Member News


Protect yourself when you rent an airplane

Apr 22, 2014

More often than not, the FBO or aircraft owner does not provide adequate coverage (if any) to the renting pilot, putting the renter at huge financial risk.

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

AOPA Insurance Services

More often than not, the FBO or aircraft owner does not provide adequate coverage to the renting pilot—if any—putting the renter at huge financial risk. To help cut through the confusion and protect yourself, AOPA Insurance Services President Bill Snead will provide answers to your questions about renter’s insurance in a webinar May 1 at 8 p.m. Eastern time. After all, if you don’t understand renter's insurance, how can you make sure you have the best policy for you?

The webinar will be hosted by SocialFlight, the free mobile app and web tool connecting the general aviation community to over 10,000 aviation events. SocialFlight is available for all Apple and Android devices and at www.SocialFlight.com. Details and a link to this webinar event can be found here.

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If you're not protected, it could cost you ... a lot

Apr 04, 2014

Why should you get protected? Even a minor incident in a rented or borrowed plane can cost you a lot...

Renter’s aircraft insurance provides coverage to pilots who rent or borrow airplanes, protecting them from the enormous cost should an incident occur. Members have wondered why it’s important to get protected. Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages—unless you have the right coverage. Consider what the replacement costs are of some commonly damaged aircraft parts. A nosegear wheel could run $674, and a wingtip can cost up to $1,221. In comparison, you could purchase an AOPA Renter’s Insurance policy costing as little as $175 a year if you are an AOPA member. A renter’s policy including aircraft physical coverage can provide peace of mind as you enjoy your pilot lifestyle.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at online or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best coverage at the best price.

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Flying club insurance

Mar 31, 2014

When it comes to flying club insurance, each member should be an “insured” under the policy and be provided cross-liability protection, among other things.

Spring is here, and now is the time to set up that flying club and start flying more. Get your friends together, decide on an airplane, and get the ball rolling. AOPA has everything you need to get started, including help with club organization, aircraft financing, and insurance.

Let’s take a quick look at the basics of flying club insurance. Most clubs have from three to 25 active pilots per airplane, the aircraft are generally equity owned, and they set up under a holding company. LLCs are the most common legal entities and, in addition to the legal and tax advantages, registering an aircraft under an LLC also means the club will not have to re-register every time the club membership changes. Diving the equity and the status of the members as active, inactive, social, or family members will vary from club to club. (The new AOPA Insurance Club Policy does not charge for inactive members, and encourages social and family memberships.) What is important is that each member be an “insured” under the policy, that they be provided cross-liability protection, and that there are no family member liability coverage limitations or exclusions. The next question is how much liability insurance the club should carry. I recommend that the club have sufficient insurance to meet the requirements of that club member that needs the greatest protection. Clubs often find that such coverage limits are not easily available, especially when the club includes lower time pilots. However, working with a large U.S. aviation insurance company, AOPA has recently developed an innovative means to increase the protection of those individual club members needing higher liability coverage limits. Also the new club policy includes very broad territorial limits (United States, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Central America, and Islands of the West Indies); coverage is now available for some multi-engine aircraft, and for the first time, “for profit” clubs can obtain this same broad protection.

Flying club insurance rates are influenced by many factors, but the most important include the make and model of aircraft, the insurance coverage limits needed (including aircraft value and liability limits), the number of members per aircraft, the ratings, experience and claim-experience of members, aircraft location (hangared or tied down), and what additional expanded coverage is needed (clubhouse or hangar protection, aviation event and contest coverage, extra equipment and tools, etc.). Clubs operating retractable-gear or high-performance aircraft, or needing significant expanded coverage (such as insurance protection for a club-owned private airfield), should expect to pay higher insurance premiums.

The most commonly requested club quote is for three to four pilots, with a Cessna 152, Cessna 172, or Piper PA-28. For example, consider a Cessna 172, $50,000 hull value, hangared, three pilots with the lowest time pilot a 100 hour private pilot. Based on liability limits of $1,000,000 each occurrence / $100,000 per passenger and full ground and flight hull insurance, this new club would pay about $818 the first year or about $23 per member per month. If the club adds a fourth partner, the rate drops to $21 a month.

Remember, your insurance broker is your partner. He will try to answer any questions you might have, and needs you to respond completely and honestly to any questions he might have for you. More information is available online, or by calling AOPA Insurance Services at 800/622-AOPA (2672).

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What is emergency travel assistance?

Mar 25, 2014

Emergency travel assistance is an important stop-gap between what your medical plan covers and emergency medical expenses most health insurance plans never pay.

AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) is a plan that protects you and your family if you get sick or hurt while traveling in the United States or abroad. It’s an important stop-gap between emergency medical expenses that medical plan covers and those that  most health insurance plans never pay.

In the case of a medical emergency while traveling, EA+ medical coordinators monitor your situation and determine if you need to be relocated. If so, EA+ pays for emergency medical evacuation (by air or ground) to get you to an adequate facility, if medically necessary, so that you can get the care you need or home once you are stable for travel after your medical emergency. EA+ medical specialists monitor your treatment; even your loved ones will stay informed with a 24-hour toll-free emergency relay service.

EA+ has two different levels of protection: member only and member plus family. Both options protect you anywhere in the world.

There are more benefits to this affordable program; visit the EA+ website or call 877/432-2672 today.

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AOPA Insurance Services: Making aviation insurance convenient, fast

Mar 13, 2014

AOPA Insurance has launched an online renewal process for clients that simplifies the renewal process, requiring no paperwork and no postage stamp.

AOPA Insurance Services

AOPA Insurance Services announces a new online renewal process guaranteed to make the renewal of aircraft insurance faster, easier, and more efficient. AOPA Insurance has launched an online renewal process for clients that simplifies the renewal process, requiring no paperwork and no postage stamp.

