stated.

The current climate in Washington is that no matter how hard you try, you can’t always avert participating in cost cutting, said Howerton. “So if we have to do this, we want to do it in a way that will have the least amount of harm to GA. We want to make sure key members of Congress know the impact of cuts to GA,” she said. “The fiscal cliff is scary. Sequestration is scarier.”

Another priority is to boost the numbers of the House GA Caucus, which lost 44 members, said Howerton. “These members are critical to ensuring that Congress act responsibly when it comes to GA issues. Most importantly, we need to educate members on what GA is—and is not,” she stated. “We need to be aware of these and mobilize our members to avoid legislative malfeasance.”

Greg Pecoraro, vice president, regional affairs, noted that while the economy continues to recover from the recession, pressure on state and local government budgets remains. “My priority is twofold—to ensure the cost of aviation is not increased by state action, while making sure there’s adequate funding for states’ roles in aviation,” he said.

On the local level, financial pressures remain on airports, said Pecoraro. “Airports are facing scarce dollars, with less revenue generated by airports because of the decline of the economy and aviation activities,” he said. “Ideally, we want airports open, but budget constraints are creating challenges, including neighborhood pressures to close them or restrict operations and developers seeing facilities as prime real estate.”

Local governments are looking for ways to generate more revenue, said Pecoraro. “In some cases, airports that are self-sufficient are being eyed as a way to balance budgets,” he said. “They can’t do it, but it doesn’t mean they won’t try. In 2013, we will continue our efforts to show the value that airports bring to the community.”

2012 was a busy year for AOPA’s efforts to grow the pilot population, including the hiring of Adam Smith as senior vice president of the new Center to Advance the Pilot Community. “In 2013, we will fully staff the center so it can see what works, share the information widely, and use it to improve every aspect of the aviation experience,” he said.

A major initiative under the center is the AOPA Flying Club Network, a key part of growing the pilot population, said Smith. “In 2013, the network will offer marketing and promotion to existing flying clubs, help new clubs get going with starter kits that include examples of standard operating procedures and sample legal documents, and create a national network of flying clubs,” he said.

The center will also continue its work in helping student pilots complete their training through the Flight Training Student Retention Initiative, continue to oversee the Flight Training Excellence Awards, and ensure that it continues to distribute Flight Training Field Guides to help schools, instructors, and students create the kind of collaborative training environment that engenders success, said Smith.

Heidi Williams, vice president of air traffic services and modernization, said a big priority in 2013 is the FAA’s cost recovery plan for digital charting products. “The FAA has indicated that they plan on having a proposal in January 2013, and have it implemented by October 2013,” she said. “They say they will go through the rulemaking process, but it’s still an aggressive timeline. And it means changes in fee structures for our members.”

Also of importance in 2013 covers NextGen, with new and emerging products being delivered to the market, said Williams. “There are implications to the FAA’s budget and how that will impact NextGen and NextGen technologies. The big unknown is what the fiscal cliff will mean for NextGen,” she said.

Tied in with the FAA’s budget is the legacy versus NextGen technology, said Williams. “There are costs to maintain legacy and new services like WASS, and FAA can’t continue to do both,” she stated. “FAA is in the process of developing criteria to decommission certain navigational aids. It plans to hold public discussion and release the criteria and that will be of great interest to AOPA and its members.”

Craig Spence, director-general of IAOPA, said his major priority for 2013 will be to solidify the regional base for the organization. “Look at European region -- they are best organized of all. As ICAO begins to look at implementation of its global air navigation plan and what’s known as Aviation System Block Upgrades, it will be implementing these on a universal, but more important regional basis,” he said. What is good for CESAR and NextGen may not be good for Asian region. So solidifying IAOPA in those regions in order to discuss the issue with ICAO regional staff will be extremely important.”

Greater GA representation at key events is also going to be important, said Spence. “Many of worldwide aviation events are commercial in nature, and show organizers want to have GA as part of their forum,” he said. “Presenting GA’s case to the world will be another priority in 2013.”

Finally, Spence, in his role as vice president of operations and international affairs, said he expects the supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking for the Large Aircraft Security Program to be released in 2013. “We’ll be working closely with the Transportation Security Administration and the industry to minimize the impact on GA,” he said. “We also plan on joining with other industry stakeholders to address the problem of TFRs and the impact they are having on GA.”

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Top 10 AOPA announcements of 2012

Dec 17, 2012

Launches of a television-style webcast, free memberships for youth, and a network of flying clubs are among AOPA’s top announcements of 2012.

It was a busy year for AOPA in the announcements department. Below we summarize the top 10 achievements of 2012, in no particular order.

  1. AOPA Live This Week . This television-style webcast, created by Executive Producer Warren Morningstar and hosted by AOPA Editor in Chief Tom Haines, offers a comprehensive look at the most interesting stories in general aviation. The show also has its own public channel on Roku, an Internet-enabled box that allows viewers to stream content instantly on their televisions.
  2. AV8RS . This free membership program, launched in July, targets young aviators aged 13 to 18. This new membership category was designed to make an early connection with young people, with the goal of continuing to engage them throughout their pilot life cycle.
  3. Center to Advance the Pilot Community . The center was launched in October with the broad mandate to rebuild the declining pilot population. The center’s initiatives include the Flight Training Student Retention Initiative, the Flight Training Excellence Awards, the MyFlightTraining website, and the Flight Training Field Guides.
  4. AOPA Flying Club Network . Launched in October, the network is part of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community’s goal to reverse the decline in the pilot population. The goal is to have 1,000 clubs up and running within five years.
  5. FAR Part 23 rewrite. AOPA is one of 55 members of this FAA aviation rulemaking committee working to speed regulatory changes without compromising safety.
  6. Flight Training Excellence Awards . This new awards program attracted 2,400 nominations and named five winners. The awards were created in order to allow AOPA to identify and recognize the highest levels of achievement for flight schools and instructors, with the goal of encouraging others to adopt the characteristics of success.
  7. Flight Training Field Guides . The flight training field guides were created as an insider’s guide for students, flight schools, and instructors.
  8. AOPA FlyQ EFB . This iPad app, launched in November, is the latest addition to the AOPA family of digital flight planning products. The new app is a complete pre-and in-flight planning tool that provides airport directory information, aviation weather, and flight planning.
  9. Progress in transition to an unleaded fuel . AOPA and other members of the General Aviation Avgas Coalition applauded FAA in September for creating a Fuels Program Office as part of the ongoing effort to establish an unleaded avgas transition program.
  10. Third-class medical exemption request . AOPA and EAA jointly filed a request in March with the FAA to request this exemption. At latest count the petition has received 16,230 comments.
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Want to get more out of your membership?

Dec 03, 2012

We’re always looking for new ways to bring even more value to your membership, especially ways to help you be a better pilot.

We’re always looking for new ways to bring even more value to your membership, especially ways to help you be a better pilot, learn about fun places to fly, brush up piloting skills and learn more about issues that could impact your freedom to fly.   Our new expanded webinar program,AOPA Webinars: Stay Smart will do all of that and more!

Members who call into our Pilot Information Center tell us it is one of their most valued benefits.  With  18 aviation experts (the majority flight instructors), we’d be hard-pressed to handle the workload if every one of our nearly 400,000 members called in—but, knowing it is such a valued benefit, we wanted to figure out a way to share their expertise with a larger audience.    Hence, the AOPA Webinars: Stay Smart series was born!

The webinar program will bring great topics to your desktop where you can ask questions and learn from others’ questions on topics like aircraft ownership, safety, medical, legal, flight training techniques and advocacy.  What’s even better is the majority of the webinars are free for members (some are exclusive for AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services participants).

So, watch the Member Benefits bulletin monthly for a list of upcoming webinars.  We’ve got a great line-up for June.

Topics this month include:

6/13:  Thunderstorm Avoidance: ATC, Datalink, and You
6/18:  Flight Schools-Making the Most of Your CFI Team
6/19:  Aircraft Maintenance:  Keeping the Cost Down
6/20:  For your iPad, Introducing AOPA FlyQ EFB
6/26:  Flying Club Insurance
6/27:  The Big C: Cancer and Your Medical*

You do need to register and seats are limited, so sign up now.

If you have any questions call 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672), Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. ET with your question and one of our friendly expert staff will be happy to assist you.

*Participation in AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services Program is required

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A good nights sleep

Dec 03, 2012

Have any of you checked out the FAR/AIM recently? Often characterized as more of an aid to good sleep than an exciting read, the 2012 edition contains something that should wake you up. In Chapter 8, Section 1, the manual points out that obstructive sleep apnea is a factor in aviation accidents.

In the December 2011 AOPA Pilot magazine (" Perchance to dream" page 32), I wrote an article about obstructive sleep apnea and covered a number of aspects of this common condition that leads to potential for cockpit problems. It astonishes me how often people dismiss serious health issues, and given that our pilot population skews male with an average age in their 50s, common sense tells you there are snorers out there—often a key indicator of sleep apnea.

Have any of you checked out the FAR/AIM recently? Often characterized as more of an aid to good sleep than an exciting read, the 2012 edition contains something that should wake you up. In Chapter 8, Section 1, the manual points out that obstructive sleep apnea, where partial blockage of the airway leads to snoring, disturbed sleep, and thereby daytime weariness, is a factor in aviation accidents. As such, pilots presenting for their aviation physical may be asked about snoring and other symptoms, and if they appear overweight the doctor will calculate the body mass index; if over 30 or if the neck collar is greater than 17 inches, sleep studies may be recommended.

We have all seen the news reports of air traffic controllers and commercial pilots who have been caught having a snooze at inappropriate times, and we also know that fatigue plays a role in motor vehicle accidents and probably in some aviation accidents. It makes sense to be aware of the dangers of sleep apnea for your own health and the sanity of your bed partner. Now there is a compelling reason to be aware and take action to preserve your flying privileges. Lose weight, change your diet, and get tested and treated. And sleep well in your bed so that you can fly well in your airplane.

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Emergency Assistance Plus not just for dire emergencies

Dec 03, 2012

When you're away from home, anything that disrupts travel can seem like an emergency. Fortunately, you don't have to be critically ill to take advantage of the many benefits of EA+.

