Member News


AOPA inks strategic partnership with Enterprise Holdings

Sep 14, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pilot saves 1 000 through AOPA program

Sep 13, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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EA plus comes to the rescue after Laos motorcycle accident

Sep 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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AOPA offers options for term life

Sep 10, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Top five reasons to become an AOPA Plus member

Sep 04, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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Aircraft Insurance Renewal Application Explained

Sep 03, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Testing the limits

Aug 31, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Airports weather flight planning Now on Android

Aug 29, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tornado Husky returns to where it all began

Aug 03, 2012

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

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Insurance Services changes improve service coverage

Jul 30, 2012

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

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

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

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

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AOPA launches AV8RS youth membership

Jul 25, 2012

av8rs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Strength in numbers Help AOPA preserve freedom to fly

Jul 20, 2012

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

Membership

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

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

Membership matters

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

Top ways you can help now

Strength in numbers

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

It only takes one

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

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

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Aircraft pilot products added to AOPA Lifestyles program

Jul 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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iPad giveaway AOPA awards prizes from Summit drawings

Jul 11, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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AOPA strategic partner Aircraft Spruce launches new website

Jul 11, 2012

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

Aircraft Spruce

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

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

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

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

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

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