AOPA Action

What AOPA is doing to keep you flying

May 1, 2013

MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS

Working For You

AOPA Member Benefits

1. ADVOCACY

Protecting your right to fly: Taking on regulatory and legislative threats to general aviation has remained the association’s primary focus for more than 70 years.

Keeping aviation accessible: More than 2,300 Airport Support Network volunteers across the country keep community airports open and free of restrictions, and protect backcountry airstrips and seaplane landing sites.

Representing pilots on Capitol Hill: AOPA’s team in Washington, D.C., is actively engaged in every major policy issue that affects general aviation.

Fighting excessive state taxes and fees: AOPA aggressively works in all 50 states fighting excessive taxes and fees, and securing new tax cuts. No new aviation taxes have been implemented in any state in the past two years.

Keeping airspace open: AOPA protects GA’s freedom to fly in the nation’s airspace, and is working for a benefits-driven transition to the Next Generation of air traffic control.

Safeguarding general aviation interests: AOPA leads the way in persuading the FAA to lower the cost of medical and aircraft certification, and actively engages in a transition to a future aviation fuel.

AOPA Political Action Committee: The AOPA PAC ensures that the cause of general aviation is recognized in Congress. Voluntary contributions enable the PAC to wage focused and effective campaigns for GA in Washington, D.C.

2. MEDIA AND EVENTS

AOPA Pilot magazine: Award-winning AOPA Pilot keeps you in touch with the ever-changing world of general aviation.

Flight Training magazine: Insight and practical advice for students, active pilots, and CFIs from experienced pilot-authors.

AOPA ePilot and Eflight Training: Weekly email newsletters offering aviation industry news, information, and tips, which can be customized.

Aviation eBrief: Daily email newsletter offers up-to-the-minute GA news articles gathered from around the country.

AOPA Live This Week: Weekly webcast show recaps the week’s news and showcases aviation feature stories.

AOPA Aviation Summit: AOPA’s annual convention offers educational seminars, exhibits, and aircraft displays. The next one is in Fort Worth, Texas, October 10 through 12, 2013.

Town Hall Meetings: AOPA President Craig Fuller discusses the latest GA developments on local and national issues at locations throughout the country.

3. GROWING THE PILOT POPULATION

The Center to Advance the Pilot Community (CAPComm) is a robust and wide-reaching initiative designed to build a community in which more people earn pilot certificates, pilots are more active, and the flying lifetime of pilots is extended.

Flying clubs: CAPComm will promote flying clubs nationwide and provide the tools and resources needed to build successful clubs. The goal is to link 1,000 clubs in the next five years.

Flight training retention : The Flight Training Excellence Awards were created to recognize flight schools and CFIs that provide top-notch training experiences. Three Flight Training Field Guides have been developed for flight schools, instructors, and students.

4. PARTNERS, DISCOUNTS, AND SPECIAL OFFERS

Strategic Partners: AOPA Strategic Partners provide substantial support to AOPA year round. Current partners are Enterprise, National, and Alamo car rentals, Aircraft Spruce, and Aero-Space Reports.

Rental cars: AOPA members save on car rentals with our Strategic Partners Enterprise, National, and Alamo.

Lifestyles/member discounts: Save money with exclusive members-only discounts and special offers from top aviation and non-aviation companies.

Aircraft sweepstakes: AOPA sponsors a membership sweepstakes in which we give away a beautiful aircraft—fully outfitted and ready to take flight.

5. INSURANCE & FINANCIAL

AOPA Insurance Services-Aviation: AOPA Insurance Services provides the best advice on aviation insurance, and access to multiple A-rated carriers for aircraft owners, renters, flying clubs, CFIs, and aviation businesses.

AOPA Aviation Financing: Loans are available for purchasing new or used aircraft, avionics, refinancing, and upgrades.

Aircraft Title and Escrow: AOPA’s Strategic Partner, Aero-Space Reports, handles title and escrow needs.

AD&D Insurance: AOPA’s Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance includes coverage for any eligible accidental loss, 24 hours a day, worldwide.

Term Life: AOPA’s affordable group rates on term life coverage—no aviation exclusions, and includes travel assistance services.

Emergency Assistance Plus: 24-hour emergency and medical assistance backup plan offers a critical safety net against emergency expenses.

AOPA Credit Cards: AOPA BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Visa® credit card.

