Member News


Are you ready for a challenge

Jun 04, 2012

Spring time for many is the beginning of the flying season (unless you are fortunate enough to fly all year long). For the last few years, we’ve heard from lots of members who haven’t been flying as frequent as they’d like for a variety of reasons. While we can‘t solve all the reasons not to fly, we thought it would be fun to create a REASON to fly. Last week, AOPA announced the launch of the “AOPA Keep ‘Em Flying Challenge.”

Spring time for many is the beginning of the flying season (unless you are fortunate enough to fly all year long).  For the last few years, we’ve heard from lots of members who haven’t been flying as frequent as they’d like for a variety of reasons.   While we can‘t solve all the reasons not to fly, we thought it would be fun to create a REASON to fly.  Last week, AOPA announced the launch of the “ AOPA Keep ‘Em Flying Challenge.”

The new AOPA challenge was inspired by the Georgia Air Challenge, which was hosted by the Atlanta Aero Club. It had 308 participants who flew an estimated 1,500 hours from July 1, 2011, through Aug. 12, 2011.  Steve Champness, president of the Atlanta Aero Club, felt the Georgia effort could be expanded, and worked with AOPA to create the national challenge.

This new effort falls under AOPA’s 2012 theme, ‘Keep ʼem Flying,’ which was designed to get more people to fly general aviation and keep them flying.  Under the challenge, which runs from April 1 through July 31, 2012, pilots must do the following:

  1. Complete an Air Safety Institute online course;
  2. Fly at least five hours; and
  3. Fly in an aircraft serving as pilot in command to five airports or destinations that are more than fifty 50 nautical miles from the immediately preceding departure point.


Those in the Lighter than Air and Glider aircraft categories are exempt from the last two tasks, but instead must make five flights.   The challenge is open to any aircraft category, class, or type.  Participants must be at least 19 years old, hold at least an FAA Student Pilot Certificate and the flight must be conducted under and in accordance with FAR Part 91.

AOPA will use an honor system, where pilots can electronically certify that they met the criteria listed above, at aopa.org/flyingchallenge. Participants will be encouraged to use Facebook and Twitter to post pictures and update their progress. The winners will be announced at the AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif., in October.  Prize winners will be required to produce log books that verify their entry.  The grand prize winner will receive a cash award of $2,499. The second place winner will receive $1,000, while the third place winner will receive $500. Four fourth place winners will receive $250 each.

So, if you’re up for the challenge, get out there and fly! 
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AIRCRAFT RENTERS SPRING FLYING DONT FLY UNPROTECTED

Jun 04, 2012

Now that spring is here and summer on its way, more and more of us will be taking to the skies over the next few months. The cost of aircraft renters insurance is affordable for AOPA Members, thanks to the efforts of AOPA and the AOPA Insurance Agency. AOPA members will receive a 5% discount on renters insurance policies, allowing members to obtain a comprehensive package for just as little as $99 a year.

Now that spring is here and summer on its way, more and more of us will be taking to the skies over the next few months. The cost of aircraft renters insurance is affordable for AOPA Members, thanks to the efforts of AOPA and the AOPA Insurance Agency. AOPA members will receive a 5% discount on renters insurance policies, allowing members to obtain a comprehensive package for just as little as $99 a year.

Because many of us do not own our own aircraft and need to rent or borrow to start our spring flying, providing affordable insurance products for the renter pilots was a major goal of the AOPA Insurance Agency and one we’re proud to have achieved by offering a 5% AOPA Member discount on top of competitive rates. As the largest light aircraft insurance agency in the country representing nearly 400,000 member pilots, we worked with a major “A” rated underwriter to offer our members more affordable premiums.” said AOPA Insurance Agency Sr. Vice President, Brenda Jennings. “The 5% discount applies to both new and renewing policies. Plus, members renewing their renters policy can take advantage of an additional 10% discount if they were claim and accident free during the previous policy year. ”

Visit the AOPA Insurance Agency online at www.aopaia.com/renterinsurance to apply and purchase your renter’s insurance policy today! Or call 1-800-622-2672 for more information.

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AOPA Offers Options for Term Life (2)

Jun 04, 2012

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.

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, 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 which 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 Company, a member of the ING family of companies is available online. To save you time, you can also apply on line. 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 our many advocacy efforts, and to fund our 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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New discount saves members nearly 20 percent

May 31, 2012

As a new participating company in the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program, Aviation Laboratories (AvLab) is now offering AOPA members a 20-percent discount off their new, trackable metal check test kits.

