President’s Position

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Too expensive

Pilot Magazine | Nov 06, 2014

We are almost exactly five years away from a big deadline set by the FAA. On January 1, 2020, all aircraft will have to be equipped for ADS-B Out if they want to fly inside airspace that requires a Mode C transponder today.

Meeting the mandate

Pilot Magazine | Oct 22, 2014

This year has not yet come to a close, but my mind is on January 1, 2020. That’s when the FAA has mandated that aircraft must be equipped for ADS-B Out in order to operate in airspace where a Mode C transponder is required today.

President's Position: My year in review

Pilot Magazine | Sep 04, 2014

I’ve just completed my first yearas AOPA president, so it’s a good time to pause and think about where we’ve been and where we’re going. When I arrived in this role, there were a few key things on my agenda.

President's Position: One step closer to reality

Pilot Magazine | Aug 05, 2014

We’ve been talking about the need to find an unleaded replacement for avgas since the United States began phasing out leaded fuels in the early 1970s.

President's Position: Putting it in perspective

Pilot Magazine | Jul 31, 2014

When the House Aviation Subcommittee invited me to testify at a hearing on airport financing, I was eager to talk about how important Airport Improvement Program funds are to GA airports.

President's Position: New dues, new choices

Pilot Magazine | Jun 04, 2014

I arrived at AOPA less than a year ago with a lifelong passion for aviation and a vision of sharing that passion, not only with pilots like myself, but with countless others who may not even know that flying is within their reach.

President's Position: Flying fun

Pilot Magazine | May 12, 2014

Flying is fun. Or at least it should be. Most of us can give 100 well-thought-out reasons why we fly—transportation, business, convenience, efficiency, productivity.

President's Position: What’s past is prologue

Pilot Magazine | Apr 04, 2014

Most of us weren’t born in May 1939 when a handful of pilots gathered around a table to formalize a commitment they’d long since made—to protect the freedom to fly.

President's Position: A reprieve, not a rout

Pilot Magazine | Mar 06, 2014

The entire general aviation community has a victory to celebrate, even as we recognize that this win is by no means final.

President's Position: More than we asked for

Pilot Magazine | Feb 12, 2014

It’s not too often that you get more than you ask for.

President's Position: Working together

Pilot Magazine | Dec 23, 2013

America may be the land of the rugged individualist, but there are times when it’s best not to go it alone. That goes for organizations as well as people.

President's Position: Seeking to understand

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2013

Any time you start something new, there’s a lot to learn. And I’m a big believer in learning first, then acting decisively.

President's Position: Priorities

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2013

In the few weeks I’ve been on the job at AOPA, the number-one thing members ask me is what I’m going to do first.

President's Position: Behind the curtain

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2013

A change in leadership is no small thing for any organization, especially one that has had only a handful of presidents in nearly 75 years. So in this, my very first column for AOPA Pilot, let me say how proud and excited I am to be AOPA’s fifth president.

President's Position: Thank you!

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2013

With this month’s column, I conclude five enjoyable years in the left seat at AOPA. You and I have shared an extraordinary journey through some very challenging times.

President’s Position: Your AOPA Summit

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2013

During the course of the year, AOPA creates and participates in gatherings across the country where we interact with our members, share flying stories, and talk about the issues that affect our general aviation community. There is one gathering that, for us, represents the pinnacle of our annual outreach activity—the AOPA Aviation Summit.

President’s Position: Regulatory delays

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2013

During most AOPA Town Hall gatherings, I remind participating members that AOPA's founders created our organization in 1939 largely because they feared that a government about to enter a world war just might regulate general aviation out of existence. Nearly 75 years later, our mission is grounded in similar concerns--raised not by the prospect of war but by the growing power of regulatory agencies, many of which operate with increasing autonomy and minimal oversight.

President's Position: Choosing wisely

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2013

Only a few weeks ago, legislation to provide the FAA with budget flexibility passed the Senate unanimously and the House of Representatives by a huge margin.

President's Position: Paranoia?

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2013

During the past few weeks, I have found myself thinking more than once of the adage: “You’re not paranoid if people really are out to get you.” For months, the administration in Washington, D.C., said sequestration simply would not happen. But, then it did.

President's Position: Welcome to our world

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2013

Sharing the experience of flight

President's Position: The gift of giving

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2012

The real winner is the joy of flying.

President's Position: Looking West

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2012

Fully committed to building the pilot community .

President's Position: Going low and slow

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2012

Exercising my freedom to fly across America.

President's Position: Storm brewing

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2012

Yes, I know it's summer across America and we are supposed to be enjoying friends, families, and flying. But there is a storm brewing, and those of us who fight for our freedom to fly find it very, very troubling. That's what's on my mind as I prepare for my flight to Oshkosh for AirVenture.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2012

Some months ago at AOPA, we asked ourselves one of those "what if" questions. It went something like this: What if we could find a meaningful way to share everything we know about what makes a successful flight training experience?