6. SAFETY AND EDUCATION

Air Safety Institute:: A wide array of interactive online courses, safety quizzes, webinars, and seminars to help pilots at all skill levels challenge their knowledge of air safety.

7. PILOT RESOURCES

AOPA Pilot Information Center: Toll-free hotline at 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672). Speak with experienced pilots and CFIs for advice and answers to your aviation and medical questions.

FlyQ: the digital flight planner: Robust flight planning capability, airport directory information, and aviation weather for your smartphone, iPad, or computer

Aviation weather: Online graphical real-time aviation weather information.

AOPA Airports Online Directory: Online directory with vital preflight information, updated daily.

AOPA Pilot Protection Services: The Legal Services Plan/Pilot Protection Services protects your medical and legal certificates from issues that threaten your freedom to fly.

8. GIVING BACK

AOPA Foundation: Your tax-deductible donations provide funding in four key areas for important work that membership dues alone cannot support: safety education, growing the pilot population, preserving airports, and providing support for good work being done in general aviation.

For a complete list of member benefits, call 1-800-872-2672.

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

5 Ways You Can Help Today

1. Renew today! 2. Encourage someone to join. 3. Give a gift membership. 4. Refer a military aviator. 5. Sign up a future pilot for an AOPA youth membership

MEMBERSHIP

New partnership returns cash to AOPA members

Bank of America is newest strategic partner

AOPA recently announced a new strategic partnership with Bank of America that will further boost support for general aviation while offering AOPA members generous cash-back rewards.

The new partnership features the AOPA BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card that offers 3-percent cash back on automotive gas and 2 percent on groceries for the first $1,500 in combined purchases in those categories each quarter, and one percent on all other purchases. For a limited time, AOPA members who are approved for the new card can earn a $100 cash-back bonus after qualifying transactions.

“AOPA and Bank of America have worked together in the past to the benefit of both our members and general aviation,” said Ed Thompson, AOPA vice president of corporate partnerships and products. “This new partnership strengthens that relationship by literally putting money back in the pockets of our member pilots and aircraft owners, money they can use for flying, increasing the value of their memberships, and bolstering general aviation.”

Bank of America will provide sponsorship support for programs and services that benefit AOPA members throughout the year, including at AOPA’s Aviation Summit in Fort Worth, Texas, in October.

Bank of America becomes AOPA’s fourth Strategic Partner along with Enterprise Holdings Inc. (Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car), Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., and Aero-Space Reports. For more information about AOPA’s Corporate Partnership program, visit the website.

“Bank of America is proud to strengthen our commitment to AOPA, which has been a terrific partner for more than two decades,” said Jake Frego, manager of Bank of America’s National Brands credit card and banking programs. “This renewal will enable us to continue building a card product that resonates with AOPA’s members. Over the years, we’ve developed a great appreciation for the emotional connection that they have with the organization and look forward to continuing to meet and exceed their needs.”

Apply online: Visit the website for program details.

AOPA Aviation Summit

The 2013 AOPA Aviation Summit will be held October 10-12 in Fort Worth, Texas.

AIRPORT SUPPORT NETWORK

Women in Aviation support airports

AOPA’s Airport Support Network program was present at the twenty-fourth Annual International Women in Aviation Conference in Nashville. Among those attending were the newest ASN volunteer, Andrea Planzer, recently flying again and settling in at Nantucket Memorial Airport in Massachusetts (ACK); veteran volunteer and air race participant Dianna Stanger of Calhoun County Airport in Texas (PKV), who has overseen major improvements and received the Texas department of transportation most improved airport award; Birmingham, Alabama, airport (BHM), volunteer Betty Meyer, an Alabama aviatrix with a passion for supporting pilots and airports, who started a website to publicize the many incredible Alabama aviation stories; and Melissa Cook, owner/manager at Flying Oaks Airport in Texas (2TE2), who flies a Cessna 150 and enjoys the lifestyle of owning the airport.

The volunteers were joined by ASN Director Joey Colleran. Brittney Miculka discussed AOPA’s new Center for the Advancement of the Pilot Community and Kristen Seaman spoke about her role in AOPA’s Communications team.

