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Media Room

Since 1939, AOPA has protected the freedom to fly by promoting an environment that gives people of all ages the opportunity to enjoy aviation and all it has to offer. As the world’s largest community of pilots and aviation enthusiasts, AOPA can connect reporters with in-house experts on a variety of aviation topics.

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Jennifer Non

Senior Manager, Media Relations & Public Affairs

301.695.2214 | [email protected]


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Media Usage Policy

By using the AOPA Media Download (“AMD”) page, you agree to the following in addition to AOPA’s standard terms of use: All images and textual, graphical and other content appearing in the AMD, unless otherwise noted, are and shall remain the sole property of AOPA or its assigns and are subject to copyrights and other intellectual property protections under applicable common law, U.S. statutes, and international laws and treaties. All such rights in the content of the AMD are reserved.

You may view, copy, print, download and use content contained in the AMD solely for your own personal use and provided that: (1) the content available from this Web Site is used for informational and non-commercial purposes only; (2) no text, graphics or other content available from this Web Site is modified in any way; (3) no graphics available from this Web Site are used, copied or distributed separate from accompanying text; (4) you will not use the content in any way that is misleading, that falsely suggests the existence of a business relationship between you and AOPA, that is derogatory, disparaging, or which displays AOPA, its products, employees, affiliates or representatives in a negative light; (5) you may not authorize others to use the content; and (6) AOPA may, at any time and in its sole discretion, revoke its authorization for you to use the content and may require you to immediately cease using that content. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel or otherwise any license or other grant of right to use any patent, copyright, trademark or other intellectual property of AOPA or any third party, except as expressly provided herein. Any other use of the content contained in this site is expressly prohibited without the express, prior, and written consent of AOPA or its assigns.

Calendar of Events

Sun N' Fun

When: April 13 - 18, 2021
Where: Lakeland, FL

Aviator Showcase at Fort Worth, TX

When: Oct. 1, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Fort Worth, Texas, at Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW), hosted by Alliance Aviation Services

EAA Airventure

When: July 26 - Aug 1, 2021
Where: Oshkosk, WI

Aviator Showcase at Manassas, VA

When: Aug. 27, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Manassas, Virginia, at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), hosted by Chantilly Air Jet Center

AOPA Leadership

Mark Baker

President & CEO

Mark R. Baker joined AOPA in 2013 as president and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the world’s largest civil aviation organization.

A native Minnesotan, Baker earned his pilot certificate in his twenties and has logged more than 10,000 hours of flight time in aircraft ranging from light seaplanes to turbines and helicopters.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Baker has served on numerous corporate boards and has taken leadership roles with several nonprofit organizations.

Before his appointment at AOPA, Baker served in numerous senior executive roles, including CEO of Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation, a leading retailer of home improvement and garden products. Baker also served in senior executive roles at Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Gander Mountain Company, and The Home Depot. Earlier in his career, he also worked for HomeBase, Scotty’s Home Improvement Centers, and Knox Hardware and Lumber.

In conjunction with his role as president and CEO of AOPA, Baker is chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee; chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation; president of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations, representing pilots in 81 countries; and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest and most influential aviation publication.

Greg Cohen

Chief Administrative Officer

Greg Cohen serves as the chief administrative officer, overseeing several important functions at AOPA, including finance and accounting, human resources, information technology, aircraft financing, Pilot Information Center, membership services, flight operations, and facilities.

A native of New Jersey, Cohen is an instrument-rated private pilot, soloed at 16, and earned his certificate at 17.

Cohen is a certified public accountant, holds an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, and a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting from Franklin & Marshall College.

Prior to rejoining AOPA in 2016 as Vice President of Human Resources, Cohen worked for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Dulles International Airport, Reagan National Airport, and the Dulles Toll Road. Other prior experience includes working for ACS State & Local Solutions (later acquired by Xerox), and for the mutual fund giant Vanguard Group.

Cohen’s previous experience at AOPA, which first began in 2006, includes various positions within the Finance division.

Jim Coon

Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Advocacy

Jim Coon is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Advocacy, where he is responsible for the implementation of AOPA’s political, legislative, and regulatory initiatives and policies before Congress, federal agencies, and state legislatures.

Prior to joining AOPA, Jim had over three decades of experience working with Congress and the aviation industry. He held the role of Staff Director for the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for several years and served as Staff Director on the Committee’s Aviation Subcommittee. During his 25-year tenure on Capitol Hill, he played a large role in crafting major transportation legislation and was recognized by Roll Call as one of the top five transportation staffers to know. Additionally, he is a board member of the Aero Club of Washington and served in leadership roles for the National Air Transportation Association, the Boeing Company, and the Air Transport Association (now A4A).

Jim was also appointed Secretary General of the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA) in August of 2020. IAOPA was founded in 1962 to facilitate the movement of general aviation aircraft internationally and today the organization consists of 82 affiliates around the globe. Jim serves as only the 6th IAOPA Secretary General in the organization’s 59-year history. In 1964, IAOPA was accepted as the sole general aviation observer to ICAO, a distinction the organization maintains to this day.