When you’re away from home, anything that disrupts travel can be an emergency; you don’t have to be critically ill to take advantage of the many benefits of Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+). The program comes to the rescue for serious medical situations and death while away from home, but it also helps with minor yet annoying travel disruptions.

For example, EA+ is on your side to help track down lost luggage. The organization knows the ins and outs of how the airlines work, so you want EA+ on your side when your bags go missing. EA+ also helps with lost documents: passport, driver’s license, visas, and lost or stolen credit cards, too. It’s easy to pick up the phone and call EA+ when you find yourself with the dilemma of something gone wrong on a trip.

EA+ also will smooth the way with a “no limit” emergency cash transfer assistance—against a valid credit card, of course, but you won’t face a frustrating phone tree with anonymous clerks in case you find yourself with no cash and no wallet when away from home. This service becomes particularly valuable when outside the country where toll-free numbers may not work. You can simply call EA+.

There are lots of big reasons to join EA+—knowledgeable assistance in case you face a serious medical emergency away from home for one—but there are a dozen small reasons to join as well. With EA+ on your side, an annoying emergency can be solved by making one phone call.

There’s no better time to join EA+. It’s simple, and you can apply online. For just $89 for an individual and $109 for a family plan, you can’t go wrong. You may not control when an emergency strikes, but you can be prepared when it does.

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Holiday shopping AOPA offers pilot products discounts

Nov 21, 2012

From stunning aviation photographs to deals on aircraft parts and supplies, AOPA makes shopping for the pilot on your list easy this holiday season.

From stunning aviation photographs to deals on aircraft parts and supplies, AOPA makes shopping for the pilot on your list easy this holiday season.

The association offers products that broadcast pilots’ love of aviation and facilitate their flying—and members can get exclusive deals on pilot supplies and more from aviation and nonaviation companies.

A number of companies offer deals to AOPA members through the Lifestyles Member Discounts program; pilots can save on anything from avionics to training resources. Deals include a $10 gift card for a purchase of $100 or more from AOPA Strategic Partner Aircraft Spruce for members who order using the code from the Lifestyles page. AOPA’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide highlights more training, flight planning, and pilot products. AOPA insignia merchandise is available in the AOPA Store, including the AOPA ornament.

Aviation enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy the inspiring image of an aircraft in flight. Through the AOPA photo gallery store, AOPA photographers’ favorite aviation photographs are now available as prints, framed prints, and gifts. The gallery offers a wide selection from common manufacturers as well as rarer birds, from the whisper-quiet, electric E-Spyder to the rumbling Ford Tri-Motor.

You can express your passion for aviation and support the AOPA Foundation by purchasing any of 26 aviation-themed Christmas and holiday cards, or support the next generation of pilots by donating an AV8RS youth membership. Also, consider the gift of membership for someone who could benefit from the tools, resources, and support AOPA offers to pilots and aspiring pilots.

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National Car Rental offers AOPA members speed choice value

Nov 21, 2012

National Car Rental provides discounts to AOPA members year-round while returning a portion of the rental to support general aviation.

AOPA members know what it means to be in the “driver’s seat.” Crossing the country is second nature to them, and no one knows this better than National Car Rental, the industry leader in customer loyalty for frequent travelers.

As an AOPA strategic partner, National Car Rental provides a discount to members year-round. Each time a member books his or her rental through aopa.org/cars or 866/315-9155, a portion of the rental helps support general aviation.

AOPA members also can take advantage of complimentary enrollment in National’s award-winning Emerald Club. The Emerald Club expedites the rental process for members by offering counter bypass as well as access to National’s “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can personally select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized car. That means that members can choose the car that best fits their needs&emdash;including a full-size car or larger—and only pay the mid-size price. In addition, Emerald Club members can choose to receive EmeraldAlerts—email communications that include Arrival and Return Alerts, and Drop & GoSM service with convenient e-receipts.

“A frequent traveler has a lot of things on their mind, so we make this as easy as possible for them,” says National’s Assistant Vice President of Marketing Rob Connors. “It’s about speed and putting our customers in control of their trip.”

National also is partnered with Signature Flight Support locations. Upon arrival at one of Signature’s FBOs, AOPA members who are enrolled in the Emerald Club will find a vehicle parked on-site with a representative to greet them with keys. Everything related to the rental is located in the vehicle with no paperwork to complete.

Emerald Club enrollment is free and can be completed online. Enter Contract ID AOPA123 to your profile to save each time you rent, while supporting AOPA.

Already a frequent renter with Avis or Hertz? National offers a status match to AOPA members. Just visit National’s website to learn more.

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Aero Space Reports signs on as third AOPA strategic partner

Nov 19, 2012

AOPA has signed a new Strategic Partner agreement with Aero-Space Reports Inc., one of the leading aircraft title and escrow services providers in the nation.

aero-space reports

AOPA has signed a new Strategic Partner agreement with Aero-Space Reports Inc., one of the leading aircraft title and escrow services providers in the nation. The Oklahoma City, Okla.-based company becomes AOPA’s third strategic partner, joining Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car) and Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.

“The outstanding customer service that Aero-Space Reports delivers throughout an aircraft purchase process is exactly the type of experience we want to make more affordable for our members,” said Ed Thompson, AOPA vice president of corporate partnerships. “We are very excited about the new benefits that this partnership provides for our nearly 400,000 members.”

Just like Enterprise Holdings and Aircraft Spruce, Aero-Space Reports is a family-owned business with deep roots in aviation. The company was founded in 1969 and taken over by Neal Snowden Sr. and his wife, Polly, just a few years later. For the past 20 years, Neal Snowden Jr. and his wife, Vicki, have provided the leadership that has led Aero-Space Reports to become one of the industry’s most respected aircraft title and escrow services businesses.

In addition to offering AOPA members a special rate on bundled services, Aero-Space Reports will be supporting AOPA’s mission and members through sponsorship and aircraft purchase-related education activities.

“Aero-Space Reports could not be more excited about partnering with AOPA, an organization that clearly shares the same core values we strive to practice,” said Snowden, president of Aero-Space Reports. “We understand aircraft purchases can be stressful, and AOPA members need and deserve a company they can trust. With a title search turn-around time of four hours, and never a charge for rush service, we feel confident Aero-Space Reports is the right company for the job.”

To learn more about the services provided by Aero-Space reports, visit the website.

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AOPA honors service with free memberships for active duty military

Nov 11, 2012

Veterans Day offers a reminder of the service and sacrifice of America's military personnel. AOPA is honoring the service of active duty military members by offering them a complimentary one-year membership.

Veterans Day offers a reminder of the service and sacrifice of America’s military personnel. AOPA is honoring the service of active duty military members by offering them a complimentary one-year membership in the association.

AOPA announced the offer in May as part of an effort to reach out to members of the military and support their flying goals. The association offers resources for pilots of all stripes, whether they fly recreationally or for the military.

If you know someone in the military who would enjoy an AOPA membership, please send them to www.aopa.org/military1.

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AOPA Aviation Summit commits to Palm Springs in 2012

Nov 01, 2012

AOPA has committed to hold general aviation's premier trade show and convention, AOPA Aviation Summit, at the Palm Springs Convention Center Oct. 11 through 13, 2012. The return to Palm Springs also means the return of the popular Parade of Planes.

Update: AOPA has canceled its 2014 Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif. AOPA is hosting regional fly-in events across the country and will have a special Homecoming Fly-In at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md., on Oct. 4, 2014.

AOPA has committed to hold general aviation’s premier trade show and convention, AOPA Aviation Summit, at the Palm Springs Convention Center Oct. 11 through 13, 2012.

AOPA Aviation Summit features dozens of aircraft on display at the Palm Springs Convention Center, more than 400 booths in the exhibit hall, and an enhanced education series offered over the course of three days.

The organization has not been to Palm Springs since 2006. Since then, almost $200 million has been spent to build new hotels and upgrade existing facilities.

The return to Palm Springs also means the return of the popular Parade of Planes, traveling the mile from Palm Springs International Airport to the convention center. Palm Springs is the only city that allows for this option.

“Our goal is to create a convention with a national draw, which is why we’re returning to Palm Springs in 2012 and 2014,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “It’s a very popular destination for attendees and exhibitors alike, and we’re happy to be returning.” If you cannot attend in person, pilots and members will still be able to participate by watching AOPA Live coverage.

“Palm Springs has a great selection of accommodations at a variety of prices, many with a resort feel,” said Director of Outreach and Events Andrea Berry. “We have worked closely with the convention center and the Palm Springs Visitors Authority, who have rolled out the red carpet to ensure that our members and exhibitors are welcomed and will have the best Summit experience.”

“The city is also very aviation friendly and home to the Palm Springs Air Museum, which houses one of the country’s largest collections of World War II aircraft,” said Berry. The summit is expected to generate $12 million in economic impact.

If you are an active pilot or want to get back into flying, AOPA Aviation Summit is the place to be. “AOPA Aviation Summit has something to offer all members, whether you’re an aircraft owner, a pilot who rents, or an aviation enthusiast who doesn’t yet hold a pilot certificate,” said Fuller. “We want to provide more opportunities for pilots to participate in Summit via sharing their stories, attending seminars, attending keynotes with aviation leaders and participating in social events. Pilots will walk away with knowledge on how to get the most out of their flying.”

In addition to all the great interactive displays, educational opportunities and hundreds of exhibits, there will also be time for more social events. The goal in Palm Springs is to offer a range of social activities that will allow pilots to connect in a meaningful way while taking advantage of the best the city has to offer.

AOPA will also use the Aviation Summit to reveal the lucky winner of this year’s Tougher than a Tornado sweepstakes aircraft, a 2011 Aviat Husky. It is a rugged, hand-crafted two-seat aircraft that can land on a wide variety of surfaces, including grass, sand beaches, and river beds.

“We will have many exciting new offerings at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs,” concluded Fuller. “We look forward to seeing our members at this important yearly event.”

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Popular Pilot features now in e book

Oct 25, 2012

Two of AOPA Pilot's most popular features--"Never Again" and "Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents"--are being turned into e-books.