As a new participating company in the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program, Aviation Laboratories (AvLab) is now offering AOPA members a 20-percent discount off their new, trackable metal check test kits.

“AvLab operates a full-service laboratory for testing aviation oils, oil filter debris, metal chip analysis, fuels, and hydraulic fluids,” said AOPA Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Products Ed Thompson. “We appreciate their commitment to AOPA and our members through this generous offer.”

It’s easy for AOPA members to take advantage of the more than 20 GA-related discounts available through the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program. See how much you can save through this free, core membership benefit.

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Free AOPA Memberships available for active duty military

May 25, 2012

AOPA is honoring the service of active-duty personnel around the world with an offer for a free one-year membership.

AOPA is honoring the service of active-duty military members by offering them a complimentary one-year membership in AOPA.  The free membership comes as the nation celebrates Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day, and is designed to allow military members to take their love of aviation beyond their uniform.

AOPA has engaged in military outreach in the past few months, and already has many military members in its ranks.  From military to recreational flying and beyond, AOPA wants to equip military members with the tools to safely achieve all their aviation goals.

“We have an amazing array of content and pilot resources and believe that whether you fly for the military or are a recreational flyer, AOPA has something for everyone,” said Michelle Peterson, AOPA’s Vice President of Membership.  “We sincerely hope military aviators continue their passion for flying long after they complete their service to our country. Perhaps they will continue that passion through general aviation.”

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

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AOPA Live begins new weekly news show

May 17, 2012

AOPA's new television-style webcast, AOPA Live This Week, created by Executive Producer Warren Morningstar and hosted by "AOPA Pilot" Editor in Chief Tom Haines, offers a comprehensive look at the week in general aviation.

AOPA’s new television-style webcast, AOPA Live This Week, created by Executive Producer Warren Morningstar and hosted by AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines, offers a comprehensive look at the week in general aviation.

AOPA Live original video programming has become a staple for its members and the industry, broadcasting from GA’s major airshows and reporting across the country on the latest news and analysis. This new show is posted on AOPA Live each Thursday and offers a rundown of the week’s most timely and interesting stories. Running 20 to 30 minutes each week, AOPA Live This Week covers issues including manufacturing, regulatory and legislative affairs, and technology, along with visits to interesting GA spots and the experiences editors have along the way.

“Our members and others with an interest in general aviation issues already come to AOPA for everything from our daily Aviation eBrief to weekly e-mail newsletters to our monthly magazines,” said Haines. “We wanted to offer yet another regular news and feature portal that allows us to keep our members informed about everything going on in general aviation, and nothing showcases the incredible capabilities and experiences of aviation better than video.”

The show is available online and will be posted every Thursday. This week, the show includes an update on the Hawker Beechcraft bankruptcy, first flight of Honda Aircraft’s fourth test jet, a report on the lumbering C-47 Gooney Bird, and the personal reflections of one of our editors who interviewed the late Evelyn Bryan Johnson, the highest-time woman flight instructor.

The show also breezes through a French chateau in the middle of wine country that just happens to host an extraordinary collection of fighter aircraft, and takes a trip to New Zealand via GA. And speaking of breeze, don’t miss an exclusive interview with best-selling novelist Stephen Coonts about his “Witch’s Broom” Breezy.

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AOPA Airports iPhone app now AOPA FlyQ

May 16, 2012

The AOPA Airports iPhone app has been upgraded to AOPA FlyQ. AOPA FlyQ still offers the airport directory information you rely on, but also provides you with aviation weather and flight planning with auto-routing capabilities--free with your membership.

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AOPA membership drive Member get a member

May 09, 2012

AOPA's 'Strength in Numbers' membership drive is under way. Have you recruited any new members yet? Check out these top three reasons why you should.

AOPA’s “Strength in Numbers” membership drive is under way, with AOPA members working to help recruit new pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts. As an AOPA member, you are the association’s best advocate: You know about AOPA’s informative and relevant publications, valuable educational resources, and piloting tools.

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.

Have you recruited any new members yet? If not, check out these top three reasons why you should.

No. 3: Build camaraderie. Attend any airshow or stop by any airport, and you’ll find an AOPA member—most likely identifiable by the association’s popular signature AOPA pilot’s cap. Just like you bond with fellow pilots who fly or own the same model of aircraft as you, you can form an instant bond with fellow AOPA members. By bringing your aviation enthusiast friends into the fold, you will help make them feel part of the general aviation community. Through AOPA’s advocacy efforts and many communications channels, they will become more engaged in aviation and feel a part of the larger cause to support and protect general aviation.