Clients whose policies fit the online renewal criteria will receive an email notification approximately 90 days prior to their insurance renewal date. One click takes clients to a customized renewal form that has all their current information pre-filled. It’s simple; clients will review, verify, and update the information and submit the renewal information online.

AOPA Insurance Services is dedicated to making aviation insurance convenient and fast. Other recent improvements include online policy service request options such as address changes, lienholder and additional insured changes, and certificate of insurance requests.

Not already a customer? AOPA Insurance Services would like the opportunity to serve your aviation insurance needs. We serve more pilots than any other aircraft insurance agency and would be pleased to count you among them. Call 800/622-2672(AOPA) or go online for your free quote; with access to A-rated companies, we can provide you with the best policy for the best price based on your specific needs.

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A crash course in protecting your airplane

Mar 12, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

AOPA Insurance Services has teamed up with SocialFlight to present a series of live educational webinars open to all pilots.

It has been said that the only thing harder than choosing the right aircraft insurance is understanding aircraft insurance at all. Between exclusions, deductibles, limits, and underwriters, there is a veritable jungle of jargon. To help you cut through the confusion and protect yourself, AOPA Insurance Services President Bill Snead will provide answers to everything you never wanted to ask about aircraft insurance, but need to know, in "Aircraft Insurance 101" March 20 at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

The webinar will be hosted by SocialFlight, the free mobile app and Web tool connecting the general aviation community to more than 10,000 aviation events. SocialFlight is available for all Apple and Android devices and at www.SocialFlight.com. Details and a link to this webinar event are also available online.

 

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FYI from AOPA Insurance Services

Mar 11, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services extends its coverage beyond aviation aircraft and renter’s insurance in order to provide pilots like you with the most complete protection possible.

AOPA Insurance Services extends its coverage beyond aviation aircraft and renter’s insurance in order to provide pilots like you with the most complete protection possible.

The following are additional types of coverage worth considering when it’s time to insure:

AOPA Term Life Insurance: Be 100-percent sure your family is protected with coverage designed specifically for active pilots and their families. It’s one of the few policies with no aviation exclusions limiting your coverage. AOPA also offers 10- and 20-Year Group Level Term Life which provides long-term financial security for your loved ones by locking in budget-friendly rates on coverage that can deliver up to $1 million in benefits for periods of 10 or 20 years. AOPA 50 Plus Term Life gives extra protection for your golden years with up to $50,000 in benefits. There’s no medical exam required, and because it’s designed specifically for active pilots over 50, there are no aviation exclusions limiting your coverage.

AOPA Accidental Death & Dismemberment Protection provides 24/7 guaranteed protection on your personal flying activities that pays up to $300,000 in added benefits—all at low group rates.

Emergency Assistance Plus gives you access to more than 20 emergency and medical services, and you may receive assistance paying for things your health insurance or travel insurance typically won’t cover. And if you are an aircraft owner you can add the aircraft return service benefit which will return your aircraft to your home airport should you be unable to do so due to a medical emergency.

Just as AOPA is, AOPA Insurance Services is an advocate for its members. We support pilots with the very best in aviation and life insurance coverage, risk education and claims advocacy.

A full-service aviation insurance brokerage, we protect all types of pilots and their families at all stages of life. We’re experts at handling insurance for the entire general aviation community, including personal aircraft, flight schools, flying clubs, airports, FBOs, maintenance providers, and other general aviation groups.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for loads of information on how AOPA can get you the best deal on aviation and life insurance.

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Tips for buying an aircraft and insurance

Mar 03, 2014

Whether you are buying your first aircraft or your tenth, you are probably excited and a bit nervous.

Whether you are buying your first aircraft or your tenth, you are probably excited and a bit nervous. It’s best to follow a checklist, and AOPA has an excellent free resource
 
One of your first questions when buying an aircraft should be, “Do I qualify for insurance in that airplane?”

Most of the time, but not always, the answer will be yes. Although a new private pilot might be able to obtain insurance on a Beech 35 or Cessna 210, that insurance will come at a steep price and be subject to coverage limitations and quite a few training requirements. All insurance companies prefer, and many require, that the pilot be instrument rated before they will even “indicate” a rate for a new or low-time pilot on complex aircraft. That same pilot might find an “under 200 horsepower fixed-gear aircraft” much more palatable as a first airplane, and decide to hold off on the retractable-gear airplane for a year or so. Your insurance broker is a great resource for such matters, and can help guide you toward a cost-effective decision.

If you are buying the aircraft with a partner, or perhaps forming a club, the insurance discussion and quotations will be more complex. Your rates will be determined by the lesser experienced partners, and there will likely be additional charges for partnerships and clubs with more than three members. However, the insurance markets have proven to be very accommodating over the last few years, and it is likely you will find good coverage that meets the needs of the group.

The liability risk to you as the aircraft buyer is quite low during the demo ride; however, there is significant confusion in the aircraft sales brokerage community regarding insurance, with frequent policy lapses and violations. The current aircraft owner maintains pleasure and business use coverage on the aircraft while it is for sale, and for the sales broker carries nonowner insurance and worker’s compensation to protect himself and his pilots.

When you decide to buy that airplane, call your insurance broker right away. The broker will discuss your insurance options, including training requirements, have coverage bound, and send you a confirmation. Many brokers can now provide a digital copy of the binder, the application, and the actual policy for ease of storage and retrieval. Keep a copy of the sales agreement and the bill of sale for your records; ask your broker if your CFI and/or mechanic meet the pilot requirements of the policy; and be absolutely certain to comply with all the requirements of the insurance binder and policy.

