Active pilots, robust community: ‘As good as it gets’

April 21, 2011

Plus One Pilots

With more than 900 members and an exceptional safety record, Southern California’s Plus One Flyers flying club has a recipe for success. AOPA President Craig Fuller joined 300 members of the club at San Diego’s Montgomery Field April 18 to talk about AOPA’s efforts at the national level to keep flying safe, fun, and affordable.

Fuller attended the group’s meeting at the Crownair hangar, which also drew John and Martha King of San Diego-based King Schools, and spoke about AOPA’s advocacy, communication, and safety initiatives. The event gave the flying club members a chance to meet and mingle, look at aircraft on display, and find out more about the state of general aviation.

Plus One Flyers operates out of four San Diego airports and includes more than 100 independent CFIs, with a fleet of trainers and some high performance, light sport, and aerobatic airplanes. Fuller applauded Plus One Flyers for the group’s outstanding safety record and low dues and thanked club president Scott Kurowski for the opportunity to speak to the group. He praised the club again in a blog: “They’ve created a model that makes dues affordable, a variety of aircraft and training available, keeps insurance costs low, and more. And here’s the great part—they want to share it. Talk about a great way to Rally GA!”

Plus One

AOPA is working on Capitol Hill to help preserve the freedom to fly, Fuller said during his talk. The House and Senate GA Caucus, the GA Serves America campaign, and support from Harrison Ford and Morgan Freeman help to raise awareness of the value of GA on Capitol Hill. The collaboration of GA associations also contributed to successes for GA, such as the defeat of a user fee proposal in the president’s budget.

The association communicates to members through AOPA Pilot and Flight Training magazines, as well as AOPA ePilot newsletters, Fuller noted. Aviation eBrief reaches decision makers, political leaders, and local officials in addition to pilots and AOPA members; and AOPA Live and AOPA’s new Facebook page are innovative ways AOPA reaches out to aviation enthusiasts.

Through the work of the Air Safety Institute and partnerships with education and safety leaders, AOPA is constantly working to create the safest, most capable pilots possible, Fuller added. If we do this we will be better off in the long run when it comes to regulatory issues and keeping our skies open, he said. He also spoke about AOPA’s work to help grow the pilot population: With more than 20,000 operations each year, Plus One Flyers may have a piece of the puzzle.

Meeting with groups like this one is rejuvenating for me,” blogged Fuller. “These are pilots, just like you and me, who work together to make GA better—for themselves and for everyone. That’s as good as it gets!”