No. 2: Enjoy membership perks. A free AOPA pilot’s cap, access to free weather and flight planning tools, a robust website with news and aviation resources, the No. 1 GA magazine, AOPA Pilot, and largest aviation weekly email newsletter are just a few of the benefits AOPA members receive. Access to our toll-free Pilot Information Center hotline to ask aviation experts for advice, medical help, and other questions are also available. Plus, when you refer three new pilots who join AOPA, you’ll receive a free one-year membership.

No. 1: Strength in numbers. AOPA is recognized as a powerful voice on Capitol Hill, representing nearly 400,000 vocal, active pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts. The association carries weight when calling the full force of the membership to action and when talking with individual senators and representatives. This has helped the association stave off threats like user fees year after year.

By referring just one new member, you will make a difference. Share this page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts to raise awareness of the campaign and rally your fellow AOPA members on AOPA’s Facebook page.

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Meet Great Lakes Regional Manager Bryan Budds

May 07, 2012

• The 2012 AirVenture at Oshkosh, WI is just around the corner! Come meet AOPA staff and Bryan at the AOPA tent. New AOPA Products and Services are being offered in the tent this year.

  • The 2012 AirVenture at Oshkosh, WI is just around the corner! Come meet AOPA staff and Bryan at the AOPA tent. New AOPA Products and Services are being offered in the tent this year. Take your souvenir photo with the Tougher Than a Tornado Sweepstakes Husky. Hop in and take the controls of a Redbird Flight Simulations FMX, full motion, flight simulator in the AOPA Flight Training Center at AirVenture. There will be daily drawings and much more! For more information, visit http://www.aopa.org/oshkosh/

  • RSVP for a Pilot Mix and Mingle social and networking event on Saturday, July 14th from 11 - 1 pm in the main conference room of Wisconsin Aviation at Dane County Regional Airport (MSN). Wisconsin Senate Leader, Mark Miller and AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager, Bryan Budds will have an interactive discussion and presentation on aviation and legislative updates including current AOPA initiatives. You don't want to miss this! RSVP by July 11th at Events@aopa.org include subject line: “Madison, WI-Pilot Mix and Mingle Event”

    Wisconsin Aviation
    Dane County Regional Airport

    3606 Corben Court
    Madison, WI 53704
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Build financial security for your family with AOPAs Term Life Insurance Plans

May 07, 2012

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

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

For most Americans, the answer is “NO.” According to a recent study 35 million Americans have no life insurance protection at all.* And of those who do have coverage, most don’t have enough to ensure a secure financial future for their families.

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

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

* LIMRA, 2010 Life Insurance Ownership Study

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A Message from Michelle Peterson AOPA Vice President of Membership

May 01, 2012

There's an old adage that two pilots at a cocktail party will always find each other. That's because the sense of community among pilots is so strong, and that's the power we'll be harnessing in 2012 to make your AOPA membership even more valuable and useful to you.

There’s an old adage that two pilots at a cocktail party will always find each other. That’s because the sense of community among pilots is so strong, and that’s the power we’ll be harnessing in 2012 to make your AOPA membership even more valuable and useful to you.

Of course, the power of AOPA’s membership – 400,000 strong – is put to use every day as we carry on the fight to keep flying safe and affordable for GA pilots. When AOPA speaks, it speaks with the power of 400,000 voices, and those voices are difficult to ignore. Lobbying efforts on behalf of general aviation will remain AOPA’s number one mission.

As encroachments into your rights as a general aviation pilot continue unabated, while the survival of some smaller airports is in doubt, when so many politicians consider themselves aviation experts based on their being commercial airline passengers, all of us, as a community, have to fight even harder.

In 2012, AOPA will be a bigger part of your local aviation scene. As you may know, AOPA has had a very successful Regional Representative program for many years—primarily focused on state and local advocacy. While that important work will continue, we are expanding the program in 2012 to provide our members with a local membership advocate. One who will work not only to strengthen the voice of AOPA by promoting membership, but also service the needs of our existing members right in their own community.