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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When it comes to family, safer is better

Feb 21, 2014

No matter how safe you are when you fly, how courteous a driver you are on the road, or how careful you are at home, there are many things beyond your control.

AOPA is pleased to announce an expansion of the AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Insurance Protection Plan. To help you provide a safety net for your family, coverage is now available for spouses and children. As an AOPA member, you can elect to cover a spouse and children as an extension of your AD&D coverage.

Winter weather is upon us and the risk for accidents is on the rise. No matter how safe you are when you fly, how courteous a driver you are on the road, or how careful you are at home, there are many things beyond your control. While you can’t control when and if an accident occurs, you can help manage the impact it has on you and your family with the AOPA AD&D Protection Plan. If a covered accident takes your life or leaves you seriously injured, you can make sure your family will have help paying the bills and continuing their lifestyle.

With AOPA AD&D Protection Plan, you’re protected anywhere, 24/7, which means any family members covered by your insurance are also protected anywhere, 24/7. You pay the same rate no matter your age or level of flying experience, and this new enhanced program also covers all common accidents in addition to flying-related activities for the same affordable rate. For more information or to enroll in this plan, visit aopainsurance.org/add or call us at 877/432-2672.

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If you're not protected, it could cost you a lot

Feb 14, 2014

Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages.

Renter’s aircraft insurance provides coverage to pilots who rent or borrow airplanes, protecting them from the enormous cost should an incident occur. Members have wondered why it’s important to get protected. Should you have even a minor incident in your rented or borrowed airplane, you could be financially obligated to repair the damages—unless you have the right coverage. Consider what the replacement costs are of some commonly damaged aircraft parts: A nosewheel could run $674 and a wingtip can cost up to $1,221. In comparison, you could purchase an AOPA renter’s insurance policy costing as little as $175 a year for a policy that includes physical damage coverage, if you are an AOPA member. A renter’s policy including aircraft physical damage coverage can provide peace of mind as you enjoy your pilot lifestyle. Or for policies without the physical damage coverage, you could purchase an AOPA renter’s insurance policy costing as little as $81 a year.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at aopainsurance.org/rent or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best coverage at the best price.

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Why plan for the worst-case scenario...

Feb 06, 2014

When we’re away from home, we don’t often think about the logistics of an emergency – especially when we are in the midst of one.

When we’re away from home, we don’t often think about the logistics of an emergency—especially when we are in the midst of one. Being in an unfamiliar place during a crisis can compound the stress of the situation.

  • Where will I be treated?
  • Is this the best treatment for me?
  • How will my family members get home?
  • How will I get my vehicle home?

We’ve heard many personal stories from AOPA members about getting hurt or sick away from home; wishing they could get the best, most specialized treatment possible; and wanting to be closer to home and family. They have also shared that they have been forced, in the panic and confusion of an emergency, to pay thousands of dollars to fly home, and thousands more to get their traveling companions and vehicle back home.

We are more at risk while we’re traveling, so we’re more likely to need help when we get hurt or sick in a place we don’t know. That’s why AOPA has developed MedFlight Freedom especially for AOPA members and their families. So much is out of our control in an emergency that we don’t often even realize we have options. But we do.

One call to MedFlight Freedom removes the logistical burdens of a medical emergency so you can focus on treatment and recovery. MedFlight Freedom steps in to initiate and coordinate more than 20 emergency and medical services, including these:

  • Medical evacuation (by air and/or ground) to your choice of hospital so you and your family can get the care you need at the hospital you want ;
  • Medical specialist monitoring: A professional MedFlight Freedom Assistance Coordinator is assigned to monitor your condition while you’re hospitalized and provide ongoing updates to your family;
  • One round-trip economy class ticket paid to send a person of your choice to your bedside if you are traveling alone and expected to be hospitalized for three or more days;
  • Travel assistance for companions (including pets);
  • Vehicle return arranged and paid if you and your traveling companion cannot drive your vehicle back to your place of residence due to your medical emergency;
  • Lost luggage or item assistance to track down lost luggage, personal items, and documents.

AOPA members also have the freedom to choose a domestic or international plan and travel confidently in what MedFlight offers, in the United States or abroad. Annual rates for a MedFlight Freedom plan are very affordable at $169 (domestic: including the United States, Canada, and Mexico) and $229 (international). Both options protect your spouse and dependent children. For more information or to enroll in this valuable benefit, visit  us online or call 855/520-3592.

This is only an overview of the plan’s features. When you enroll, please read your Member Benefit Guide carefully to understand the details of all the services available to you, as well as any terms, conditions, and limitations.

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AOPA Insurance announces new online self-service features

Jan 31, 2014

AOPA Insurance Services has expanded online capabilites of its website to include policy service requests for its customers.

AOPA Insurance Services

AOPA Insurance Services has expanded the online capabilities of its website to include policy service requests for customers. This allows our customers to request changes to their policies any time, 24/7, 365 days a year.

• Change of address for all policies
• Certificate of insurance or binder requests for all policies
• Lienholder change for owner’s insurance policies
• Additional insured change for owner’s insurance policies
• Sold aircraft notification for owner’s insurance policies
• Employer additional insured change for renter’s policies
• Add Civil Air Patrol coverage for renter’s policies

AOPA aviation insureds can simply visit aopainsurance.org/service to request these items. It’s that simple. As always, we are available to answer your questions. Simply call 800/622-2672 or visit our website. Not a current customer? Call today to get your free quote; it’s easy.

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The short, successful aviation career of John Kartychak

Jan 25, 2014

What may seem odd to some is that John Kartychack didn’t desire to be a pilot – he just wanted to solo.