Two of AOPA Pilot’s most popular features—“Never Again” and “Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents”—are being turned into e-books.

The first two features being turned into e-books are The Best of ‘Never Again,’ Vol. 1 and The Best of ‘Safety Pilot Landmark Accidents,’ Vol. 1.

One constant through every one of the 660 issues of AOPA Pilot published since 1958 has been the monthly “Never Again” column, said AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines . “The stars of this show are not well-known authoritative aviation experts,” he said. “The education, training, and entertainment from these pages is crafted by AOPA members who have courageously decided to share their experiences with the membership at large so we can all learn from their experiences.

The “Landmark Accidents” series dissects notable accidents to uncover what went wrong and what pilots can learn as a result. The articles cover much of what can go wrong from a pilot’s perspective, said AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. “Dive in wherever you like—each accident has points to ponder,” he noted. “Aviation lets us see and do things that most other people never get to experience. Just remember that safe is never the equivalent of risk free. Manage that risk intelligently and you’ll fly for a long time in great safety.”

“Our members enjoy reading regular magazine features like ‘Never Again’ or ‘Landmark Accidents,’ so we decided to make them more available by compiling them in an e-book,” said Haines. “We look forward to offering even more of the best features in AOPA Pilot as e-books.”

The e-books are available for download from the “shop.aopa.org” online store. When purchased through the AOPA online store, members who are logged in can purchase the book at a special introductory price of $7.99. Nonmembers, or anyone purchasing the e-books through outside vendors such as Amazon or iBooks, will pay $9.99. AOPA’s e-books can be viewed on popular e-readers including the Kindle and Nook, as well as tablets like the iPad and various Android devices. With special software, they can also be viewed on PCs and laptops.

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Matching grant packs a punch for safety more

Oct 23, 2012

AOPA Foundation supporter Bennett Dorrance has issued a challenge to supporters to match his $60,000 contribution to the foundation dollar for dollar by the end of 2012.

Promoting safety, growing the pilot population, protecting airports, and supporting general aviation’s benefits to the community are some of the important goals made possible by programs funded by the AOPA Foundation.

Now, tax-deductible contributions that support those worthwhile programs can go much further, thanks to a matching grant offered by a long-time supporter of the AOPA Foundation.

As a statement of his passion for aviation, and to motivate other pilots to help keep general aviation strong, AOPA Foundation supporter Bennett Dorrance is offering a $60,000 matching grant, challenging the foundation’s supporters to match his contribution dollar for dollar by the end of 2012.

That challenge gives all supporters of the AOPA Foundation’s programs the opportunity to double the impact of their own generosity.

“This is too good an opportunity to lose,” said AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg in a letter to supporters.

Landsberg added that the challenge grant provides an “unsurpassed opportunity for each of us to advance a great cause—protecting our freedom to fly.”

Pilots can make a donation now.

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Want less mail Sign up for AOPAs Automatic Renewal Program today

Oct 22, 2012

You'll no longer receive renewal notices - a benefit for you, your association, and the environment! We will reinvest those savings into new and enhanced member services for you. 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. Additionally, AOPA is launching the Center to Advance the Pilot Community to help increase the pilot population and secure the future of general aviation.

Enroll today to reduce the clutter in your mailbox and save costs for AOPA.

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Accident Case Study Time Lapse

Oct 22, 2012

One of the great advances in general aviation over the past decade has been the widespread availability of in-cockpit weather. The ability to see exactly where the weather is—rather than having to rely entirely on your eyes and ATC guidance—is a major step forward, and a real confidence booster.

The problem is, sometimes it leads to overconfidence.

In the latest installment in our Accident Case Studies series, we take an in-depth look at a 2011 crash that dramatically highlights an often-overlooked limitation of datalink radar. If you use Nexrad to navigate around convective activity, this is one video you shouldn't miss.

Take this course.

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EA plus helps ill woman get home from Mexico

Oct 19, 2012

Many people are surprised at how costly a medical emergency can be, especially out of the country. That's why programs such as AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) are so vitally important.

As Americans travel abroad in record numbers, some companies are offering “medical repatriation” services to bring sick travelers home safely and more affordably. But many people are surprised at how costly a medical emergency can be, especially out of the country. That's why programs such as AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) are so vitally important.

Recently, EA+ was notified that a woman was hospitalized in Mexico for gastrointestinal bleeding. As this was a very serious diagnosis and one that the attending physicians were not qualified to handle, EA+'s assistance coordinators and the EA+ medical director began working with the hospital to gather all of the necessary medical information for the member. The assistance coordinators began planning an air ambulance to transfer her to a more appropriate facility for immediate treatment of her condition.

EA+ transferred the patient to California via air ambulance just 10 hours after her initial hospitalization. The patient was treated for her illness and EA+ flew the patient and her husband home to Arizona. The covered cost for this was $14,508, and the cost of an EA+ individual plan starts at as little as $89 a year. For more information on how you can join AOPA EA+ visit us online.

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Visit the AOPA Insurance Services headquarters

Oct 15, 2012

At the AOPA Insurance Services office in Wichita, Kan., employees are always happy to greet any members who may stop by.

dennis oliver AOPA Insurance Services Team Lead Shelly Kalal and AOPA member Dennis Oliver

At the AOPA Insurance Services office in Wichita, Kan., employees are always happy to greet any members who may stop by, like 56-year AOPA member and 10-year AOPA Insurance Services customer Dennis Oliver.

Oliver, 75 and still flying strong, met with Team Lead Shelly Kalal and even got his picture snapped with her while he was there. Accompanied by two-year AOPA member Douglas Blair, their visit was a welcome one.

Because AOPA Insurance Services provides a variety of aviation insurance services conveniently under one roof, you’re sure to find an affordable policy that meets all of your coverage needs. Since it’s from AOPA, you can rest assured that our insurance is based more on how your world looks from the cockpit than on how you look on an actuarial table. Visit AOPA Insurance Services online, or if you are in the area, stop in and see us!

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AOPAs superb customer service impresses member

Oct 08, 2012

AOPA member Alberto Guerrero described himself as "desperate" when he called AOPA with a problem: He had forgotten to sign and return the policy form for his non-owned insurance, and feared his flying club wouldn't let him fly. Within 20 seconds, AOPA staffer Jo Cox had put him at ease.

AOPA member Alberto Guerrero purchased non-owned insurance from AOPA along with the instructions to sign the policy form and return it to AOPA within 15 days.

“I screwed up and forgot to do that, and I was afraid my flying club would restrict my ability to fly—a fate worse than death,” Guerrero said.

alberto guerrera

He described himself as “desperate” when he called AOPA, but was put at ease within 20 seconds. AOPA staffer Jo Cox gave Guerrero the option of scanning a signed form and emailing it back to her directly with no penalty or problem. He said, “I was so relieved to get someone on the phone who had a solution to my problem and cared to make my life a little easier.”

That should have resolved the problem, but it didn’t.

Like many members with very busy lives, Guerrero realized he couldn’t find the original form and looked everywhere in his house for it. “It was just gone,” he said. “I embarrassingly emailed Jo asking her to mail me another copy as soon as possible, but she did one better.”

Within minutes, Guerrero was emailed a filled-out form ready to sign. “Now that’s what I call customer service!” he said, adding, “Thank you for taking such good care of this occasionally absent-minded pilot.”

For more information on AOPA Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance and other types of aviation insurance, visit www.aopainsurance.org. You can get a free quote online—and in most cases immediately proceed to purchase your coverage and be on your way to the airport. AOPA makes it easy for you to secure the coverage you need.

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AOPA MasterCard becomes inadvertent networking tool

Oct 01, 2012

AOPA member Peter Dekker used his AOPA WorldPoints MasterCard card to buy wood pellets for his home's stove and ended up finding a partner for the Piper Archer II he flies with his wife.

Peter Dekker

AOPA Member Peter Dekker

Peter Dekker, AOPA member since 2008, always wanted to learn to fly, but it wasn’t until his retirement four years ago that he had the time to devote to the process. Having earned his private pilot certificate, he soon bought a quarter share in a Piper Archer II, which he and his wife use for pleasure trips from their home base in Rindge, N.H., to varied destinations like Gettysburg, Pa., and Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island, Maine.

When Dekker was in need of a new credit card, he thought he might as well apply for AOPA’s MasterCard so his purchases could help support AOPA’s advocacy efforts. He knew, as well, that he could rapidly accumulate points—a task he actively pursues. In fact, he recently earned double points by paying for the airplane’s $4,000 annual inspection with the card.

When using his AOPA MasterCard, Dekker had noticed that merchants sometimes comment on it, most frequently thinking it’s a credit card to earn frequent flyer miles. But one day, Dekker used his card to buy wood pellets for his home’s stove at the Heart Line Stove Shop in Jaffrey, N.H. Unbeknownst to Dekker, Dave Miller, part of the family-owned business, is also a pilot, and he and Dekker ended up talking about flying for two hours. “At the time, I was thinking it was good Dave is one of the family—had he been just an employee, he probably would have been in trouble for talking with me for as long as we did,” said Dekker.

Peter DekkerWhen one of the partners decided to sell his share, Dekker remembered his conversation with Miller, who had expressed interest in the airplane. When Miller was approached, he said yes, and after a quick sale, Dekker and Miller share ownership of the Archer II, all because the AOPA MasterCard identified Dekker as a pilot.

Dekker and his wife fly about 100 hours a year and use their AOPA MasterCard to accumulate points which they can put to use for trips, merchandise, or cash. You never know what other bonuses this card can provide, identifying you as a pilot each time you use it.

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Protecting flight instructors AOPA offers insurance options

Oct 01, 2012

The AOPA Insurance Agency has a specialized insurance program to protect active CFIs.

Flight instructors are a valuable and critical resource to the future of general aviation. As such AOPA wants to protect them. If you are an active CFI, the AOPA Insurance Agency has a specialized insurance program that will do just that. Whether a loss occurs at the time you are instructing in someone else’s aircraft or afterward, such as being named in a lawsuit for instruction previously given, AOPA can help protect you with a practical level of insurance coverage.