Jim received a degree in Urban Planning from Virginia Tech and served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army Reserves and Virginia Army National Guard. He joined AOPA in 2014 and is a student pilot. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children.

Tom Haines

Senior Vice President, Media, Communications, and Outreach
Editor in Chief of AOPA Publications

Thomas B. Haines was appointed senior vice president and editor in chief of AOPA Publications in July 1994 and named senior vice president of Media in December 2009 and currently holds the title of Editor in Chief and Senior Vice President of Media, Communications, and Outreach. He manages a staff of 35 writers, editors, graphic artists, photographers, videographers, event planners, communications experts, and support personnel.

A native of Pennsylvania, Haines earned his pilot certificate in his late teens and has logged more than 4,000 hours. He has a commercial pilot certificate with multiengine, instrument, and seaplane ratings, and holds type ratings in the Eclipse 500 and Cessna CJ business jets and has a second-in-command type rating in the North American B-25 Mitchell. He owns a Beech A36 Bonanza.

Haines holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Mount St. Mary’s University and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a Communications Media minor from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Prior AOPA experience includes executive editor and vice president, senior editor, and associate editor of AOPA Pilot Magazine.

As part of his role at AOPA, Haines oversees the publication of AOPA Pilot magazine, the world’s largest aviation magazine; Flight Training magazine, a magazine specifically for student pilots and flight instructors; the weekly AOPA ePilot electronic newsletter; the Flight Training edition of ePilot, AOPA Online; and the association’s video-on-demand channel, AOPA Live. Under his leadership, the media properties have won many industry-leading awards. His writing has earned him awards from the Associated Press and American Society of Business Publication Editors. In 2010, at the Cacique Awards, the Bahamian government named Haines as its Travel Writer of the Year.

Haines is often sought out for his publishing and aviation expertise. He often speaks at regional and national publishing conferences and has appeared on news shows at NBC, CNN, and MSNBC. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, NewsweekBusinessweek, and many other national publications. He is regularly asked to comment on aviation podcasts and radio shows.

Justine Harrison

AOPA General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Justine Harrison joined AOPA in 2019 and serves as AOPA’s general counsel and corporate secretary, leading the Legal Department and overseeing AOPA’s Legal Services Plan, which serves more than 66,000 members.

Harrison is a commercial rated pilot and flies aircraft ranging from an AirCam experimental she co-built to a Lear 75.

Harrison earned her Bachelor of Science from Cornell University, and her Juris Doctor from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Prior to joining AOPA, Harrison ran her own law firm for a decade after serving as general counsel, senior vice president of external affairs, and corporate secretary of the Nevada Cancer Institute.

She previously served as a director for the Nevada Cancer Institute, the Nevada Business Aviation Association, and Angel Flight West, and as a member of EAA’s Legal Advisory Council.

Kollin Stagnito

Senior Vice President of Media and Marketing

Kollin Stagnito is senior vice president of media and marketing. Stagnito brings a wealth of media and marketing knowledge to AOPA and is responsible for running AOPA’s print and digital media teams including AOPA Pilot—the world’s largest aviation magazine, newsletters, social media, podcasts, website, and AOPA Live video channel. Additionally, he manages AOPA’s membership marketing, product marketing, advertising and partnerships.

A native of Pennsylvania, Stagnito graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Business Economics. He began flying during his senior year in college and within a year earned his private pilot certificate, purchased a Cessna 150, and became an AOPA member. He currently holds commercial pilot and remote pilot certificates, is an advanced and instrument ground instructor, and loves flying his 1947 Cessna 140. He has logged over 1,000 hours of flight time and has flown more than 25 models of single engine aircraft.

Prior to joining the association in January 2019 as Vice President of Publications, he was the CEO of Stagnito Business Information. Between 1991 and 2016, Stagnito, his father and two brothers—with private equity backing—successfully started, grew and sold two media companies serving the food and beverage industry: Stagnito Communications and Stagnito Business Information. During this time, he was progressively responsible for sales, marketing, content, audience development, events, research, operations and mergers and acquisitions.

Jiri Marousek

Senior Vice President for Innovation

Jiri Marousek joined AOPA in 2014 and serves as the senior vice president for Innovation where he leverages his creativity to drive innovation throughout the organization.

A native of Czech Republic, Marousek earned his private pilot certificate in 2015 and is currently enjoying taking trips with his son in a Cessna 182 and has seaplane and tailwheel endorsements.

Marousek earned a degree in Commercial Economics and International Business from Rotterdam Business School, executive MBA at the University of Wisconsin, and completed the senior executive program at Stanford University.

Prior to joining AOPA, Marousek led the global digital marketing for Brand USA working in Europe, China, and the United States. Before that, he served in executive leadership and was a partner at several global advertising agencies, leading digital marketing and innovation for Kellogg’s, LL Bean, Unilever, Nestle, Briggs & Stratton, GE, Saris Cycling, SC Johnson, and Kohler.