One item on John Kartychak’s bucket list was to solo an airplane. What may seem odd to some is that Kartychak didn’t desire to be a pilot—he just wanted to solo. As a longtime member of AOPA because of his attraction to airplanes, Kartychak turned to AOPA Insurance when it was time for his solo. He said, “I’ll be 70 years old next month so this was a big deal for me.” John Kartychak

He went through a ground school course and then was ready to move on. He took lessons at Pacific State Aviation at Buchanan Field Airport in Concord, Calif. At first, his plan was to solo in a light sport aircraft—he thought that would be easier—but the flight school only had one light sport airplane available for instruction and so suggested that he just go for the Cessna 172 with the promise that he could always switch back to the LSA.

“I wasn’t looking to become a pilot,” he said. “I wasn’t going to have an aviation career at my age; I simply wanted to do the solo.”

A few months later, he still raves about his instructor, Moshen Gholampour. It seems to be one of those ideal student/instructor relationships that occur; they became a great team. “He was so patient with me since at my age, I forget a lot,” Kartychak said. “We got along great.”

On the day of his solo, in front of his wife and family, he completed four takeoffs and landings. He called the day “the happiest time of my life—I’ll never forget it.” He had high praise for his flight school as well as the airport community, saying, “Everyone at the airport was so polite and wonderful. I learned a lot even thought it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

His last flight was from his home airport to Half Moon Bay on the Pacific coast, accompanied by his flight instructor, to have a fish and chips lunch and then home again. “I’ve stayed in touch with my instructor,” Kartychak said. “I am going to take him sailing.”

Now that he’s soloed an airplane, what’s next on the bucket list? Kartychak said, “Now my wife and I want to do some road trips.”

No matter what your aviation insurance needs are—renter, owner, or CFI—put AOPA Insurance Services to work for you. For more information or a quick quote on aircraft insurance, talk to AOPA Insurance. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit aopainsurance.org.

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Liability vs. Life

Jan 17, 2014

Everyone is familiar with the terms liability insurance and life insurance, but just how do those terms apply when there is a loss?

Everyone is familiar with the terms liability insurance and life insurance, but just how do those terms apply when there is a loss?

You and your bank president passenger are day VFR over the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia when your engine swallows a valve. You respond with the well-practiced skill of a professional aviator and put your airplane down in a hay field with nary a scratch. Great. Under such circumstance neither bodily injury liability nor life insurance should come into play, but what if it had been dark, or if you had been 50 miles farther west? If so, you might well have been dealing with issues of liability and life insurance.

If, as the aircraft owner, you carried liability insurance of $1 million each occurrence with a $200,000 per passenger sublimit, and your bank president passenger was injured or killed, your insurance company could either defend you, try to settle the claim of the injured passenger up to $200,000, or do a combination of both. This protection is premised on the idea that the pilot was legally liable for the injury, and that the insurance company was responding to that claim. Are you sure you checked that oil? Had there been “issues” with that valve before? Remember, it could be up to the courts to determine if there was negligence.

So what if you are injured or killed? If your policy provides “Medical Payments - including crew,” you might receive a small payment (usually $5,000), but unless you carry life insurance or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) that does not have a general aviation aircraft, pilot, or crew exclusion, you would likely receive nothing. Some life insurance companies allow you to buy-out this exclusion; others will not. Be sure to check your policy. Your AOPA life insurance program has no aviation exclusions, and coverage is available for up to $1 million. AOPA members can also add up to $300,000 of AD&D insurance regardless of pilot experience, and can add dependent family coverage for your spouse or unmarried children under age 25. If you are currently enrolled in the AOPA AD&D Plan and would like to change your plan, increase your benefit amount, or have questions, call AOPA Insurance Services at 1-877/432-AOPA [2672].

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800.622.2672 for loads of information on how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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The new year has arrived, resolve to review your insurance

Jan 03, 2014

This is the time of year for reflecting, organizing, and preparing for the year to come.

This is the time of year for reflecting, organizing, and preparing for the year to come. Often, we forget that much has changed in our lives that would lead us to update our insurance. Perhaps you moved, married, or added to your family. Maybe this year you have a resolution to fly more! A lot can happen in a year, and your insurance coverage needs may have changed. You may even find that it’s time to shop around for better rates and better coverage. As a pilot, AOPA should be the natural first stop for you. Did you know that some life insurance policies do not cover you when you are flying? AOPA specializes in insurance for pilots and offers great rates on everything from term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, to aircraft insurance and more. Visit our website www.aopainsurance.org. We are ready to serve you!

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AOPA member hooked on Bonanzas

Dec 27, 2013

If there are two things Roger Cannell knows a few things about, it’s flying and aviation insurance.

If there are two things Roger Cannell knows a few things about, it’s flying and aviation insurance. First the flying: Cannell has been a pilot for more than 50 years. His interest evolved from seeing an airplane occasionally while growing up in Central Illinois to being fascinated by the B-25s that flew over his high school during World War II to attending college as an Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) student and being given his first helicopter ride at Quantico, Va.

“That day, we were being flown to the destination of our long routine hike,” Cannell recalls. “I noticed the pilots were sitting in the front drinking coffee and I realized I’d rather be them.” He put his name on a list for flight training and, in 1957, was sent to Pensacola to learn to fly and earn his Navy wings. He went on to serve with the Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot.

After active duty, he joined the Marine Reserves (Naval Air Station Glenview) and worked as an aviation insurance underwriter, using an H35 Model Bonanza to cover his sales territory out of his Chicago base to Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota. Incidentally, that 1956 H35 is now a part of the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma, Tenn.