STATE AND LOCAL ACTION

Access to airstrips

In 2008, AOPA worked with Alaska legislators to extend existing basic civil-use liability protections to owners of private airfields—leading to the opening of several new unique and fun landing strips for public use. Since that time, AOPA has teamed with the Recreational Aviation Foundation (RAF), and local allies, on similar efforts in numerous other states with the eventual goal of opening access to airstrips of this nature from corner to corner, and everywhere in between, across the country. Here is a snapshot of all the ongoing and completed legislative efforts from 2013 alone.— Melissa Rudinger, AOPA senior vice president, government affairs

Legislation map

MEMBER SERVICES

Can I fly after a stroke?

By Warren Silberman, D.O.
AOPA Pilot Protection Services

The three terms one hears when dealing with a stroke are: cerebrovascular accident, stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA). The big difference is that in a TIA, a person has neurological symptoms lasting from several minutes up to several hours. A stroke is one of the FAA’s specifically disqualifying conditions. This means that if you go in for a flight examination and you had a stroke or TIA, the AME may not issue you a medical certificate without obtaining written or verbal permission from an FAA physician. The FAA medical term for this condition is a “transient loss of nervous system function.” This means that you will need to provide medical records, evaluations, and testing for the FAA medical folks to review and determine whether they will grant you a special issuance.

Generally, an airman who has been diagnosed with a stroke or TIA cannot be considered for medical certification until two years after the event. This is because there is an increased incidence of a recurrence during that period. If the stroke can be directly related to a treatable condition, such as a cardiac irregularity or blockage in an artery that can be treated, then the FAA will consider you for special issuance after one year of observation.

You will need to obtain the medical records from the hospitalization or emergency room visit, any neurological evaluations, and results of any brain scans as the FAA will want to review these. Generally, it will want you to have had a cardiovascular evaluation, echocardiogram of your heart, maximal stress testing, ultrasound check of your neck arteries, and current neurological evaluation. These tests, except the current neurological evaluation, can be performed during the two-year period that you are grounded.

There has been a new addition to the requirements in the past several years. If you have had a stroke involving most areas of the brain, you may need to provide the FAA with what is generally called cognitive testing. Call the AOPA Medical Certification Department and ask if you will need this testing. If you are a member of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services, mail your records for review prior to sending them to the FAA.

Dr. Warren Silberman is the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification and a doctor of osteopathic medicine. A pilot since 1986, he is recognized nationally as an expert in aerospace/preventative medicine.

Learn more about the Pilot Protection Services program.

ANSWERS FOR PILOTS

A change of heart

There’s good medical news for pilots with previous heart conditions. The FAA Cardiology Panel has made recommendations to the Federal Air Surgeon that will reduce the time and expense of obtaining a special issuance medical certificate for pilots who have had certain cardiac conditions.

The changes include a reduction in the length of the recovery period for uncomplicated stent procedures, as well as modified requirements on a case-by-case basis for certification after recovery from heart attacks. In addition, the FAA will now consider—also on a case-by-case basis—certification after double cardiac valve replacements following review by the FAA Cardiology Panel and the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine in Washington, D.C.

Read more in May’s Answers for Pilots.

FAA-accepted medications database

The AOPA Medical Certification Department has compiled a list of FAA-accepted medications, in confirmation with the FAA Aerospace Medical Certification Division in Oklahoma City. These are medications generally allowed by the FAA for flight duties. The medications list is accurately maintained; however, if you have questions about a particular medication, call the Medical Certification specialists in the AOPA Pilot Information Center (800-872-2672).

AOPA FOUNDATION

‘Houston, we have a problem’

Air Safety Institute spotlights controllers

AOPA Foundation President Bruce Landsberg; airline captain and Aviation Safety Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) Charles Hogeman; and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s (NATCA) safety and technology director and retired air traffic controller, Dale Wright, selected the 2012 Archie League Medal of Safety Awards recipients from nominees in each ATC region. The prestigious award, presented at NATCA’s Ninth Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet, honored controllers whose actions were critical to the positive outcome of a flight in jeopardy.

The awards ceremony offered additional recognition by the Air Safety Institute during the evening’s festivities. Five air traffic controllers were awarded ASI’s Flight Assist Commendations for guiding pilots to safety who were struggling with airborne situations that included an on-board fire, a loss of instruments, hypoxia, and the danger of high terrain.