In 2012, we’re re-organizing the country into seven regions, each headed by an AOPA regional manager. These AOPA regional managers will actively work on state and local issues as well as work within their specific geographical regions on everything from new pilot outreach to making sure local pilots know and interact with one another for the common good of the local pilot community. Many of the previous Regional Representatives will continue in a new AOPA Representative program attending aviation events on our behalf. In short, AOPA will be more visible throughout the country, not simply on Capitol Hill and AOPA members will have local point of contact for all their membership needs. More information on the new Regional Manager program is available online.

You are part of a robust community of pilots, and I look forward to being a bigger part of your local community. I’m anxious to hear your ideas on how AOPA can be a part of your pilot community. If you have something to share, please contact me at Michelle@aopa.org.

In the meantime, here’s to a fun, safe and airborne 2012.
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AOPA got member his medical back in ten minutes

May 01, 2012

When prostate cancer grounded Jim Anderson, the impact was great. That’s because he is an aerial photographer so not only did he lose his privilege to fly, but he lost the way he earns his living. His surgery had gone well, he was on his way to a full recovery, his tests were clean and it was time to get his medical back.

When prostate cancer grounded Jim Anderson, the impact was great. He is an aerial photographer, so not only did he lose his privilege to fly, but he also lost the way he earns his living. His surgery had gone well, he was on his way to a full recovery, his tests were clean and it was time to get his medical back.

As a long-time AOPA member, Anderson had already taken advantage of AOPA’s Legal Services Plan. A minor infraction had been totally resolved by AOPA without his having to spend a dime, he says, and so he was impressed with the efficiency and effectiveness of AOPA’s support.

When his doctor told him he was fit to fly, he contacted AOPA as a member of the Medical Services Plan. The staff member told him she would check on his status. At that time, she also gave Anderson a phone number so he could check himself within a week.  According to Anderson, he “badgered” the FAA a few times while several weeks went by.

Growing impatient, Anderson called AOPA back. That day, he was promised by AOPA, “You will have your medical in 10 minutes.” Anderson reported, “Ten minutes later, my fax machine rang, and there it was. Clearly, AOPA knew the right person to call to get my medical off the bottom of the pile so I could fly again.”

Anderson added, “I don’t know how much longer I would have to wait without AOPA’s Medical Services Plan.”  His advice for other pilots? Anderson said, “I tell them about AOPA and the Medical Services Plan. I’ve been healthy all my life, but things happen.”

Today, Anderson is back to playing basketball three days a week. What’s more, he’s back flying—and earning a living.

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Two new discounts add value to AOPA membership

May 01, 2012

Effective Jan. 1, two more companies have joined the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program, a new, free, core membership benefit available to all AOPA members.

Effective Jan. 1, two more companies have joined the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts Program, a new, free, core membership benefit available to all AOPA members.

“The addition of special offers from Sony Creative Software and Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate are good examples of the wide scope of discounts that are now available every day to our members,” said AOPA Vice President of AOPA Products and Corporate Partnerships Ed Thompson. "AOPA is proud to add both of these companies to our member discounts lineup that has grown to 19 companies since the program launched on Nov. 1.”

Sony Creative Software is providing a 25-percent discount on all Vegas Movie Studio HD applications to edit, enhance, and share your flight and personal videos, while Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate will provide extensive savings to both AOPA members and their families on their next real estate transaction as buyers or sellers.

It’s easy to take advantage of discounts through the AOPA Lifestyles Member Discounts program. Just log in to the Lifestyles Web page and click on an offer. All you need to do is be an AOPA member.

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AOPA releases updated online media guide

Apr 30, 2012

With the explosion of online and cable outlets and a constant 24/7 news cycle, the media are desperately seeking juicy news stories to 'feed the beast,' as reporters call it. General aviation is always an attractive target, especially when it comes to local airports.

With the explosion of online and cable outlets and a constant 24/7 news cycle, the media are desperately seeking juicy news stories to “feed the beast,” as reporters call it. General aviation is always an attractive target, especially when it comes to local airports.

So it should come as no surprise when a reporter comes to do stories on topics including pilot training, airspace restrictions, airport security, and accidents or incidents. These are topics that are especially interesting to reporters, but most of them do not have experience covering aviation as a regular beat.

If reporters approach you, it is important to understand how the media work. AOPA's recently updated eight-minute online course, Guide to Talking to Reporters , is designed to offer tips to pilots in case you ever have to deal with reporters' questions. Without proper preparation and word choice, your comments could be edited into a meaning you did not intend and, as a result, portray GA in a negative light.