Roger Cannell

Cannell married his wife, Mary Jean, and changed careers, becoming a CPA, a career that spanned 45 plus years. During this period Cannell bought his first of four aircraft, including three Beech Bonanzas, one of which he owned for 34 years. One day, Cannell started thinking about being retired, not flying as much, and the costs associated with an airplane, and he shared these thoughts with the son of a former aircraft partner friend who later called him saying he wanted to buy Cannell’s Bonanza. In a moment he later regretted, he sold the Bonanza. It was the first time in decades he didn’t own an airplane. 

“I spent three or four weeks crying,” he joked. “Then I went out and bought another Bonanza.” He currently is flying about 50 hours a year. His years of flying have included service with LifeLine Pilots and making many trips for kids to Shriners Hospitals. His long flying career earned him the FAA’s Wright Brothers Master Flight Award. This award is given to pilots who have been actively flying for 50 years without a violation or accident. “I got a plaque and a pin,” Cannell said. “My name, along with some 2,000 other aviators, is etched into one of the walls at the FAA building in Washington, D.C., but I haven’t seen that yet. To be alongside pilots like Neil Armstrong is abundantly humbling.”

Now retired from his CPA career, Cannell lives in Hot Springs Village, Ark., a 26,000-acre gated community. With his experience in flying and aviation insurance, it’s no surprise Cannell relies on AOPA Insurance Services. “I have worked with Carol Thompson there for several years,” Cannell says. “We enjoy talking about airplanes and it’s nice to have a contact where we can exchange information and build a relationship. I appreciate her.”

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for loads of information on how AOPA can get you the best deal on aviation and life insurance.   

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Charitable flying: A season of giving

Dec 20, 2013

Can't find a new place to go for that $100 hamburger, or perhaps you are just looking for a new mission for your trusty bird? Consider charitable flights.

Can’t find a new place to go for that $100 hamburger, or perhaps you are just looking for a new mission for your trusty bird? Consider joining a growing number of AOPA members who make an estimated 10,000 charity flights each year. There are many excellent organizations that can offer you the opportunity to participate in this rewarding activity, and you can reach most of them through the Air Care Alliance and the Air Charity Network.

But what about the risks associated with such flights? Let’s take a minute to evaluate and address those risks.

First, charitable flight organizations have very clear requirements concerning how and when you are permitted to conduct charitable flight operations. Passengers are required to sign a waiver of liability form prior to flight, and by carefully following the rules of the organization, and staying well within your piloting abilities, you will have gone a long way toward reducing your liability exposure. The Air Safety Institute provides an excellent online program for volunteer pilots.

Second, since the flight will be a noncommercial pleasure flight, such use is already approved under 14 CFR Part 91, and you are protected under your aircraft owners or non-owner’s policy.

Third, AOPA Insurance Services and the six largest aviation insurance companies have agreed that such flight operations should be encouraged, and a certificate of insurance can be provided upon request. If additional-insured status is also required, your insurance broker can request it for you.

As Abraham Lincoln said when speaking of the connections we share with veterans, their families, and our fellow Americans: We are all “touched … by the better angels of our nature” when we volunteer to help our veterans, their families, and others in need. Let's reach out and use aviation to help others this year.

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information about how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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Pilot mentored by her flight instructor, AOPA

Dec 02, 2013

From growing up without any particular interest in aviation to being hooked on flying... Nina Ortega says she couldn't have done it without her flight instructor or AOPA.

Nina Ortega discovers the joys of GA

Nina Ortega is a California-based attorney who did not grow up with any particular interest in aviation. She didn’t have a relative who was a pilot; she had taken a ride in a general aviation airplane once or twice but never imagined herself as a pilot. In 2005, she met the man who would become her husband. Len was a lapsed student pilot. As they were dating, she questioned him about how he could have given up this dream and encouraged him to earn his private pilot certificate. Nina Ortega

Along the way, something happened. Len earned his license, and Ortega decided she didn’t want to fly with him unless she could handle an emergency. She says, “My original motivation was to be able to save my hide, but it only took one lesson for me to be hooked on flying in its own right. If I just wanted to learn to land in case of an emergency, I wouldn’t have needed a certificate. I wanted my own license to be able to go places.” Then she adds, “I love flying.”

Len was interested in buying an airplane and kept bringing advertisements to Ortega. She would quiz him: Is this really the one? Is this the one and only? Len couldn’t give an emphatic yes, until he found a Rockwell Commander. Ortega thought she would use the airplane for her own training, only to discover that primary instruction in a complex airplane presents additional challenges.

So Ortega bought a second airplane: a Piper Tomahawk. Now both are enjoying both airplanes, Ortega so much so that she’s contemplating working toward an instrument rating.

Along the way, Ortega had a dual support system. The first is Kristin Winter, the couple’s friend and flight instructor. Ortega says, “My husband introduced me to aviation, but Kristin is the one who made it happen. She was my mentor and my flight instructor. She’s also an excellent mechanic with inspector authority as well. She’s smart and funny and has taught me so much. Plus she is an attorney, like myself, but her specialty is aviation law, of course.”

The other support system is AOPA. “For a newbie to general aviation, everything is so foreign,” Ortega says. “I can’t imagine being an aircraft owner or GA pilot without being an AOPA member—there are just so many benefits.”

Ortega relied on AOPA to guide her through flight training and her first aircraft purchase. She says, “As a lawyer, I know about insurance, but I didn’t know about aviation insurance.” When it was time to buy aircraft insurance, it was natural for her to turn to AOPA, and she wasn’t disappointed. “My agent is Cher Clare, and she was very patient with me and carefully answered all my questions. She was really there for me.”

As Ortega continues to fly and enjoy the GA lifestyle, she stresses to new pilots to join AOPA, as they will find value there for a small amount of money. In short, Ortega says, “If it has to do with aviation, the first place I go is AOPA, and I usually don’t have to go anywhere else.”