Multiple coverage options allow you to best control the cost of your policy premium as well as meet your specific needs for the types of aircraft you are instructing in. Most importantly, defense costs are in addition to any coverage limit you choose, which often can be a much larger expense than the bent metal involved in an accident or incident.

Spend a few minutes visiting the website to review coverage options and obtain a quick quote. Or simply call AOPA’s helpful and knowledgeable aviation insurance team in Wichita at 800/622-AOPA (2672) to discuss your needs and get answers to your questions. Protecting members is AOPA’s top priority.

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AOPA Superb Customer Service Impresses Member

Sep 26, 2012

GuerreroAOPA Member Alberto Guerrero purchased renter’s insurance from AOPA along with the instructions to sign the policy form and return it to AOPA within 15 days. Guerrero says, “I screwed up and forgot to do that, and I was afraid my flying club would restrict my ability to fly – a fate worse than death.”

He describes himself as “desperate” when he called AOPA, but was put at ease within 20 seconds. AOPA Staffer Jo Cox gave Guerrero the option of scanning a signed form and emailing it back to her directly with no penalty or problem. He says, “I was so relieved to get someone on the phone who had a solution to my problem and cared to make my life a little easier.”

That should have resolved the problem, but it didn’t.

Like many members with very busy lives, Guerrero realized he couldn’t find the original form and looked everywhere in his house for it. “It was just gone,” he says. “I embarrassingly emailed Jo asking her to mail me another copy as soon as possible, but she did one better.”

Within minutes, Guerrero was emailed a filled-out form ready to sign. He says, “Now that’s what I call customer service!” He adds, “Thank you for taking such good care of this occasionally absent-minded pilot.”

For more information on AOPA Non-Owned Aircraft Insurance and other types of aviation insurance , visit our website.  You can get a free quote on line – and in most cases proceed to immediately purchase your coverage and be on your way to the airport.  AOPA makes it easy for you to secure the coverage you need.

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AOPA donors learn associations strategic path

Sep 26, 2012

The FAA's Jan. 1, 2020, deadline for installing ADS-B Out equipment is fast approaching - especially given the limited capacity of avionics shops to install the gear - AOPA supporters learned recently.

Typical of AOPA Aviation Roundtables, a group of pilots from western states quickly found common ground and friendship as they met in Oregon’s famed Willamette Valley for networking and to hear briefings on the state of aviation. The AOPA supporters and guests homed in on Newberg, Ore., for the weekend event in the shadow of the sprawling Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville.

Garmin’s Wayne McGhee kicked off the event with a briefing on NextGen and ADS-B, reminding pilots that while seemingly a long ways away, the FAA’s Jan. 1, 2020, deadline for installing ADS-B Out equipment is fast approaching—especially given the limited capacity of avionics shops to install the gear. McGhee is Garmin’s Northwest regional sales manager out of the Salem, Ore., office, which develops much of the company’s ADS-B technology. Garmin recently introduced several ADS-B-related products, including the GDL-39 portable system and the GDL-88 installed ADS-B transceiver.

Roundtable AOPA Senior Vice President of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community Adam Smith briefs AOPA supporters on the association’s efforts to boost the pilot population.

AOPA President Craig Fuller later shared some of the association’s strategies to impact the declining pilot population, such as the Flight Training Initiative, designed to decrease the number of student pilots who drop out of training. Among the association’s significant investments toward that project is the creation of the Center to Advance the Pilot Community. The center’s new senior vice president, Adam Smith, briefed the group on plans to assist flight schools and CFIs in being more effective in retaining students. Among the projects is the introduction of a series of field guides that will also help students set expectations for the training experience. In addition, Smith discussed ways to keep current pilots involved in aviation, especially through flying clubs. As it did with flight schools in 2010 and 2011, AOPA through research and interviews with successful clubs is introducing an outline of how clubs can be successful in lowering the cost of aviation for many pilots.

Chuck Wallace, a consultant to AOPA, outlined numerous other strategic investments being planned that will attempt to lower costs and increase engagement for pilots.

AOPA Senior Vice President of Media Tom Haines highlighted the organization’s newest media channel, AOPA Live This Week, a weekly video aviation news magazine. Posted every Thursday, the show covers the gamut from aviation news to video features and travel destinations. The show’s Roku channel launched earlier this month.

Roundtable Van’s Aircraft Founder Richard VanGrunsven (left) and AOPA President Craig Fuller.

While in the region, the AOPA team visited Van’s Aircraft, the largest manufacturer of kit airplanes. The company’s RV line of products is the most popular in the world. Founder Richard VanGrunsven led the team on a factory tour and took time to describe his latest model, the RV-14. VansGrunsven is the president of the newly formed Aircraft Kit Industry Association, a group of kit manufacturing companies and suppliers. VansGrunsven briefed the AOPA team on the group’s evolving goals of improving safety among Experimental aircraft and simplifying regulations around FAA sign offs of such airplanes.

The Aviation Roundtables are open to AOPA President’s Council donors and Hat in the Ring Society members. The roundtables are held numerous times throughout the year at a variety of locations around the country.

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5 ways to recruit new AOPA members

Sep 24, 2012

Get involved in AOPA's "Strength in Numbers" membership drive! With new membership options, it's easier than ever to tell your fellow pilots, colleagues, friends, and family members about AOPA membership.

Get involved in AOPA’s “Strength in Numbers” membership drive! With new membership options, it’s easier than ever to tell your fellow pilots, colleagues, friends, and family members about AOPA membership.

  • Refer a military aviator for AOPA’s one-year complimentary membership. AOPA wants to thank servicemen and women for defending our country. Military personnel who have any interest in aviation, from military to recreational flying to mechanics, will gain tools to safely achieve all their aviation goals through AOPA membership.
  • Encourage someone to join AOPA today. Joining AOPA is quick and easy. Share the link with you friends and encourage them to sign up today and start enjoying all of the perks that come with membership.
  • Educate others about the benefits of AOPA membership. Every day, AOPA works to protect your freedom to fly at the local, state, and federal level. Plus, enjoy 12 issues of AOPA Pilot or Flight Training magazine, talk to the experts in our Pilot Information Center, access flight planning tools, news, and other resources on AOPA.org, and save money through special members-only discounts.
  • Give a gift membership. Giving AOPA membership as a gift to a friend, colleague, or family members is perfect for the aviation enthusiast dreaming of getting into aviation or to an active pilot who hasn’t yet joined. The benefits of membership will welcome aviators and enthusiasts alike into the larger general aviation community and ignite their already present passion for aviation.
  • Sign up a future pilot for AOPA AV8RS Youth Membership . For the youth in your life, ages 13 to 18, help foster their desire to learn to fly by signing them up for a youth membership. Membership is free, and they’ll receive a free AOPA AV8RS membership card, a subscription to the digital edition of Flight Training magazine, members-only access to AOPA’s websites, chances to win flight training scholarships, and a free AOPA AV8RS sling bag.
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No risk when you enroll in Emergency Assistance Plus

Sep 22, 2012

Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is a service intended to fill the gap when accidents, illness, or other problems arise away from home for expenditures that health insurance doesn’t cover.

Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is a service intended to fill the gap when accidents, illness, or other problems arise away from home for expenditures that health insurance doesn’t cover. Pilots have active lifestyles, so we’re constantly on the go, making an away-from-home emergency a likely occurrence. You can read all about EA+ and its many benefits online.

EA+ and AOPA are so sure that this program is beneficial to you that you can apply for the program at no risk. This means you apply for EA+, at which time you’ll be sent a detailed description of the services and benefits EA+ offers. You’ll have 30 days to decide whether EA+ is right for you. If it is, great—do nothing. If it isn’t, just let EA+ know, and your full annual membership in it will be refunded.

It’s a total iron-clad 100-percent money-back guarantee.

While you’re checking out EA+, be sure to note that one of the membership options is that EA+ will make sure your airplane is professionally flown back to your home base should you be unable to fly yourself due to accident or illness. That benefit alone is worth the yearly membership fee.

Your AOPA membership earns you a discounted rate for EA+. Look at the options and apply today.

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Hurricane preparedness Keeping you covered

Sep 17, 2012

With hurricane season under way, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm.

With hurricane season under way, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm.

While developing your plan, check your insurance policy to see if it covers any costs for relocating your aircraft. Some policies cover the cost of hiring an evacuation pilot, and relocating and storing an aircraft. Other policies will reimburse policy holders for relocating their aircraft outside of a hurricane watch or warning area.

In the event that you are faced with relocation, AOPA Insurance Services offers the following tips to make the process go more smoothly.

  • Choose evacuation airports that are out of the hurricane watch or warning area and is comfortably within the range of your aircraft. Make sure the evacuation airport has temporary hangar or tiedown space available. Also, see if it has scheduled airline service or rental car availability to get you and/or your evacuation pilot back home.
  • If you plan to have an evacuation pilot fly your aircraft, check your policy. The policy will state the required minimum qualifications for your pilot. For many common single-engine aircraft, it is simply "private pilot or better." When looking for pilots in your area, check flight schools and aviation colleges, as well as local airports.
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AOPA inks strategic partnership with Enterprise Holdings

Sep 14, 2012

car rental logosAOPA has entered into a strategic partnership with St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, the most comprehensive service provider and only investment-grade company in the U.S. car rental industry. Enterprise Holdings operates the flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand, as well as National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.

As a strategic partner in AOPA’s new Corporate Partnership Program, the Enterprise, National, and Alamo brands will show support for the association all year round through sponsorship and engagement activities that will benefit AOPA members while also providing them with special rental car offers and discounts.

“We’re excited to partner with Enterprise Holdings and its outstanding brands,” said Ed Thompson, AOPA vice president of corporate partnerships and products. “They cover the wide spectrum of travel support that GA pilots need in both their personal and professional lives, including dropping off cars or picking up customers at destinations where there is no car rental counter in sight.”

The partnership between AOPA and Enterprise is a natural fit, since founder Jack Taylor served as a decorated Navy fighter pilot during World War II. As a result of that experience, he named his family-owned business after the USS Enterprise, one of the aircraft carriers upon which he had served.