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2012

After about three weeks of nonstop travel, I found myself in Billings, Montana, with a friend's Aviat Husky A–1B and a very experienced backcountry pilot, Jeanne MacPherson.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2012

It seems like just a few days ago that I joined my colleague Dave Hirschman to begin a 12-day adventure that any pilot might enjoy. Dave flew the Tougher than a Tornado AOPA Sweepstakes Husky, and I piloted my own Husky (N24HU) from our headquarters in Frederick, down the Gulf Coast of Florida to Key West, then back north to Lakeland to spend a week at Sun 'n Fun, before returning home.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2012

It is always wonderful to move into spring. This year--at least at our headquarters home in Frederick, Maryland--we saw very little winter weather.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2012

When AOPA's founders first gathered at Wings Field outside of Philadelphia almost 73 years ago, they were part of a small but growing

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2012

When AOPA's founders first gathered at Wings Field outside of Philadelphia almost 73 years ago, they were part of a small but growing

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2012

This is an important moment--the kind that comes around only every four years. We, the people, get to express ourselves concerning the fate of one-third of the the U.S. Senate, all 435 members of the House of Representatives, and the president of the United States.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Dec 01, 2011

As we approach the 2011 holiday season, there is much for which I am grateful and plenty to consider as we prepare for a new year.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Nov 01, 2011

Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you're making a judgment call. Are you fit to drive? Have you taken any medications that could impair your performance? Do you have a medical condition that would make you unsafe? Are you too tired to drive?

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Oct 01, 2011

Who wouldn't enjoy giving away an airplane? The day I hand the keys to our sweepstakes aircraft to a new owner is always one of the best days of the year. But, in 2012, I confess it's going to be just a bit personal. Here's why.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Sep 01, 2011

The debt ceiling has been used before to produce what Washington calls an "action forcing event." With the need to pay our nation's bills and not fall into a default position with our creditors, the Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, legislation that charts a path forward. The measure provides for about $1 trillion in spending reductions over the next 10 years, allowing Congress to approve an increase in the debt ceiling.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Aug 01, 2011

Whether you are an active pilot, an aspiring pilot, a retired pilot, or any other sort of flier, because you are reading this, I count you as someone who is enthusiastic about aviation.Let’s be honest; we’re part of a pretty interesting community. Seriously! And one of the best things about being part of this community is the way we celebrate our strength and share our passion at gatherings of aviators.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jul 01, 2011

“Don’t mess with Texas” is more than just a slogan representing the pride and can-do spirit of the state, which almost 31,000 of our AOPA members call home. Texas is a place where general aviation is not to be messed with, either—because it’s working! I’ve visited the state several times recently to participate in forums, meetings with elected officials, Town Hall gatherings, and an airport opening.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jun 01, 2011

Maybe it goes without saying, but with 405,000 members, AOPA is an enormous organization—one of the largest member organizations in the United States. And with so many missions to fulfill, perhaps it isn’t surprising that AOPA is actually comprised of several organizations, all working together under one banner in support of pilots, community airports, and the cause of general aviation.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | May 01, 2011

When we elected to focus on a positive Rally GA message this year, we could never have imagined the effort that would be put forth in Lakeland, Florida, following a tornado that touched down near the Sun ‘n Fun fly-in. With wind and rain the likes of which not many of us had ever seen, the week-long airshow extravaganza was, for many, turned upside down—literally.

Topics AOPA, Pilots

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Apr 01, 2011

“Elections matter” is a favorite phrase of a friend of mine, and, after the first quarter of 2011, it is certainly accurate as it pertains to life in Washington, D.C. As the 112th Congress got to work in January, new leaders assumed committee chairmanships in the House of Representatives and new members of Congress began serving their constituents in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Mar 01, 2011

The fact that you are reading this column means you already appreciate the importance we at AOPA place on communicating with you about general aviation. Indeed, sharing news and information about GA is something we’ve been doing here since the association’s inception 72 years ago.

Topics AOPA, Events

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Feb 01, 2011

My first two years as president of AOPA were filled with travel—there’s no substitute for the face-to-face meetings I have had with members. And, there is no better way to show elected officials just how passionate we are about aviation than to hold our GA Serves America gatherings.

President's Position

Pilot Magazine | Jan 01, 2011

This new year, I have uncovered new optimism about the future of general aviation. Certainly there are signs of im-provement in the economy, and FAA statistics suggest that business use of private aircraft is on the rise.

President's Position

Article | Dec 01, 2010

Seventy-one years ago our founders recognized the need for an organization to prevent encroachment on our freedom to fly. They knew that excessive regulation could prove costly.

President's Position

Article | Nov 01, 2010

Everywhere I travel these days, I hear a recurring question from the pilots I meet: “How are we going to grow the pilot population?” This is a question that keeps us up at night, and it is one we must answer. The past 20-plus years have been filled with dozens of well-intentioned attempts to solve the problem.