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit the website or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal of aviation and life insurance.

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Lienholder coverage

Nov 18, 2013

The lending institution understandably wants to protect their investment, so what can you do to also minimize your costs and exposure?

Understandably, the lending institute that helped fund your aircraft purchase wants to ensure your loan will be repaid in the event of an accident in which your insurance company denies the hull claim for some reason (usually because you violated certain policy requirements).

The most common example of such a violation would be a loss arising when your aircraft is being operated by a non-approved pilot. If, following an accident, it’s discovered a pilot not approved by your policy was operating the aircraft when the loss occurred, coverage could be voided and you’d be obligated to pay the lending institute the entire amount owed on the aircraft yourself.

If your policy includes breach of warranty coverage, however, the insurance company would pay the lender the proceeds from the claim in the event of such an accident.

Keep in mind, breach of warranty coverage must be specifically requested, and is often added at little to no extra cost.

A good question to ask potential lienholders before you sign on the dotted line is whether they’re willing to amend your coverage to Ground Not In Motion if your aircraft is laid up for an extended period of time (you’ll need their permission to avoid violating your loan agreement). Many lenders will flatly refuse (usually the larger ones). Although some will consider the request on a case-by-case basis to help you minimize insurance costs when your aircraft is not in service.

Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal for your insurance needs.

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More choices for frequent travelers

Nov 01, 2013

AOPA members travel frequently. AOPA is proud to announce its newest program to assist with this.

AOPA members travel a lot. To meet the needs of members and to provide them with the maximum amount of flexibility and choice, AOPA is proud to announce the association's newest travel assistance program, MedFlight Freedom.

Building on the success of the AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus program, MedFlight Freedom was developed to give members more choices and control during a medical emergency while traveling away from home. With one phone call, you can be evacuated from the hospital where you’re admitted to your home hospital or a world-renowned clinic for expert care. As long as you are stable enough to travel, MedFlight Freedom will get you there. Coverage includes protection for you and your immediate family with domestic (United States, Canada, and Mexico) or international options.

For more information visit the AOPA Insurance Services website or call 855/520-3592.

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From motorcycle guy to airplane guy

Oct 25, 2013

From passing the written to buying aircraft insurance, AOPA was there. Thomas Remo says he has “an ear-to-ear grin every day.”

From passing the written to buying aircraft insurance, AOPA was there.

Thomas Remo says he has “an ear-to-ear grin every day.” Other pilots will appreciate that his happy face is caused by his most recent purchase: a Piper Cherokee. Remo is the owner of Shocker Custom Cycles in Huntington Beach, Calif., and he says owning an airplane is “a lifelong dream come true.”

 Thomas Remo

Pilots also will appreciate that it took time and effort to get where he is today. As a very young boy, a flight attendant overheard him using the word tarmac and was so impressed that she brought him to the cockpit to meet the pilot who let Remo sit in his seat. The dream of learning to fly would have to wait, however, and it wasn’t until he was 25 that he took an intro flight and fell in love with flying again.

In December 2012, Remo felt that his life and his businesses—in addition to the motorcycle shop, he owns a music studio—were stable and successful, and he could devote the resources to learning to fly. Although the instructor for his intro flight had recommended he join AOPA, he ignored the advice until he started ground school at Orange Coast College where his instructors Dr. Ernest Maruer and Richard Young both recommended the students join AOPA.

“That’s when I jumped in head first and wanted to know everything AOPA had to offer,” he says. He credits studying www.aopa.org for the high score on his private written—especially, he says, information about runway signs. He says, “I was having a difficult time getting everything to sink into my head.” He also credits his flight instructor, Brandon Abrego, for his great teaching.

He passed his private checkride this past Mother’s Day and he turned his attention to buying an airplane. Although he had trained in a Cessna 172, he preferred the silhouette of a low-wing airplane and especially the Cherokee. He turned back to www.aopa.org, now for information on buying an airplane. He says, “I’m only 29 and I’ve never bought an airplane before.” He says he used every resource AOPA offers to research his purchase.

When it came time to buy insurance, his experience with the association had been so positive that he naturally turned to AOPA. Again, AOPA came out on top. In fact, he had called some other insurance companies and was not impressed with their level of customer service. Remo says, “My guy at AOPA Insurance was super-nice, gave me the best rate, and told me that I’d be covered starting that day and that they’d send me the paperwork in the mail.”

As for aircraft ownership, Remo says it’s everything he has dreamed of. He and his girlfriend, Karen, took a spontaneous trip to Palm Springs, then on to Las Vegas. He says, “Flying is so awesome, I can come and go as I please. And the best news is Karen used to be afraid of flying, and now she’s thinking about getting her license. She loves it.” In the meantime, Remo is enjoying his airplane and working on his instrument rating. In sum, he says, “All I want to do is fly.”

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit us at www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal of aviation and life insurance.

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Nonowner's insurance: Add it to your checklist

Oct 18, 2013

John felt the airplane rock under the influence of a gusting north wind as he rolled into position for takeoff on Runway 27. They would back in an hour or so.

By Bill Snead

John felt the airplane rock under the influence of a gusting north wind as he rolled into position for takeoff on Runway 27. He planned to be back in an hour or so: just a quick Sunday morning flight with his neighbor, Bob. One hour and 10 minutes later John wondered just how much it would cost to fix that wheel fairing, replace a runway light, and file out that nick in the prop. Turns out that botched crosswind landing, wheel fairing, runway light, and “nicked” prop cost $30,000! The wheel pant was $300 and the airport manager had a spare runway light, but that prop was a problem, and an engine teardown and inspection was required.