“In the same way that AOPA members are passionate about flying, we are passionate about providing them with the highest level of customer service and value in our industry,” says Steve Short, vice president of leisure business development for Enterprise Holdings. “We look forward to utilizing our three brands to serve members, whether they fly at general aviation or commercial airports.”

Enterprise’s worldwide network includes more than 7,800 neighborhood and airport locations, with 6,000 offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population—and more than twice as many locations as Enterprise Holdings’ nearest U.S. competitor.

While many members have previously taken advantage of great offers and service from Enterprise and Alamo through AOPA’s Car Rental Discount Program, National is new to the mix of preferred brands.

“National’s Emerald Club is ideal for the frequent traveler with their counter bypass process, Drop & GoSM service, and convenient e-receipts,” Thompson said. “And all three brands deliver the type of award-winning service that our members deserve.”

In 2011, Executive Travel magazine recognized National as the top rental car service in the travel industry, honoring the brand with its Leading Edge Awards. In addition, the SmarterTravel Editors Choice Award went to Emerald Club in 2010 and 2011 as the Best Rental Car Loyalty Program.

As a result of this new partnership, Avis and Hertz are no longer affiliated with the AOPA Car Rental Discount Program.

For more information on special offers and discounts available through this new strategic partnership, visit www.aopa.org/cars.

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Pilot saves 1 000 through AOPA program

Sep 13, 2012

A single real estate transaction, and an AOPA membership, netted a career-switching writer now training to be an airframe and powerplant mechanic a cool $1,260.

At first, Bettina Edelstein admits, it sounded “almost too good to be true,” but for a Manhattan writer penning a book about her return to aviation, and enrolling in school out of state to become an airframe and powerplant mechanic, it made sense to check it out.

With a few mouse clicks, she learned that discounts can add up fast when you’re selling a Manhattan apartment through an agent who participates in AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts. At Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Edelstein found agents Timothy Griffin and Kevin Liba—both pilots—eager to help. While they couldn’t handle the sale personally, being based on Long Island, they put Edelstein in touch with a Manhattan broker—and stayed involved.

“Most important, Tim continued to check in regularly with me as well as the New York City broker to make sure everything was going well,” Edelstein said. “He was totally on the ball and delightful to deal with.”

Edelstein saved $1,260 on the commission, and, as she told Griffin, “that extra money is sure going to be a big help in paying for that honking set of Snap-On tools I'll be buying soon!”

Edelstein earned her private certificate in the 1980s, but stopped flying for more than 20 years. On a lark, she went for a ride in a Piper Warrior in November 2010.

“All it took was one brief flight for me to be smitten again,” Edelstein said. Shaking off the rust, “I found myself wanting to know more about how aircraft work and what makes them fly. Ultimately that yearning, and a newly awakened desire to be around airplanes as much as possible, led me to decide to pursue A&P certification. Meanwhile, I'm also writing a book about the life lessons I've learned in my return to flying.”

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EA plus comes to the rescue after Laos motorcycle accident

Sep 11, 2012

A member who was hospitalized in Laos after a motorcycle accident got help from AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+).

Many people are surprised at how costly a medical emergency can be, especially out of the country. That's why programs such as AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) are so important.

For example, EA+ received notification that a member was hospitalized in Laos due to a motorcycle accident in which he fractured his right fibula and dislocated his right ankle. After a consult between the attending physicians and EA+’s medical director, it was determined that the man was fit to travel by air, and that he needed to be transferred to a more adequate facility to treat his injuries immediately. EA+’s assistance coordinators were able to arrange an air ambulance in just 18 hours from the time of notification.

The man was transferred from Laos to Bangkok, Thailand, where he received proper treatment. A few weeks later, EA+’s medical director determined the member was stable enough to fly home and EA+ made the flight arrangements. The covered costs were $27,055, and the cost of an EA+ individual plan starts at only $89 a year. For more information on how you can join EA+ visit us online.

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AOPA offers options for term life

Sep 10, 2012

AOPA offers three distinct options when it comes to securing term life insurance to provide for your family's needs if something happens to you.

AOPA has such a diverse membership that there is not one insurance program that is best for all members. That’s why AOPA offers three distinct options when it comes to securing term life insurance to provide for your family’s needs if something happens to you.

The first option, the AOPA Group Term Life Insurance Plan, will make sure you can adequately provide for your loved ones. What makes this program special, however, is that the buying power of 400,000 AOPA members provides you a rate much more affordable than if you were buying Term Life as an individual. And, like all of AOPA Term Life products, there are no aviation exclusions, making this the right insurance for your active aviation lifestyle.

Prefer to lock in a rate? On a budget? You still need to protect your family, and AOPA’s Level Term Life Insurance makes coverage affordable. You will be able to lock in a rate and benefits for 10 or 20 years*. This is budget-friendly life insurance that also has no aviation exclusions.

Then AOPA offers PilotLife PLUS for members over the age of 50 and under the age of 75. What’s more, there is no medical exam required. Why a special package for seniors? It’s easy to let the years fly by without upping your life insurance benefits. If you haven’t monitored your coverage lately, check it out to make sure the dollar amount has kept pace with inflation and your family’s current needs. Of course, there are no aviation exclusions with this coverage either.

More information about all three of these Term Life insurance options provided by ReliaStar Life Insurance Co., a member of the ING family of companies, is available online. To save you time, you can also apply online. Make sure your family has the support and protection it needs.

By choosing AOPA-sponsored products, you ensure valuable revenue that AOPA reinvests to support its many advocacy efforts, and to fund its expanding campaign to popularize flying and to grow the number of general aviation pilots. AOPA receives a fee from the insurance broker and/or the insurer for its endorsement of this plan. Please note AOPA membership money was not used to provide this offering.

How do you know how much coverage is enough? If you’re not sure, AOPA has provided a simple checklist to help you determine how much insurance is the right amount for you and your family. AOPA simplifies this process with its free 7-Point Life Insurance Checklist, which you can download online.

* The initial premium will not change for the first 10 or 20 years unless the insurance company exercises its right to change premium rates for all insureds covered under the group policy with 60 days advance written notice. 

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Top five reasons to become an AOPA Plus member

Sep 04, 2012

Bringing with it enhanced access and extra-personal service, AOPA Plus is the perfect choice for members looking to get even more out of their membership.

An exciting new category has been added to AOPA’s suite of membership options: AOPA Plus. Developed in response to member requests for additional services, AOPA Plus allows the association to offer these services to those who need them without raising costs for all AOPA members.

Bringing with it enhanced access and extra-personal service, AOPA Plus is the perfect choice for members looking to get even more from their membership. Recognized with a specially designed membership card, AOPA Plus members are entitled to a host of great benefits—benefits that save time, money, and hassle, including these five:

  • Priority access to the AOPA Pilot Information Center’s staff of aviation specialists through a dedicated phone line and email address.
  • AOPA Navigator, an exclusive concierge service that connects you to an AOPA staff representative who serves as a personal contact and provides one-on-one assistance for all membership needs.
  • Special invitations to social events with AOPA leadership as well as advance notice of upcoming AOPA educational seminars.
  • Advanced screenings of Air Safety Institute online courses.
  • 10-percent savings on select member products.

Everyone is eligible to join the ranks of AOPA Plus members, and at only $99 per year it’s a real value. Become an AOPA Plus member or upgrade your current membership today by going online or calling 800/872-2672.

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Aircraft Insurance Renewal Application Explained

Sep 03, 2012

What happens 90 days prior to the renewal date of your aircraft insurance policy? AOPAIA mails an Aircraft Insurance Renewal Application to the address listed on the policy. This form shows the information that’s currently on file. It asks you, the insured, to review it and make any necessary corrections.

What happens 90 days prior to the renewal date of your aircraft insurance policy? AOPAIA mails an Aircraft Insurance Renewal Application to the address listed on the policy. This form shows the information that’s currently on file. It asks you, the insured, to review it and make any necessary corrections.

It is important that you review all of it and provide updated information in order to receive the best rate. The first section shows the address and contact information.

The next section lists the aircraft. Pay particular attention to the hull value and adjust it if necessary. This is the value listed on the expiring policy. It is not a reflection of our opinion of the value of your plane. If you don’t mark the application asking for another value, we will use the value shown, assuming it is within the range that the underwriter allows. If the plane was tied and is now hangared, this is where you indicate that. It is helpful to have the estimated amount of a loan, so we will know if we have enough hull coverage on the policy. If you’ve refinanced, mark that here with the new lending institution and/or loan amount. If you want alternate quotes for some other type of hull coverage, such as Not in Motion, mark that here.

The Liability Coverage section shows your current limit and asks if you have interest in higher limits.

The next section is Approved Pilots. This section gets overlooked and it carries the most weight in determining the premium. Generally, higher hours result in lower premiums. Some pilots stop keeping track of their hours after a certain amount, but this is not advisable. Some underwriters want to know how much a pilot flies in a year. You also may need to prove to an adjuster that you have a certain amount of hours in the event of a loss. Make sure we have the correct date of birth on the form. The BFR and Medical columns should show the month and year of the last ones you completed, not when they are due.

The last section refers to claims, violations, or drug or alcohol convictions. It is helpful to include the approximate date of the incident and a brief description of it. We may have it on file already, but we to be certain that there was not an additional incident to the one we have on file. If a claim was paid in the last 5 years, include the amount that was paid.

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Testing the limits

Aug 31, 2012

How would your insurance shake out after an emergency landing on a golf course that injures your passenger and a golfer, tears up the fairway, and damages your aircraft?

The most important coverage on your policy is often the most misunderstood--aircraft liability limits. You hear us banter around insurance terms such as smooth limits, combined single limit, sublimits, per passenger vs. per person, etc. What does it all mean?

Explaining coverage is often best done with a claim scenario. I love to golf, as I’m sure a few of you reading this column do as well, so let’s go out on the links to review how this accident scenario plays out depending on the type of liability limit you’ve purchased on your policy.

Here’s the accident scenario: You need to make an emergency landing in your Baron and spy a golf course below with a long, fairly straight fairway. You are able to land, but your passenger suffers a serious neck injury, a golfer is busy texting not paying attention and does not move before your wing knocks him to the ground, and the fairway is torn up, not to mention the damage to your Baron. Not your best day.

