Member Guide

September 1, 2008

Get the most from Flight Service

Have you ever sat on hold 10 or 15 minutes trying to get through to flight service? Or gotten a less-than-stellar preflight briefing once you did? Whether you’ve had problems with the new Flight Service system or just want to learn more about this important resource, be sure to take the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s interactive online course, A Pilot’s Guide to Flight Service. A comprehensive guide to using the system both on the ground and in the air, the course offers a list of alternate resources for times when you’re having trouble reaching a briefer, as well as tips to help you get the most from the revamped system.

Coordination key to easy airplane purchase

Buying your first airplane is a little like buying your first home—it’s a big commitment with a lot of paperwork, a fair amount of anxiety, and the occasional “gotcha.” So when David White found his dream airplane, a Diamond Katana with a Rotax engine, he called a trusted source for help financing the purchase.

“I initially was planning on using my credit union for financing, thinking that it would be easier to deal with than a big bank,” he said. “It turns out it was just the opposite. The credit union was apparently not that comfortable with aircraft loans.”

So White contacted AOPA Aircraft Financing. “They just answered the phone right away and were very helpful. It was very useful to me that AOPA’s loan, title, and insurance people all seemed to know each other and were able to coordinate, because I had never bought an airplane before,” he explained.

And that level of coordination proved especially valuable when a title search turned up an incorrect bill of sale and a lien from a previous owner. That complication slowed the purchase process, forcing White to change his planned insurance start date, but even that turned out to be no problem.

“I didn’t have to worry about it too much,” White said. “They found the previous owner and were in touch with him and making sure everyone was getting the right forms to fill out. At one point AOPA Aircraft Financing was even coordinating to make sure the FAA had what they needed.”

White, who has been an AOPA member for nine years, says he would strongly recommend AOPA’s ownership services to anyone buying an airplane.

“I just had to keep reminding myself, this is new to me, but these folks do this every day,” he said of the purchase process. “And in hindsight, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.”

For more information on owning an aircraft, see “ The Key to Ownership,” which begins on page 64.

For more information about AOPA’s Ownership Services, visit the Web site or call 800/USA-AOPA.

Notice of annual meeting of members

The annual meeting of the Members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, September 13, 2008, at Wings Field, Ambler, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of receiving reports and transacting such other business as may properly come before the meeting, including the election of trustees.