So just what did John have to worry about? Here’s a partial list: damage to the airport property, fire department response fees, salvage company fee to get John’s airplane out of the mud, one aircraft wash job, the aircraft policy deductible, two months storage in a repair shop, one wheel fairing, one new prop (the damaged prop had 25 hours on it), one engine teardown and inspection, the parts and labor to repair the engine, nick and scrape repairs, new paint on the repaired and replaced parts of the aircraft, engine and aircraft test flights including pilot charges, the significant cost of an accident investigation and defense costs, a possible subrogation lawsuit by the owner’s insurance company, a possible lawsuit by the aircraft owner for damages not covered by his insurance, two months loss of use/profits to the flight school, and the cost of an attorney to represent him just in case his friend Bob decided he might have been hurt after all.

Luckily, Bob saw the incident as just a good story, and John had purchased Nonowner’s (Renter's) Insurance from the AOPA Insurance Agency. His policy covered everything except for one FAA checkride, a bruised ego, and a big thank-you to the operator of the flight school that had insisted John carry insurance. Add Nonowner’s Insurance to your checklist. It is an important part of being a responsible pilot. Call AOPA Insurance Services at 800/622-2672 or get immediate insurance with a credit card online.

Bill Snead was named president of the AOPA Insurance Agency in 2013.

Editor's note: Names have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.

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It's up to you to protect yourself as an aircraft renter

Oct 14, 2013

Many pilots fly a rental or training aircraft with the assumption that insurance isn’t their responsibility.

  • “The FBO has insurance on this plane—after all, they own it.”
  • “My flight instructor said the school insures the airplane.”
  • “I don’t need insurance because I’m a good pilot.”

Many pilots fly a rental or training aircraft with the assumption that insurance isn’t their responsibility—that the owner of the aircraft, the flight school or FBO, is responsible. Some pilots, more than you’d imagine, just flat out believe an accident won’t happen to them. These are dangerous thoughts to have because accidents happen to even the best pilots, and while it’s true the FBO or school insures the airplane, these businesses are protecting themselves, not you.

Often an aircraft renter is told he or she doesn’t need liability coverage—only $5,000 for aircraft damage. But here’s what that FBO doesn’t tell you: They have their own liability coverage and they aren’t worried about you, the renter, being sued as it won’t impact them. The FBO will have hull coverage to cover the aircraft and more than likely your $5,000 will simply cover their deductible. That way, the flight school or FBO has no out-of-pocket expenses.

When it comes to liability, you have a range of price points when selecting coverage. AOPA Insurance believes you should buy what you’re comfortable with, but really as much as you can reasonably afford to cover not only the airplane but also bodily injury for your passengers along with property damage.

When you buy insurance as a renter, you are buying an amount of insurance for the “occurrence,” which includes property damage and bodily injury with a passenger sublimit, meaning how much of the insurance money is provided for health care for the passenger. For example, if you have an insurance policy paying $250,000 as an occurrence limit, the passenger sublimit will be $25,000. No surprise that amount could easily be used up in the first hour in a hospital emergency room.

In the case of an accident when you are renting an airplane, any number of things may happen, but one factor remains true: No one is protecting your interests but you.

When you buy renter’s insurance for yourself from AOPA Insurance, you are buying protection for the entire year. AOPA Insurance makes it easy. In fact, you can buy renter’s insurance online, charge it to a credit card, and download proof of insurance within minutes. In addition to buying online, you can call AOPA Insurance from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday. Or you can buy renter’s insurance the "old school" way: Send a check and the application through the mail. Once you purchase a policy, you’re good to go, whether you rent once a year or dozens of times a year. It’s the same price.

Buying renter’s insurance really is quick and easy: The only information you are required to give is your name, address, email address, date of birth, occupation, the type of aircraft you typically fly, your licenses and ratings, total time, total time in the past 12 months, and answers to four questions. That’s it. Renter’s insurance ranges from $250,000/$25,000 to $1,000,000/$100,000 for liability coverage and optional physical damage liability, all for an affordable price that makes protecting yourself and your assets the logical choice. For more information or to apply for a policy, visit the AOPA Insurance Services website or call us at 800/622-2672. Don’t forget: You earn a 5-percent discount just for being an AOPA member.

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B-29 navigator, bombardier, radar officer flies a Starduster

Oct 01, 2013

Marvin Rosenberg: Still flying at 91.

Marvin Rosenberg: Still flying at 91. The Rosenbergs

Like many boys of his generation, Rosenberg’s interest in aviation came from models introduced to him by a neighbor. “He had some models of biplanes, and we played with those. He was very careful with them and he only let me handle them once in a while,” Rosenberg recalls. Rosenberg then went on to build model airplanes out of paper and balsa wood with rubber bands attached to the propellers.

Marvin was drafted in March 1943 while in college at UCLA. He stated his preference to the draft board to become a navigator. He was placed in a heavy weapons company instead. Rosenberg recalls, “After seven or eight months, I saw a notice asking if anyone wanted to transfer to the Army Air Corps and I said yes and passed the physical.” It was in gunnery school in Fort Myers, Fla., where he learned trap shooting skills he still retains. “I can hit 23 clay birds out of 25 and people want to know how this old geezer does it,” he jokes.

Eventually Rosenberg became a radar, navigator, and bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress based Guam with missions over Japan. When the war ended he came home and started his family and his business, a ladies’ blouse manufacturing company, LeeMar of California. He bought his first airplane, a Cessna 182 in 1963, even before had earned his private certificate. A year later he upgraded to a Cessna 205 and then to a Cessna 206 in 1969, which he owned for 33 years, selling it in 2012. “I had 4,000 hours in the airplane,” he says. “We flew it across the country three times, twice to Florida and Canada, and many times to Mexico.” He also flew for the Coast Guard Auxiliary for more than 20 years and the Palm Springs Police Aero Squadron for 17 years.