This course is a great resource that can help you if you are ever approached by a reporter or find yourself the subject of an ambush interview. The first thing you should do any time you are contacted by the media is call AOPA's Media Relations Department (301/695-2162) for assistance. You also should refer the reporter to AOPA's in-house and third-party experts for further comments on GA issues. 

By using this guide, you will be better prepared to handle any media inquiry. It also serves as a reminder that the AOPA media relations staff is always available to help.

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Looking for a new job Consider AOPA

Apr 26, 2012

For those considering a career in aviation or mulling a job change, you may want to consider working for the association that protects your interests in general aviation flying.

For those considering a career in aviation or mulling a job change, you may want to consider working for the association that protects your interests in general aviation.

One of AOPA’s greatest benefits is the chance to earn an initial pilot certificate. If you already have a certificate, you are given a yearly supplement to maintain your pilot proficiency. Employees also receive a free AOPA membership.

AOPA understands that workers have a life outside of the company, so it offers several options to maintain a good work/life balance, including a compressed work week, flexible scheduling, and telecommuting. It also offers strong career opportunities, giving employees a platform to grow and prosper.

Employees are offered a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance; a 401(k) plan with matching contributions; short-term and long-term disability; life and AD&D insurance; flexible spending accounts; tuition reimbursement; a wellness program; paid time off; paid holidays; and a business casual dress code.

“If you have a passion for aviation, and you want to turn your avocation into a career, there’s no better place to work than AOPA,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller. “Our world-class team of talented individuals is committed to working together in a professional environment to better the industry and ensure the future of general aviation for generations to come.”

Find out more about working for AOPA online. Also check the list of current employment opportunities.

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How strong is your safety net

Apr 16, 2012

AOPA's new 24/7 + Aviation AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance Plan helps provide a stronger safety net for your family's future.

AOPA’s new 24/7 + Aviation AD&D Insurance Plan helps provide a stronger safety net for your family’s future.

Whether you are flying, driving, or on a hike in the park, AOPA can help protect all that is important to you. The new AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) Group Insurance Plan has been expanded beyond the cockpit to provide you 24/7 coverage without any increase in cost. Plus, you’ll receive added benefits to help pay tuition, childcare, and more. And since it’s from AOPA you can rest assured that you're protected when you're flying. Benefits cover general aviation pilots of all levels of flying, even student pilots.

Apply online today for up to $300,000 of AOPA Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefits at our affordable group rates. There is no obligation and if you decide the AOPA AD&D Insurance Plan isn't for you, just let us know in the first 30 days. We'll promptly refund your premiums, provided no claims have been submitted, no questions asked. You have nothing to lose and peace of mind to gain. Apply now.


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 that AOPA membership money was not used to provide this offering.

Insurance is provided by ReliaStar Life Insurance Company, a member of the ING family of companies.

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Give the gift of AOPA membership this holiday season

Apr 12, 2012

Share the benefits of AOPA membership with the ones you love this holiday season.

Increasing our membership means AOPA can more effectively face the growing threats to GA, enabling us to preserve our freedom to fly for generations to come, and strengthening our voice in Washington, D.C. When you give an AOPA membership, gift recipients will receive 12 issues of AOPA Pilot; exclusive access to web tools/resources; the help, support, and resources from our aviation experts in the AOPA Pilot Information Center; and so much more. Share the benefits of AOPA membership with the ones you love this holiday season.

Visit www.aopa.org/giftmembership or call 800-USA-AOPA.

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The perfect gift

Apr 12, 2012

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 with a gift membership.

As the year draws to a close, I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season.   I also want to thank you for your membership.  As an AOPA member, YOU know the value of belonging to the largest membership association that advocates on behalf of the entire general aviation 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 with a gift membership.

AOPA Membership is the perfect gift for every aviation enthusiast on your list!

Other ways you can help keep AOPA Strong!

  1. Encourage someone to join AOPA today
  2. Give a gift membership
  3. Refer a military aviator for our one-year complimentary membership
  4. Educate others about the benefits of AOPA membership
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Fiscal cliff or ramp

Apr 12, 2012

Is it a fiscal cliff or a ramp? A group of AOPA donors heard the debate at an AOPA Aviation Roundtable event in the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee last weekend.

