Member News


Popular Pilot features now in e book

Oct 25, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Matching grant packs a punch for safety more

Oct 23, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pilots can make a donation now.

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Want less mail Sign up for AOPAs Automatic Renewal Program today

Oct 22, 2012

You'll no longer receive renewal notices - a benefit for you, your association, and the environment! We will reinvest those savings into new and enhanced member services for you. We will continue to preserve your freedom to fly, building on our past success defending against user fees, GA tax increases, and threats to local airports. We will also expand our new FlyQ suite of digital flight planning tools. Additionally, AOPA is launching the Center to Advance the Pilot Community to help increase the pilot population and secure the future of general aviation.

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

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Accident Case Study Time Lapse

Oct 22, 2012

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

The problem is, sometimes it leads to overconfidence.

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

Take this course.

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EA plus helps ill woman get home from Mexico

Oct 19, 2012

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

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

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

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

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Visit the AOPA Insurance Services headquarters

Oct 15, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPAs superb customer service impresses member

Oct 08, 2012

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

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

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

alberto guerrera

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA MasterCard becomes inadvertent networking tool

Oct 01, 2012

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

Peter Dekker

AOPA Member Peter Dekker

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

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

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

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

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

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Protecting flight instructors AOPA offers insurance options

Oct 01, 2012

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

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

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

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

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AOPA donors learn associations strategic path

Sep 26, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA Superb Customer Service Impresses Member

Sep 26, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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5 ways to recruit new AOPA members

Sep 24, 2012

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

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

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

Sep 22, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hurricane preparedness Keeping you covered

Sep 17, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Sep 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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