He missed owning an airplane, so last year he purchased a Starduster Too in Indiana. With a ferry pilot in the back seat, they flew 2,100 miles in an open cockpit to Palm Springs in four days. Rosenberg once again turned to AOPA Insurance and Carol Thompson for help. Thompson found a policy for him. He has been a member of AOPA for more than 50 years and a 20-year customer of AOPA Insurance. He says, “Unfortunately the policy calls for a qualified check pilot that is not so easy to find. So the airplane has not flown as much as I would like.”

In addition to flying and enjoying life with Leah, his wife of 70 years, Rosenberg has been a lifelong sailor. The highlight of his sailing came when he sailed his Morgan 46 from Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles, down the California and Mexico coast, through the Panama Canal, through the Caribbean, north up the intracoastal waterway to Maine and then shipped the boat back to Marina Del Rey. He took three years to make the trip, taking time out for hurricane seasons.

These days, Rosenberg belongs to the United Fly Octogenarians and keeps busy with daily games of golf and tennis. He also belongs to a group called Old Bold Pilots which has monthly meetings with speakers.

As for Thompson, his renewal manager at AOPA Insurance, Rosenberg says “She’s wonderful. She has always been honest with me. She has always come through for me.” As AOPA Insurance’s oldest insured, he appreciates the care and service Thompson has provided. AOPA Insurance offers knowledgeable agents who can understand aviation and the kind of flying each individual does. That personal touch is what makes AOPA Insurance such a valuable resource for members.

AOPA Insurance Services is celebrating 20 years of serving the aviation insurance needs of our customers. Visit www.aopainsurance.org or call 800/622-2672 for information on how AOPA can get you the best deal on aviation and life insurance.

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What you need to know about insurance when you become a pilot

Oct 01, 2013

You dreamed about becoming a pilot and are taking the steps to make that a reality. Insurance, although not on the top of the fun list, is an important piece of joining the ranks of pilots.

You dreamed about becoming a pilot and are taking the steps to make that a reality. Often as we chase our dreams we don’t think about what might change based on that becoming a reality. Insurance, although not on the top of the fun list, is an important piece of joining the ranks of aviators.

You may have an existing life and/or accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) policy that you bought years ago or through your employer. If so, take time to pull it out and read the exclusions thoroughly. Many life and accident policies will not cover you as a pilot flying for recreation or as a passenger in a general aviation aircraft, or they may pay a reduced amount should there be a claim. Read the fine print carefully. Similar to other activities like riding a motorcycle or mountain climbing, aviation is included as a high-risk activity, and many times the policy is written to decrease the exposure of the underwriter. AOPA Insurance Services has worked carefully with our underwriters to create pilot-friendly policies.

As a new pilot, you may not realize when you rent or borrow an aircraft you could be personally liable for tens of thousands of dollars in repair costs and legal defense fees should damage occur, because FBO policies rarely provide adequate coverage for pilots. Renter’s insurance and liability insurance are critical to protect you against claims arising from bodily injury and property damage for which you are legally liable, caused by an occurrence arising from your use of a nonowned (rented or borrowed) aircraft. Nonowned liability coverage does not apply to damage to the aircraft you have borrowed or rented. However, physical damage coverage for your nonowned aircraft may be added to your liability policy for an additional premium.

When you own your aircraft, you will still want to consider a life or AD&D policy. Often we speak with members who think that is covered under their aircraft owner’s insurance but that is not the case, there is no coverage for you or your life in an aircraft insurance policy.

AOPA Insurance Services insurance experts are able to answer your specific questions. Visit aopainsurance.org to learn more.

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Owner's cheat sheet for aircraft insurance

Sep 19, 2013

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

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

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

Coverages

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

Policy Details

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

Please visit us online for additional information.

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Preventing out of pocket from getting out of hand

Sep 04, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, please visit us online.

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AOPA Insurance celebrates 20 years of coverage for members

Sep 03, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EA+ Update: Overseas travel precautions

Aug 23, 2013

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

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

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

Stay aware of your surroundings

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

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

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

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

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

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Changes?

Aug 16, 2013

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

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

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

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AOPA + Boy Scouts = Lots of interest in aviation!

Aug 08, 2013

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

Boy Scouts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Camping and aviation insurance

Apr 23, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 01, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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Letter to AOPA members from Chairman of the Board

Mar 25, 2013

Letter to AOPA members from Chairman of the Board


Fellow AOPA members,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Bill Trimble


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

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Bank of America newest AOPA Strategic Partner

Mar 08, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mar 08, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA Aviation Job Board launches

Mar 06, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fuller to step down as AOPA president and CEO

Feb 28, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pilot town halls scheduled for 2013

Feb 28, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA EA plus steps in to help

Feb 25, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EA plus helpful even when disaster doesn't strike

Feb 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

Not already enrolled? Sign up today!

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

Feb 08, 2013

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

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

They don’t get renewal notices in the mail.   

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

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

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

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

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

*See our official sweepstakes rules

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Volunteers Needed International Learn to Fly Day

Feb 08, 2013

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

Volunteers Needed: International Learn to Fly Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Get AOPA Pilot on your iPad mobile phone

Feb 01, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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Matching gift prompts impressive return

Jan 24, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Less Mail in 2013

Jan 11, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

What’s ahead for 2013?

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

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

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AOPA Debonair Sweepstakes

Jan 10, 2013

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

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

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

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AOPA PAC

Jan 10, 2013

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

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

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

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Printed airport directory an essential cockpit backup

Jan 03, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA Insurance customer uses airplane to carry rescue dogs

Jan 02, 2013

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

steve sweeney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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