President's Position

Take a summer excursion

July 1, 2010

Craig Fuller

There’s something about summer excursions—they just seem to be more fun, more relaxed, than trips taken at other times of the year. Whether you take off on your own or are joined by your family, summer is a wonderful time to do a little exploring, go someplace new, and try something different. In that spirit, I invite you to spend a few minutes with me, exploring some of the things that are new—or maybe just new to you—here at AOPA.

AOPA Live: We launched our streaming video channel at AOPA Aviation Summit in Tampa, Florida, thanks to a very generous donation from one of our members. Since then, more than 200,000 people in 160 countries have played AOPA’s exclusive video segments hundreds of thousands of times. We wanted to spread the word about what we do at the annual AOPA Aviation Summit and ended up creating a whole new way to communicate. We’ve got video segments focusing on everything from the latest aviation products to behind-the-scenes pieces from some of your favorite AOPA Pilot articles to interviews with key decision makers and even a few celebrities. You’ll find lots of content from Sun ’n Fun and plenty more to come from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh later this month. You can check out the latest programs online where we add new videos regularly.

GA Congressional Caucuses: The House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate have each formed a caucus to support GA. Both groups started in the past year and now are among the largest in the Congress. The House has 119 members and the Senate has 30. I recently was joined at an airport event in Waterloo, Iowa, by Sen. Charles Grassley, who talked about how important direct interaction with members of Congress is today. Read more online and review a list of the GA Caucus members. If your congressman or senator is a member, send a note of thanks. If not, invite them to join!

Flight Planner: If you have not tried the AOPA Internet Flight Planner, check out the new features. It has been completely rebuilt based on comments from members and the smart people at AOPA who look for ways to improve this every day. AOPA Airports is our online airport directory that has also been redesigned (see “ AOPA Airports,”).

Aviation eBrief: Aviation eBrief is your one-stop, must-have online publication. Our team scours hundreds of news sources for you and provides a simple summary five days a week. And, of course, we keep readers informed about what is happening at AOPA and what we are doing to affect issues in the news. You can join the more than 200,000 daily subscribers to this free publication and stay on top of the action in GA!

AOPA ePilot: Look for the newly redesigned ePilot in your inbox each Friday morning. The content explores all that AOPA is doing for GA. Also, ePilot now provides quick links to new content on AOPA Live, so you won’t miss any of the special programming on our video channel.

GA Serves America: Launched last year with support from members like you, the GA Serves America campaign has been serving us well. I am convinced that by standing up for ourselves, we were able to gain the support of others from Capitol Hill and throughout the nation. This year, GA Serves America and our leading spokesman, actor/pilot Harrison Ford, are reminding people just how vital a strong GA community is to America. Events are being scheduled around the country, often with elected officials, to tell our story.

AOPA Medical Services: I hope you are reading and benefiting from a new column in AOPA Pilot, “Fly Well,” by our medical adviser, Dr. Jonathan Sackier—a pilot and physician who helped develop our Medical Services program. This program expands our ability to help with your medical concerns and provide other valuable health services, including a prescription drug card that could save you more than your cost of membership.

AOPA Store: AOPA logo products and more are now available online at the AOPA Store. We have broadened the selection based on feedback from members. Check out the AOPA Store online and come see our products at EAA AirVenture, where we will be in our big yellow tent. 

These and the new services, publications, and programs are all described on our AOPA website. Visit online to learn more. The “ Membership Services” section takes you to all of our offerings.

Have a great summer exploring all that aviation and AOPA have to offer! And, fly safe!

AOPA President Craig Fuller files his Beechcraft Bonanza A36 for business and pleasure. E-mail AOPA President Craig Fuller at craig@aopa.org.

Engagement tip: We are working on new offerings to provide value to our members by exploring what I call “shared interests.” These offerings will focus on things you enjoy beyond flying—always with an aviation twist, of course. Our first offering, the AOPA Wine Club, is in final development. You can get engaged by viewing it online. Share your ideas about other lifestyle offerings via e-mail.