Is it a fiscal cliff or a ramp? A group of AOPA donors heard the debate at an AOPA Aviation Roundtable event in the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee last weekend. AOPA President Craig Fuller described the much-discussed “fiscal cliff” as potentially a downward ramp instead. It seems that while the debate goes on between the White House and Congress and compromise seems not likely—at least at the moment—federal agencies, including the FAA, are conflicted on how to react.

aopa roundtable AOPA President Craig Fuller shares ideas on how the sequester legislation may impact aviation with a breakfast crowd at this month's Aviation Roundtable in Tennessee.

The poison-pill “sequester” legislation meant to evoke a compromise will require federal agencies to slash spending drastically if a compromise is not made by yearend, with some saying a proposal is needed by Dec. 15 to allow time for debate. The FAA is reportedly on the hook for $1 billion in cuts by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2013, if there is no compromise. But when the legislation kicks in Jan. 2—again, if no compromise is met—the 2013 fiscal year will be a quarter over, requiring the agency to find that $1 billion savings across only nine months, not 12. As Fuller reported, the agencies have been told not to begin cuts in advance of the cliff, under the hopes that a compromise will be reached.

Regardless, come Jan. 2 with no compromise, implementing spending cuts will take time, meaning that the savings will be further back-loaded toward the end of the fiscal year. The result: more of a downward ramp in spending than a cliff.

Besides the latest updates from Washington, D.C., the 32 donors and spouses heard a political debate between Fuller, who formerly worked in the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations, and Greg Pecoraro, AOPA’s vice president of airports and state advocacy. Pecoraro is a former Democratic superdelegate and staffer in numerous Democratic positions.

aopa roundtable An agricultural expert explains farming techniques to a group of AOPA Foundation donors during social time at this month's Aviation Roundtable in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains.

In the end, the two agreed that while President Barack Obama appears to have the upper hand given the election results, compromise will be necessary by both parties in order to prevent a potentially dramatic negative impact on the economy come Jan. 2.

AOPA Senior Vice President of Media and Editor in Chief Tom Haines shared with the group the association’s latest media strategy, including the launch earlier this year of AOPA Live This Week—a streaming video webcast of the week’s aviation news and features. AOPA’s video studio was in part funded by a grant from the AOPA Foundation. Haines also updated the group on AOPA Media’s newest offerings, e-books featuring Never Again and Landmark Accident articles. The group also heard the latest updates about the association’s flight planning products, including the status of AOPA FlyQ EFB, which became available this fall.

An AOPA President’s Council donor helped organize and host the event. The roundtable is one of several such events held each year around the country to update donors and potential donors about the association’s initiatives and objectives while allowing the donors to socialize and network. Donors pay their own way to the events.

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Last Chance for 2012 tax deductible contributions to the AOPA Foundation

Apr 12, 2012

If everyone could make a gift (perhaps just the equivalent of 1 hour of flight time) it would have a tremendous impact on the future of general aviation. Pick the tax-deductible program that best suits your needs and know, that through your support, you are among those whose vision and passion will keep GA vibrant now and for generations to come.

To keep flying affordable, safe and accessible, we need your support. If everyone could make a gift (perhaps just the equivalent of 1 hour of flight time) it would have a tremendous impact on the future of general aviation. Pick the tax-deductible program that best suits your needs and know, that through your support, you are among those whose vision and passion will keep GA vibrant now and for generations to come. Please join our effort today.  Donations are 100% tax-deductible.  Be sure to get yours in before the year ends! Donate today!

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AOPA in your community

Apr 10, 2012

Back in January, I told you about a new and exciting program at AOPA—one that would make AOPA a bigger part of your local aviation community. What was once known as the Regional Representative program for many years—primarily focused on state and local advocacy—became the Regional Manager program with a dual charge of local advocacy AND local membership engagement and development.

Back in January, I told you about a new and exciting program at AOPA—one that would make AOPA a bigger part of your local aviation community. What was once known as the Regional Representative program for many years—primarily focused on state and local advocacy—became the Regional Manager program with a dual charge of local advocacy AND local membership engagement and development.

We re-organized the country into seven regions, each headed by an AOPA regional manager. These AOPA regional managers have actively worked on state and local issues within their specific geographical regions on everything from new pilot outreach to facilitating local pilot events in an effort to build interaction with one another for the common good of the local pilot community.

Our new regional managers have continued the great field advocacy you have relied on from AOPA.  Across the country this talented new team hit the ground running…  working with local pilots to protect airports from operational restrictions, fighting for seaplane access to public waters, safeguarding backcountry airstrips, and fighting in state capitols to win aviation tax-exemptions and prevent new taxes - saving aviators over $100 million in state taxes a year across the nation.   