So we have the following claim components: bodily injury inside the aircraft to your passenger, bodily injury outside the aircraft to the golfer, damage to the golf course, and damage to your aircraft. Your aircraft damage will be handled under your hull coverage, but the rest fall under your liability limit.

With a “smooth” limit, which is the informal term for a combined single limit (these are one in the same), you have your entire limit to address all three liability claim components. So if you insured at $1 million smooth, you would have the full $1 million to address claims from your passenger, the golfer, and the golf course.

Now let’s look at the claim with a liability limit that involves a “sublimit”. Smooth limit policies certainly are more expensive, and you’ll understand why in just a minute.

With a “per passenger” sublimit, which is a common limit available from the standard marketplace and often purchased, your passenger coverage is reduced to the “sublimit” on your policy. So if you insured at $1 million limited to $100,000 per passenger, the golfer and the course would be under the $1 million and coverage for the passenger claim would be limited to the $100,000.

With a “per person” sublimit, which is found in policies issued by some direct underwriters, not only is your coverage reduced for your passenger, but also for the golfer in this scenario and would be for anyone injured inside or outside the aircraft. “Per person” sublimits are the most restrictive and should be avoided if at all possible. There is markedly less coverage than the other liability limit options, and there is almost never a related premium savings.

Check the liability limits on your policy to understand your coverage before your next takeoff. Visit the AOPA Insurance Services website to learn more.

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Airports weather flight planning Now on Android

Aug 29, 2012

AOPA has released the Android version of its popular FlyQ smartphone app. FlyQ Pocket, free to AOPA members, provides detailed airport information, aviation weather, and flight planning capability.

AOPA has released the Android version of its popular FlyQ smartphone app. FlyQ Pocket, free to AOPA members, provides detailed airport information, aviation weather, and flight planning capability.

“Our members have been asking that we release an Android version of the app. We launched the Apple edition of FlyQ Pocket earlier this year and we are pleased to now make it available on another popular platform,” said Chris Ward, AOPA vice president of eMedia.

Developed in partnership with Seattle Avionics, AOPA FlyQ Pocket includes the AOPA airport directory information—providing vital details on more than 5,300 public-use landing facilities; 7,000 fixed base operators (FBOs) and aviation-related businesses; and more than 55,000 restaurants, attractions, and transportation services.

FlyQ Pocket also delivers national, regional and local weather information, including the latest METARs, TAFs, radar, and more. The app provides users with simplified flight planning that requires only a flight’s origination and destination points. The application will then optimize the route based on forecast winds aloft and aircraft performance parameters.

An active AOPA membership and an AOPA website username and password are required to use FlyQ Pocket. Find more information online.

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Tornado Husky returns to where it all began

Aug 03, 2012

At Sun 'n Fun 2011, the brand-new Aviat Husky A-1C N40WY tore loose from its tiedowns and sustained damage when a tornado ripped through the show grounds. This year, the Husky returns in mint condition as AOPA's 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes aircraft.

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Insurance Services changes improve service coverage

Jul 30, 2012

AOPA Insurance Services (AOPAIS) has made major changes to bring customers much higher levels of service and significantly improved coverage for their aviation and life insurance needs - all under one roof.

insuranceAOPA Insurance Services (AOPAIS) has made major changes to bring customers much higher levels of service and significantly improved coverage for their aviation and life insurance needs—all under one roof.

Included as a part of these broader protection and service offerings now available from AOPA Insurance Services is EA+, the world-class traveler’s assistance program that has proven to be extremely valuable to AOPA members. To achieve their new goals, AOPA Insurance Services is combining its high levels of industry skill and aviation knowledge with the resources of the world’s most respected insurance underwriters. The result is now the best coverage, at the best rates, all delivered with a level of service second to none.

To signal the market of these changes for the better, AOPA Insurance Services is introducing a new graphic identity, a highly interactive website, and a new marketing campaign designed to memorably highlight the very real differences customers can expect from AOPA Insurance Services. Visit the website to learn more.

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AOPA launches AV8RS youth membership

Jul 25, 2012

av8rs

Across generations, dreams of flight have captured young people’s imaginations and made their spirits soar. The first airplane ride from the hometown airport creates a never-to-be-forgotten memory—unsurpassed, except perhaps by a first flight lesson, and later, a first solo.

For pilots, making a young dreamer’s wish of flight come true on a sunny summer afternoon is one of aviation’s greatest joys—but it’s only a first step. Nurturing the prospective pilot’s journey toward a lifetime in aviation takes sustained engagement blended with quality education and enthusiastic, supportive cultivation.

With that goal in mind and with a vibrant future for aviation the dream of all pilots, AOPA is introducing AOPA AV8RS, a new form of AOPA membership available free to young people ages 13 to 18. Youth membership benefits include a digital subscription to Flight Training magazine, dedicated content at www.aopa.org/av8rs, access to members-only content of AOPA Online and the AOPA Pilot Information Center toll-free help line, aviation quizzes for young people from the Air Safety Institute, chances to win flight training scholarships, and opportunities to connect with other AOPA AV8RS across the country through dedicated online social communities including Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, and a blog written by teens for teens. AOPA AV8RS members also will have free admittance to AOPA Aviation Summit. Upon joining, AV8RS members will receive a member welcome kit containing a letter of greeting, a membership card, and an AOPA AV8RS-branded sling bag.

AOPA believes that youth membership in the association will become an invaluable resource for young people, and will benefit and energize the aviation community at large.

Many aviation organizations, businesses, and education providers that serve young people will be involved in reaching out to tomorrow’s pilots, raising awareness, and providing engagement and support to AOPA AV8RS members.

“A strong and growing pilot population is vital to the future of our industry. Without pilots, general aviation cannot exist. But it takes a village to nurture and support the next generation of pilots. As such, we recognize the importance of working closely with other aviation and youth-serving organizations to share and combine resources in order to meet our respective objectives,” said Michelle Peterson, AOPA vice president of membership marketing.

Although youth engagement efforts have been advanced by numerous groups in the past, youth membership in a major aviation organization is a new wrinkle. Forging an early bond will help launch tomorrow’s pilots “into a continuum of activities and experiences that will involve and engage them for many years to come,” said Lauren Otto, AOPA membership development program manager.

You can learn about AOPA AV8RS on July 28 at an AOPA reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Partner Resource Center north of exhibit hangar C at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.

AOPA AV8RS will be front and center at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., Oct. 11 to 13 with selected educational and entertainment programs to be presented with a young pilot’s twist.

“A robust youth membership program that introduces teens to the world of aviation and provides support and encouragement is critical to promoting the popularity of flight in general aviation aircraft,” said Peterson. “Inspiring young people to learn to fly is the beginning of a promise. Providing a sustainable structure is the key to fulfilling that promise.”

Become an AOPA AV8RS member—teens can enroll online for free.

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Strength in numbers Help AOPA preserve freedom to fly

Jul 20, 2012

As an AOPA member, you know the value of belonging to the largest membership association that advocates on behalf of the entire GA industry. There's no better time than now, during our "Strength in Numbers" membership drive, for you to share that knowledge with your friends, fellow pilots, colleagues, and new and prospective student pilots.

Membership

For the last seven decades, AOPA has relied on the support of its members to become the most powerful voice in general aviation. We owe our strength and many accomplishments to nearly 400,000 members across the country. As our industry and the pilot population struggle through these tough economic times and with must-win battles like user fees, we need you—our members—more than ever to help us maintain our powerful voice with a thriving and growing membership.

In that spirit, we’re excited to announce the launch of AOPA’s “Strength in Numbers” membership drive. As an AOPA member, you know the value of belonging to the largest membership association that advocates on behalf of the entire GA industry. You know about AOPA’s informative and relevant publications. You know about AOPA’s valuable educational resources and piloting tools. There’s no better time than now for you to share that knowledge with your friends, fellow pilots, colleagues, and new and prospective student pilots.

Membership matters

Increasing our membership means we can work more effectively to face down the growing threats against GA. And, with a very important election this year, it means we’ll have an even stronger voice in Washington, D.C., enabling us to continue the fight to preserve our freedom to fly for you and your children and grandchildren.

Top ways you can help now

Strength in numbers

Together we can continue to battle the long-term threat to the future of GA, the pilot population, and to all of us who share a passion for flying. And, no one has a greater stake in these issues than pilots like you and all of us at AOPA.

It only takes one

A strong word-of-mouth campaign is the most effective way to grow AOPA membership. According to the latest Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey, 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. If just a fraction of our members referred one new member, we will continue to grow and protect your freedom to fly. A growing AOPA means a greater awareness of the GA industry; more resources and support for members; and a louder voice when meeting with regional, state, and national policy makers.

By referring just one new member, you will make a difference. Please join us in this very important drive. You can also help by sharing this page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts to raise awareness of our campaign and rallying your fellow AOPA members on AOPA’s Facebook page.

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Aircraft pilot products added to AOPA Lifestyles program

Jul 18, 2012

Three new companies have joined the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program, offering deals and discounts on aviation and nonaviation-related products: AeroLEDs, Great Lakes Aero Products, Inc., and HME Watch.

Three new companies have joined the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program, offering deals and discounts on aviation and nonaviation-related products: AeroLEDs, Great Lakes Aero Products, Inc., and HME Watch.

AeroLEDs is introducing an FAA technical standard order all-LED replacement NAV/ACS/POS lights and the parts manufacturer approval LED SunSpot 36HX landing light replacement with an integrated pulse feature. AOPA members will receive free shipping valued at $15 with their purchase.

AOPA members can fly safer and see more traffic with new Great Lakes Aero Products aircraft windshields and windows, which offers 10,000-plus FAA/PMA parts for more than 1,000 aircraft models. Members receive a 10-percent discount off their list catalog prices on FAA/PMA windshields, windows, and/or lenses.

If you don’t need anything for your aircraft, how about a pilot accessory? AOPA members can save 10 percent on HME aviator timepieces. The company sells aviator watches and clocks including Citizen, Seiko, Pulsar, Torgoen, and the unique Geochron wall clock.

