September 4, 2013
By AOPA Communications staff
AOPA’s campaign to grow the number of flying clubs in the United States reached a new milestone recently when the 400th club joined AOPA’s Flying Club Network.
AOPA has also just launched a new version of the online Flying Club Finder, which allows individuals to find a club in their area. A map-based interface shows details of 415 clubs in the AOPA Flying Club Network, plus another 133 clubs currently in the process of formation.
“We are especially pleased to see so many new flying clubs getting started,” said Adam Smith, senior vice president of AOPA’s Center to Advance the Pilot Community. “Clubs are a great way to build a stronger community in which more people earn pilot certificates, pilots are more active, and the flying lifetime of pilots is extended.”
AOPA established the Flying Club Network to share information and best-practices among clubs, and to give a stronger collective voice to flying clubs. AOPA is also working on programs to assist flying clubs with marketing, insurance, financing, and legal support.
There is no charge to be a member of the Flying Club Network, which provides clubs a monthly newsletter, regular webinars, access to a dedicated helpdesk for flying club support, and recognition in the new AOPA Flying Club Finder with a specially designed symbol.
AOPA’s own research has shown that many new pilots abandon flying due to the cost or the absence of a local flying community.
Both the Flying Club Network and club finder are AOPA initiatives aimed at keeping more pilots flying by making it more approachable, affordable, and safer. Flying clubs allow members to share the costs of maintaining aircraft, significantly reducing the cost of flying. They also present new pilots with a strong community of fellow aviation enthusiasts.
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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