Collectively, the Regional Managers have participated in over 125 events throughout the country, reaching thousands of members and pilots that AOPA might not otherwise get the opportunity to interact with. They have hosted Pilot Mix and Mingles, exhibited at airshows, participated in local airport and aviation events, and visited numerous high schools and universities with aviation programs.

They’ve even been active online with Twitter (follow by using their handles listed below) and View from the Region (VFR) blog(blogs.aopa.org/vfr)—so, if you can’t make it to one of their events, you can at least follow them online! You can also learn more about what the Regional Managers are doing in your area via the web.

  • Northeast region: Craig Dotlo
  • Alaska: Tom George
  • Southern region: Bob Minter
  • California: John L. Pfeifer
  • Central Southwest region: Yasmina Platt
  • Northwest Mountain region: David R. Ulane
  • Great Lakes Region: Bryan Budds
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Smith to lead AOPA Center to Advance the Pilot Community

Apr 09, 2012

AOPA has named Adam Smith as senior vice president of its forthcoming Center to Advance the Pilot Community. The Center was created to stop the slow, steady decline in the number of certificated pilots in the United States and seek ways to stimulate growth.

AOPA has named Adam Smith as senior vice president of its forthcoming Center to Advance the Pilot Community. The center was created to stop the slow, steady decline in the number of certificated pilots in the United States and seek ways to stimulate growth.

Smith comes from the Experimental Aircraft Association, where he served as vice president of membership for five years and oversaw the EAA AirVenture airshow. He also served as vice president of outreach for the EAA Aviation Foundation for four years and as director of the EAA AirVenture Museum for two years. He is a private pilot working on his instrument rating.

“Adam’s experience and leadership qualities make him the ideal person to guide the center as it brings together a whole range of programs designed to grow and support the pilot population,” said AOPA President Craig Fuller.

AOPA and the AOPA Foundation are showing their commitment to rebuilding the pilot population by creating this entirely new division to be staffed with experts on research, building communities, and continuous learning to help guide the center’s work. By discovering what works, sharing that information widely, and using it to improve every aspect of the aviation experience, the center will change the future of general aviation.

Some of the work that will come under the center’s purview has already begun, with a focus on helping student pilots complete their training through the Flight Training Student Retention Initiative. The initiative also recognizes successful training programs with the Flight Training Excellence Awards and supports students with customized information through the My Flight Training website. AOPA will also make its new Flight Training Field Guides available this fall to help schools, instructors, and students create the kind of collaborative training environment that engenders success. And AOPA has begun research into successful pilot communities to help aviation enthusiasts nationwide create environments that get pilots flying and keep them flying.

“What we have learned so far gives us hope for the future and has been the impetus behind the creation of the center,” said Fuller. “But there is much more to do. We see a future that includes a more robust pilot community in which more people earn pilot certificates, pilots are more active, and the flying lifetime of pilots is extended.”

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A Message from Michelle

Apr 05, 2012

The month of May is always an exciting time here at AOPA. Spring is here, flying activity increases, and more importantly, it is the month to honor those who have and are currently serving in the many branches of our military. With Armed Forces Day on May 19th and Memorial Day at the end of the month, I couldn't think of a better time to share some of the military outreach we have been engaged in. As you can imagine, AOPA has a lot of former military in our membership ranks--and if you fall into that category, we are honored to have you and thank you for your service to our country.

The month of May is always an exciting time here at AOPA. Spring is here, flying activity increases, and more importantly, it is the month to honor those who have and who are currently serving in the many branches of our military. With Armed Forces Day on May 19th and Memorial Day at the end of the month, I couldn't think of a better time to share some of the military outreach we have been engaged in. As you can imagine, AOPA has a lot of former military in our membership ranks--and if you fall into that category, we are honored to have you and thank you for your service to our country.

Over the last several months, we've been visiting military bases, sharing aviation safety and civil aviation information with military aviators. Those visits have been a great experience for us and we hope it has been for those in attendance as well. As part of these visits, we are providing active duty military with a one year complimentary membership in AOPA. We have an amazing array of content and pilot resources and believe that whether you fly for the military or are a recreational flyer, AOPA has something for everyone (just wait for the June issue of AOPA Pilot, it's amazing!). We sincerely hope military aviators continue their passion for flying long after they complete their service to our country. Perhaps they will continue that passion through general aviation.