AOPA members can easily take advantage of the more than 20 aviation-related discounts available through the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program. Log in to AOPA Online and visit the Lifestyles page to see how much you can save through this free, core membership benefit.

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iPad giveaway AOPA awards prizes from Summit drawings

Jul 11, 2012

Winners of the 2012 AOPA Aviation Summit iPad Giveaway drawing will have powerful flight planning and electronic flight bag capabilities at their fingertips.

Winners of the 2012 AOPA Aviation Summit iPad Giveaway drawing will have powerful flight planning and electronic flight bag capabilities at their fingertips.

Attendees at AOPA Aviation Summit could sign up for the drawing, sponsored by AOPA FlyQ, AOPA Insurance Services, and Pilot Protection Services, at the AOPA Pavilion and Member area in the Palm Springs Convention Center during the show. Grand-prize winner Kathy Swigard of California receives a new 32 GB iPad and 12-month subscription to AOPA FlyQ EFB—the latest addition to the FlyQ family of digital flight planning tool that offers moving maps and charts, geo-referenced approach plates and airport diagrams, 3-D synthetic vision, and more.

Other attendees were selected to receive a 12-month subscription to AOPA FlyQ EFB: Jim Hanset of Oregon, Tom Newman of Colorado, Robert Barron of Colorado, Jack Klenik of Pennsylvania, and Michael Boyer of Oklahoma.

The AOPA FlyQ EFB app is now available for download in the App Store. Special subscription rates are available for AOPA members through the AOPA website. Learn more online.

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AOPA strategic partner Aircraft Spruce launches new website

Jul 11, 2012

Aircraft Spruce, an AOPA strategic partner, launched an entirely redesigned website on Nov. 6 to make the aviation superstore's website more intuitive and user-friendly than ever before.

Aircraft Spruce

Aircraft Spruce, an AOPA strategic partner, launched an entirely redesigned website on Nov. 6 to make the aviation superstore’s website more intuitive and user-friendly than ever before.

Improved search and site navigation makes it easier for AOPA members to find portable GPS, pilot supplies, headsets, avionics, instruments, wheels, tires, oil, filters, books, DVDs, and aviation software among Aircraft Spruce’s vast selection of more than 80,000 aviation products.

“With this redesign, Aircraft Spruce continues to demonstrate their long-standing commitment to providing aviators with a great customer service experience,” said AOPA Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Ed Thompson. “And with the holiday shopping season quickly approaching, the timing of this improvement couldn’t have been better.”  

Aircraft Spruce is encouraging all website visitors to provide the company with feedback and suggestions regarding the new design so that it can continue to improve it.

So visit www.aircraftspruce.com to get acquainted with the new site and to show your support for this AOPA Strategic Partner. While you’re there you can even request a free 900-page catalog.   

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Airport Day Sessions on Friday

Jul 09, 2012

With education sessions and advice from the FAA’s Airports Team, you won't want to miss Airports Day on Friday, October 12th.

Airport Day sessions on Friday

  • FAA Airports – News from the Top (this is the 10:30 am session)
    • Speaker: Catherine Lang, Deputy Associate Administrator for Airports
    • Description: Want to know what the FAA Airports Team thinks about an issue important to you?  Get an inside view from Catherine Lang on critical policies and regulations that affect your airport, as well as ask your questions.
  • Managing Airport Relationships (1:30 session)
    • Speaker: AOPA Airports Staff and industry experts
    • Description: From updating Master Plans to developing Minimum Standards to revising tenant leases, airport managers have to develop policies and regulations that affect a variety of airport patrons. Learn more about writing these critical documents and effectively engaging the airport community to minimize conflict, maximize communication, and foster support for your airport.
  • The Airport Managers Toolkit (3:15 session)
    • Speaker: AOPA Staff and Airports Cooperative Research Project
    • Description:  Airports present unique challenges to their sponsors and managers.  If you are looking for answers, come learn more from the Airports Cooperative Research Program and AOPA staff about valuable industry resources available to you that cover every aspect of managing, promoting, and leading a GA airport.
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Napa Valley welcomes aviators to AOPA Aviation Roundtable

Jul 05, 2012

The relaxed environment of Napa Valley coupled with food, flying, and fellowship among aviators attracted members of the AOPA President's Council and Hat in the Ring Society to an AOPA Aviation Roundtable recently to discuss the state of the association and general aviation.

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Visit your Husky test your knowledge at AOPA Tent

Jun 21, 2012

Going to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this year? Stop by the AOPA Tent to get a look at the 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes aircraft, an Aviat Husky A-1C.

Going to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., this year? Stop by the AOPA Tent to get a look at the 2012 Tougher than a Tornado Sweepstakes aircraft, an Aviat Husky A-1C. Learn about its remarkable brush with a tornado at the 2011 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-in and how you could become its owner in October. This rough-and-ready aircraft is back on the flight line and ready for adventure!

While at the AOPA Tent, stop inside to renew your membership, learn about new member benefits, test your aviation knowledge, win prizes, talk with aviation experts one-on-one, and enter the daily drawing to receive your free AOPA hat!

Know someone who’s dreaming of flying? Visit the AOPA Flight Training Center inside the AOPA Tent to get information on learning to fly, including how AOPA programs can help you accomplish your flight training goals.

There is something for everyone at the AOPA Tent; be sure to stop by and see it for yourself!

The AOPA Tent is located west of Hangar C in Booth 193.

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AOPA Online gets new look

Jun 14, 2012

In the coming days, AOPA Online will get a new, cleaner look. Enjoy a larger font size, bigger images, more open space, and a more prominent content area to make it easier for you to get the latest general aviation news.

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A Night For Flight Harrison Ford will be there Will you

Jun 09, 2012

The AOPA Foundation cordially invites you to an elegant evening of food, fun, and amazing entertainment. Including a visit from a very special guest and friend of general aviation, Harrison Ford! The benefit will be set at the vintage Riviera Palm Springs Resort, which will transport you back to a time when Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack ruled the entertainment scene, and Hollywood was in its golden age.

The AOPA Foundation cordially invites you to an elegant evening of food, fun, and amazing entertainment.  The benefit will be set at the vintage Riviera Palm Springs Resort, which will transport you back to a time when Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack ruled the entertainment scene, and Hollywood was in its golden age.

Start the evening off as the AOPA Foundation rolls out the red carpet for you to a courtyard reception. You never know who you will find roaming the grounds of the Riviera Hotel, trying to drop in on the party. Following hors d’oeuvres and cocktails enter the Grand Ballroom for a uniquely prepared three-course dinner. Throughout dinner, you will enjoy era-inspired entertainment. Franky, Dean, Sammy—they’ll all be there. Keep your eyes peeled for a few guest appearances throughout the evening. You may be surprised by who you see!

The event will also acknowledge this year’s four winners of the AOPA Foundation’s Hat in the Ring Society Achievement Awards given to individuals whose efforts have made a significant and positive impact on the future of GA.

You can also look forward to a visit from two very special guests and friends of general aviation, new Hat in the Ring member Harrison Ford, and Hat in the Ring Society co-chair, Dave Coulier.  Also joining us will be the Flying Wild Alaska pilots John Ponts, Luke Hickerson and Doug Stewart.

Your participation is vital, and when you take part in A Night for Flight, you’re creating a legacy with a gift that helps fund the critical, tax-exempt work of the AOPA Foundation to preserve our freedom to fly. Our Foundation programs are about the real future of general aviation. We’re the nation’s leading safety advocate and resource for pilots and their passengers; we’re leading the way to grow our pilot population and improve flight training; we’re educating communities and the media on the value of GA. The United States is the last country to have any significant GA flight operations, and it’s up to pilots to preserve general aviation’s future. Please help to ensure that future generations are able to experience the practicality and fulfillment of GA flight. If you do just one thing to keep GA strong, take part in this exclusive A Night for Flight gala!

In addition to the dinner, A Night for Flight includes an online auction to benefit the AOPA Foundation – with one-of-a-kind items and experiences for pilots like you!  Bidding opens Monday, August 27 at 9:00 a.m. EDT and closes Saturday, October 13 at 7:00 p.m. EDT.  Click here www.biddingforgood.com/aopafoundation.   To see the items that you could win!

Last’s year event sold out so make your reservations now!  For tickets or more information, call Julia Jones at (301) 695-2268, or email:  juliajones@aopa.org.

A Night for Flight
Thursday, October 11, 2012 ~ 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Riviera Palm Springs Resort, Palm Springs, CA

Transportation will be provided to/from all AOPA Official Hotels to the Riviera Hotel. Cocktail attire suggested.  $125 of your $250 ticket price is tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.  Summit registration is not required to attend A Night for Flight or bid on auction items.
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Keeping You Covered Hurricane Preparedness

Jun 09, 2012

With hurricane season underway, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm.

With hurricane season underway, AOPA members who live and/or plan to travel in hurricane-prone areas should have a plan to relocate their aircraft in the event of a storm.     

While developing your plan, check your insurance policy to see if it covers any costs for relocating your aircraft. Some policies cover the cost of hiring an evacuation pilot, relocating and storing an aircraft.  Other policies will reimburse policyholders for relocating their aircraft outside of a hurricane watch or warning area.

In the event that you are faced with relocation, AOPA Insurance Services offers the following tips to make the process go more smoothly:

  • Choose evacuation airports that are out of the hurricane watch or warning area; is comfortably within the range of your aircraft; have temporary hangar or tie down space available; and have scheduled airline service or rental car availability to get you and/or your evacuation pilot back home.
  • If you plan to have an evacuation pilot fly your aircraft, make sure you check your policy.  The policy will state the required minimum qualifications for your pilot. For many common single-engine aircraft, it is simply "private pilot or better" and when looking for pilots in your area, check flight schools and aviation colleges, as well as local airports.

For more information contact AOPA Insurance Services at 800-622-AOPA (2672), visit us on line, or if you a coming to AOPA Summit, please stop by to see us!