“Houston, Two-Six-Five-Quebec, we’ve got a problem.” That transmission on September 20, 2012, from a Beechcraft Baron en route from Baytown, Texas, to Sarasota, Florida, was the last communication controllers received, spurring their quick and persistent action. Unable to raise the aircraft on any frequency, including attempted communication relays from several commercial flights, controllers Tony Hanel and Ashley Curtsinger coordinated a rescue based on extremely limited information when the flight, which had an on-board fire, ditched in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a March 2012 incident, controller Rosalina Serai alerted a pilot “who was under enormous distress while operating under instrument conditions, deviating off course and heading toward rising terrain.” Serai directed the aircraft to another airport, where it landed safely.

In a May 2012 instance, John Herlien directed a pilot who was experiencing hypoxia to descend. The pilot reported feeling better at a lower altitude and the flight ended safely.

And in October, controller Steve Clark assisted a pilot flying in instrument conditions whose Cessna 182 aircraft experienced an avionics failure. “Controller Clark handled the emergency in an exemplary manner by providing no-gyro vectors to several airports until suitable landing conditions were found,” the award states. The pilot landed safely.

“These controllers exemplify the high standards that we’ve come to rely upon,” said Landsberg. “The United States has the busiest and safest airspace in the world, but periodically pilots do face tremendous life-threatening challenges. In many cases it’s been these controllers who made the difference between a non-event and a tragedy.”

The Air Safety Institute is dedicated exclusively to providing continuing pilot education and safety programs for general aviation. It is funded by donations from individual pilots and organizations.

Read more about the 2013 Archie League Awards regional recipients and hear audio clips of the incidents.

AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE

ASI Accident Case studies now in new location

The Air Safety Institute Accident Case Studies series has moved to a new location on ASI’s website so you can easily find them all together in one place.

Each Accident Case Study is based on an NTSB accident investigation. The gripping stories have you ride along on the fateful flight using actual ATC audio and Microsoft Flight Simulator footage to attempt to recreate and decipher what went wrong—and more important see why things went from good to bad. The videos are interspersed with analysis to help achieve a better understanding of how to avoid a similar situation.

ASI’s spring seminar: Chart Challenge—Live

Visit the website for dates and locations near you.

AOPA INSURANCE SERVICES

Accident or incident? Let us help

AOPA insurance offers accident forgiveness and deductible waiver enhancement

AOPA Insurance has launched a program to help general aviation pilots save money in the event of an incident or accident. Partnering with the AOPA Foundation, AOPA Insurance now offers accident forgiveness and deductible waiver enhancement on select insurance policies.

AOPA Insurance Services and Chartis Aerospace joined the AOPA Air Safety Institute to improve pilot safety while helping to lower pilots’ out-of-pocket expenses in the event of an accident. Many of AOPA’s insurance partners have adapted the program for select policies to offer accident forgiveness and deductible reward programs.

“No pilot ever plans on having an accident,” says Brenda J. Jennings, senior vice president, AOPA Insurance Services. “These programs are for all pilots, no matter how safe they think they are in their flying.”

To qualify for these money-saving benefits, a pilot must participate in online courses or attend a live safety seminar at least once every six months. These programs are free—because of funding from generous donors— and convenient to access online.

Accident Forgiveness is available on select insurance policies underwritten by Chartis Aerospace, USAIG, Phoenix Aviation Managers, Starr Aviation, Global Aerospace, U.S. Specialty Insurance, and QBE. This valuable coverage enhancement waives part of the policy’s deductible and prevents the policy renewal rate from increasing as a result of the accident.

In addition to online courses offering a wide range of topics that can be accessed anywhere there’s an Internet connection, AOPA offers more than 200 free AOPA Air Safety Institute safety seminars all year long throughout the United States. These seminars are taught by qualified professional instructors, and no preregistration is required.

“All of these programs are free,” adds Jennings. “So whether you want to save money in case of an accident or simply polish your skills as a pilot, AOPA provides a continuing education program for pilots that is well worth your while.”

Visit the website for a complete listing of qualified courses and seminars.

AOPA Membership Services and Products

AOPA
421 AVIATION WAY
FREDERICK, MARYLAND 21701

TOLL-FREE PILOT INFORMATION CENTER
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NEW ADDRESS?
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AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE
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AOPA CREDIT CARD PROGRAM
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AOPA AIRCRAFT INSURANCE
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AOPA PILOT PROTECTION SERVICES
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AOPA AIRCRAFT PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM
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OTHER AOPA MEMBER PRODUCTS
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