So, as you climb into your aircraft this month, take a moment to pause and honor those who have or are currently serving in the US Military. And, if you know someone in the military who would enjoy an AOPA membership, please send them here.

Keep ’Em Flying!

–Michelle

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AOPA Foundations Hat in the Ring Society to honor GA

Mar 29, 2012

To honor achievements in enhancing aviation safety, preserving airports, growing the pilot population, and improving the image of general aviation, the AOPA Foundation is expanding its Hat in the Ring Society to bestow four awards on those in the industry who have made significant strides in each of the categories.

Morgan Freeman

To honor achievements in enhancing aviation safety, preserving airports, growing the pilot population, and improving the image of general aviation, the AOPA Foundation is expanding its Hat in the Ring Society to bestow four awards on those in the industry who have made significant strides in each of the categories.

“Through this newly revitalized program, the AOPA Foundation is hoping to build a nationwide network to showcase the contributions of general aviation’s leaders, pioneers, and practitioners,” said AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg. The AOPA Foundation will select the winners and confer the awards on Oct. 11 during the Night for Flight gala at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, Calif.

“Just as important,” Landsberg continued, “the Hat in the Ring Society will be building a network of advocates with the means and enthusiasm to expand the foundation’s mission.”

The Hat in the Ring Society, chaired by actor and GA advocate Morgan Freeman and co-chaired by author Stuart Woods, air race pilot Mike Goulian, actor Dave Coulier, and celebrity chef Alton Brown, is open to anyone donating $1,000 per year to the AOPA Foundation. All proceeds support the foundation’s mission to improve aviation safety through the Air Safety Institute, preserve community airports, and encourage learning to fly for career and personal benefit.

In addition to supporting the future of GA, Hat in the Ring Society members also receive invitations to AOPA Aviation Roundtables and other donor events to meet with AOPA leadership and discuss issues facing the GA industry.

For more information about the awards or the Hat in the Ring Society, contact the AOPA Foundation.

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Breathe in breathe out

Mar 27, 2012

Every cell in your body requires oxygen to survive; without it, cells are damaged and die. Folks know that if a coronary artery gets blocked, blood-carrying oxygen cannot get through and the heart muscle is destroyed, causing a heart attack or worse. If the brain, one suffers a stroke; if a limb or digit, gangrene; if a kidney, renal failure.

Anyone who has had the misfortune to hear me talk about aviation knows that I will invariably bring the discussion around to oxygen at some point. Well, it's that point again. I continue to receive emails and letters from all sorts of pilots about this topic and think it useful to once again set out the world of gases as perceived by your faithful correspondent.

Every cell in your body requires oxygen to survive; without it, cells are damaged and die. Folks know that if a coronary artery gets blocked, blood-carrying oxygen cannot get through and the heart muscle that should have received the blood is destroyed, manifesting as either a heart attack or, even worse, 15 minutes of unwanted fame and one column inch in the local newspaper. No one in his right mind would sign up for a major coronary. Similarly, if blood-carrying oxygen cannot get through due to partially or totally blocked arteries the organ at the other end is affected. If the brain, one suffers a stroke; if a limb or digit, gangrene; if a kidney, renal failure.

Well guess what: If the same volume of blood can get through, but it is carrying less oxygen, the same damage can occur. Those of us who ascend to the heights are potentially doing this to our bodies every time we go higher than the observation deck at the Empire State Building. The damage we do may lead to cognitive impairment as the effects are cumulative within and between flights. At the very least you will finish a flight with a headache or other aches and pains; at worst, possibly shorten your lifespan.

Many of the pilots who write to me proclaim that they are just fine at 10,000 feet; maybe they are if they live in the mountains or are an athlete who has enhanced oxygen carrying capacity. However, most people are oxygen-depleted even at that altitude. My position on this is simple—apart from a few bucks to buy an oxygen bottle, some nasal cannulae, and a pulse oximeter, what have you got to lose? Try a simple experiment: Measure your oxygen carriage with an oximeter (widely available) on the ground and when next flying at various altitudes. Bear in mind that a healthy person at sea level will be around 98- to 100-percent oxygenated and at around 70 percent or thereabouts will be unconscious. Anything below 91 percent, you are not functioning normally. If traveling on a commercial airliner, take the same measurements throughout the flight and think about how you feel after a few hours in the air. Remember, the cabin altitude is equivalent to being in Denver or higher—no wonder one feels jet-lagged. So again, please think this through; you will breathe easier and so will I.

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