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Weve got what you want this year

Jun 09, 2012

This will be my 12th year attending AOPA’s annual convention and my third time in Palm Springs. I must say, the Palm Spring’s venue is my favorite. I’m really excited about this year’s event—not only is it a great venue, but we’ve really listened to feedback from our members and designed this event to be what YOU want. There’s more education and training, as well as some really exciting celebrity guests, newly designed social events, and my favorite-- the Parade of Planes!

This will be my 12th year attending AOPA’s annual convention and my third time in Palm Springs. I must say, the Palm Spring’s venue is my favorite. I’m really excited about this year’s event—not only is it a great venue, but we’ve really listened to feedback from our members and designed this event to be what YOU want. There’s more education and training, as well as some really exciting celebrity guests, newly designed social events, and my favorite-- the Parade of Planes!

Summit 2012 is placing a greater emphasis on its learning opportunities to include even more expert advice and—entirely new this year—interaction during seminars and sessions. With more than 100 hours of seminars between the how-to’s, community and learning pavilion areas, you are certain to get a great education during Summit 2012. Plus, we have added facilitators to each of the seminars to ensure pilots get the education experience they expect and need. I will be one of them, and I really look forward to engaging with you.

You’ll also get the opportunity to hear from Discovery Channel’s ‘Flying Wild Alaska’ pilots, Craig Hosking, one of Hollywood’s most experienced precision pilots, and pilot, actor, comedian, Dave Coulier. They will all share their flying adventures and stories—you might be able to grab a few autographs too.

If you’re looking to network and connect with other pilots, we have the California Dreamin’ Resort Party, the Wild West Desert Adventure party, a nightly “spa Lift lounge” and an Aviator’s Breakfast to name just a few. We also have a few special events and activities for our new youth membership group—AOPA AV8RS. To me, the highlight of AOPA’s Aviation Summit at Palm Springs has always been the Parade of Planes…nothing like it because we can’t do it anywhere else!

Summit 2012 returns to Palm Springs, California, October 11 through 13. I hope to see you there! To learn more and register, visit http://www.aopa.org/summit/.
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Come to AOPA Summit Get a quote Keep the kit

Jun 09, 2012

If you suspect you’re paying too much for too little insurance coverage, there’s a pretty good chance you are. So, if you come to AOPA Summit, plan to stop by our booth to get a quote backed by our membership power of nearly 400,000 aircraft owners and pilots. While you’re there, save even more on the comforts of being covered with our complimentary Summit Coverage kit, including:

If you suspect you’re paying too much for too little insurance coverage, there’s a pretty good chance you are. So, if you come to AOPA Summit, plan to stop by our booth to get a quote backed by our membership power of nearly 400,000 aircraft owners and pilots. While you’re there, save even more on the comforts of being covered with our complimentary Summit Coverage kit, including:

  • Downpour-proof poncho
  • Skin-shielding sunscreen
  • Head-shading cap
  • Handy pull-string backpack

With AOPA Insurance Services, you can get more coverage…and keep more of your money.

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Tornado Husky at undisclosed California location

Jun 08, 2012

The AOPA Sweepstakes Tougher Than A Tornado Husky is tucked away at an undisclosed location in Southern California and will remain there until being awarded to its winner at AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11 to 13 at Palm Springs, Calif. The Husky flew to the West Coast at the conclusion of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., with a stop at its birthplace, Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyo., for its annual inspection.

Sweeps

The AOPA Sweepstakes Tougher Than A Tornado Husky is tucked away at an undisclosed location in Southern California and will remain there until being awarded to its winner at AOPA Aviation Summit Oct. 11 to 13 at Palm Springs, Calif.

The Husky flew to the West Coast at the conclusion of EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis., with a stop at its birthplace, Aviat Aircraft in Afton, Wyo. There, the craftsmen who build the rugged bush plane by hand gave the Tornado Husky a thorough looking over and a new annual inspection.

During an adventure-filled year, the Tornado Husky has brought attention to the promise, challenge, and excitement of flying off the beaten path, and it has dropped in at places as far flung as Bar Harbor, Maine; Key West, Fla.; Kalispell, Mont.; and now Palm Springs. But even though it has traveled far and wide, the total time on the Tornado Husky's airframe and engine are right around 200 hours—and the annual inspection confirmed this frisky young pup is just entering the prime of its life.

"It's in great shape to provide many years of reliable service," said Steve Hastings, an Aviat mechanic and IA who performed the annual inspection. "Engine compression is excellent in all cylinders (77, 78, 78, 78), and you can't get much better than that. We cleaned and gapped the spark plugs and replaced normal wear-and-tear items such as brake pads. But it's obvious this airplane is in terrific shape."

Aviat performs Husky annuals in Afton that can resemble NASCAR pit stops.

When the Tornado Husky rolled to a stop on the factory ramp, company technicians pushed it into their maintenance hangar and got right to work. After the engine compression check, they drained the oil, replaced the filter, examined the screens, replaced a misfiring ELT, repaired minor blemishes on the right aileron, and hoisted the airplane off the ground with a chain that they attached to two metal lift hooks on the top wing. The 29-inch Alaskan Bushwheel tires were removed and the wheel bearings cleaned and greased.

Even the treadless tires seem to be holding up well. Whenever possible, AOPA pilots land the Tornado Husky on grass surfaces instead of concrete in an effort to preserve the specialized tires. But since the Tornado Husky has been hangared at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland (where there are no turf runways) all year and flown to and from similarly hard-surface airports, the tires have spent most of their time on concrete and asphalt.

The annual inspection at Afton was completed in a single day.

"If there are no complications and we can keep two guys on it, we can often complete an annual inspection in a day like this," said Hastings, who was assisted by Aviat technician Val Swenson. "This time, the stars all aligned in our favor."

SweepsThat's been a consistent theme throughout the year. After the hard-luck Husky was battered by the Sun 'n Fun Tornado in March 2011, its fortunes seem to have improved. Everywhere it goes, the Tornado Husky is greeted by people who appreciate its unique history and the limitless possibilities for adventure it offers. (But the airplane's reputation for attracting wild weather also held true with a strong thunderstorm at EAA AirVenture, and wind and hail in Wyoming.)

And even though it's not the world's fastest airplane (105 knots at cruise), it goes places. On its westbound journey, the Tornado Husky flew 6.5 hours (with one fuel stop in Ohio) to Oshkosh where it joined a line of other aircraft on the Fisk Arrival to Runway 27. The day after EAA AirVenture ended, it logged 10.5 hours (with stops in Minnesota and South Dakota). From there, it headed almost straight south to St. George, Utah, and then hooked right into Southern California where it rode a rare tailwind westbound across the desert.

The airplane ran beautifully throughout the transcontinental flight, but stormy weather in Chicago meant crossing the blue middle of Lake Michigan, and headwinds and wilting high temperatures (and density altitudes) across the Great Plains demanded much—and the Tornado Husky delivered.

Aviat pilots Steve Anderson and Owen Genzlinger were ferrying two brand-new Huskys to Afton after EAA AirVenture, and AOPA President Craig Fuller joined their caravan in his personal Husky, and photographer George Kounis and I came in the Tornado Husky. The pack of four Huskys encountered 30-knot headwinds in western Wisconsin and Minnesota, jarring turbulence and haze and smoke from wildfires in South Dakota, and climbed as high as 11,500 feet crossing the Big Horn Mountains of northern Wyoming. During the final hour of the marathon trip, we dropped into loose formation and followed the Snake River along the base of the Grand Tetons and through the canyons to a sublime sunset arrival at Alpine Airpark. There are 14 Huskys based at Alpine, and the four new arrivals seemed to fit right in.

When the Tornado Husky's annual inspection was complete, Aviat test pilot Anderson took the airplane up for a post-maintenance flight around Afton. He then made a few minor adjustments by reducing the engine idle RPM to 675, double-checked the elevator trim tension, and lubricated the tailwheel to get rid of an occasional shimmy.

"When an airplane leaves here, we make sure everything on it is right," he said. "I'm satisfied that everything on the Tornado Husky is right. It flies like a Husky—and that's the best compliment I can give any airplane"

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AOPA Term Life Build financial security for your family

Jun 07, 2012

If something happened to you, would your family have enough assets to make sure they maintain their current lifestyle?

If something happened to you, would your family have enough assets to make sure they maintain their current lifestyle? Would they have enough to pay everyday living expenses and children’s college education, and to help them meet all the other financial obligations that you and your income provided for?

For most Americans, the answer is “No.” According to the LIMRA 2010 Life Insurance Ownership Study, 35 million Americans have no life insurance protection at all. And of those who do have coverage, most don’t have enough to ensure a secure financial future for their families.

Available to AOPA members are several Term Life Insurance options—from Group Annual Term to a 10-year or even a 20-year term. This helps many people keep coverage as they go through different stages of life, such as when they get married, have children, send children to college, and retire.

Visit the website for more information. These plans are a great way to have confidence that your loved ones will be financially secure.  

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New member products services at AOPA Tent

Jun 07, 2012

Stop by the AOPA Tent (Booth 193) during the week of EAA AirVenture, July 23 through 29, to learn more about new member products and services.

“The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration” in Oshkosh, Wis., is fast approaching, and AOPA is ready to see you there. Stop by the AOPA Tent (Booth 193) during the week of EAA AirVenture, July 23 through 29, to learn more about new member products and services.

Come to the AOPA Tent to ask your health and medical questions to AOPA’s medical experts including Dr. Warren Silberman, Dr. Jonathan Sackier, and Gary Crump. Additionally, ask legal questions of AOPA’s legal counsel Kathy Yodice, John Yodice, and Ron Golden. (The schedule of medical and legal experts varies depending on the day. Not all experts will be available all days of the show.) Find out more about AOPA’s newest iPhone and iPad application, FlyQ, designed to provide members with a full-function airport information and flight planning resources. Get quotes and learn more about coverage from the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take safety quizzes and learn how the AOPA Foundation is working to help save general aviation.

Don’t forget you can renew your membership, or ask questions of AOPA’s aviation experts from the Pilot Information Center.

Finally, make sure to sign up each day for the Daily Drawing, sponsored by Aircraft Spruce, for your chance to win a gift card.

For more information about the AOPA Tent and the AOPA Schedule of Events, visit the Web page.

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