Marousek was also the founder of several technology startups working with brands such as Harley-Davidson, CycleOps, Nobles Weapon Systems, and Buell Motorcycles, building innovative technologies including some of the first-to-market connected devices, data security, and social based learning.

Richard McSpadden

Senior Vice President of the AOPA Air Safety Institute

Richard McSpadden was appointed executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute in February 2017 and was promoted to senior vice president in July 2020. He currently leads a team of certified flight instructors and content creators who develop and distribute aviation safety material –free of charge— in order to advance general aviation safety industrywide. ASI distributes material through a dedicated YouTube channel, iTunes podcasts, Facebook, and a dynamic website. ASI material is accessed 12 million times annually.

A native of Panama City, Florida, McSpadden started flying as a teenager and has logged over 5,000 hours flying a variety of civilian and military aircraft. McSpadden is a commercial pilot, CFII, MEI with SES, MES ratings and a 525S (Citation Jet Single Pilot) type rating. He taught his son to fly, instructed his daughter to solo in their Piper Super Cub, previously owned a 1950 Navion that was in his family for almost 40 years, and currently owns a 1993 Piper Super Cub.

McSpadden holds a degree in Economics from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Public Administration from Troy University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College.

Prior to joining AOPA, McSpadden had a successful career in the information technology industry, leading large, geographically dispersed operations providing business-critical IT services. McSpadden also served in the Air Force for 20 years, including the prestigious role of commander and flight leader of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team where he led over 100 flight demonstrations flying the lead aircraft.

Additionally, McSpadden currently serves as the industry chair for the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee.

Adam Meredith

President, AOPA Aviation Finance Company

Adam Meredith joined AOPA in 2013 and currently serves as president of AOPA Aviation Finance Company. Meredith is responsible for the start-up and management of AOPA Aviation Finance, a brokerage firm wholly owned by AOPA, providing aircraft financing to its members.

He is a native New Englander and a commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings.

Meredith holds dual master’s degrees in Business Administration and Finance from Boston College, and has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado. Meredith first obtained formal credit training in 2001 from Eastern Bank, the oldest and largest mutually held bank in the United States, with $11B in assets. While at Eastern Bank, he earned experience in equipment leasing, commercial and industrial lending, managed assets, and commercial real estate. Prior to joining AOPA, Meredith was with Santander Bank, where he was the aviation commercial loan officer and portfolio manager. Before Santander, Meredith co-founded and sold TJM Motorsports, a small business specializing in the wholesale distribution of automotive performance parts.

Additionally, Meredith is involved with the National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA), where he serves as a board member and chairman of the Light Aircraft Roundtable Committee, and is active in his local area youth lacrosse programs.

Melissa Rudinger

Executive Director of the AOPA Foundation

Melissa Rudinger currently leads the AOPA Foundation as executive director, a role she took on in October 2019. Rudinger leads a team of dedicated professionals who are focused on funding programs that grow the pilot population, improve safety, and make flying more accessible and affordable.

A native of Pennsylvania, Rudinger holds a commercial pilot certificate with a lighter-than-air rating. Having flown for more than 35 years, Rudinger also has FAA Academy training in Airspace Design and Analysis, Air Traffic Management, Terminal Procedures Development, and Environmental Policy.

Rudinger has been with AOPA for more than 28 years, and prior to joining the AOPA Foundation she worked in both Public Relations and Government Affairs. She advocated for general aviation interests at the federal, state, and local levels of government on matters affecting airmen, aircraft, and air traffic control. She has also represented AOPA’s international policy interests at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and other international regulatory bodies.

Prior to joining AOPA, Rudinger’s aviation career began at a small FBO in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. During this time, she also launched Conestoga Hot Air Balloons, a commercial hot air balloon business that operated half a dozen balloons providing sightseeing flights and flight instruction. Her company was also an FAA certified balloon repair station. 

Additionally, Rudinger serves on RTCA’s Board of Directors, and previously served as co-chair of the FAA NextGen Advisory Committee Subcommittee and as an appointee for the National Park Service Overflight Advisory Group.

Elizabeth Tennyson

Senior Vice President of the AOPA Foundation

Elizabeth Tennyson is the senior vice president of the AOPA Foundation, overseeing the AOPA Foundation and You Can Fly programs and initiatives. AOPA’s You Can Fly is responsible for programs designed to get people flying and keep them flying. You Can Fly is comprised of four initiatives: introducing high school students to aviation career opportunities, improving the flight training experience, making flying more accessible and affordable through flying clubs, and returning lapsed pilots to the cockpit. AOPA’s Foundation focuses on funding programs that grow the pilot population, improve safety, and make flying more accessible and affordable.

A native of California, Tennyson earned her private pilot certificate in 1998 and is an instrument-rated private pilot and a hang glider pilot.

Tennyson holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and undergraduate degrees in Broadcast Journalism and International Relations from the University of Southern California.

Tennyson first joined AOPA in 1998. Prior to joining You Can Fly, she held positions throughout the association that included director of Publications/managing editor of Flight Training magazine, vice president of Publications/executive editor of AOPA Pilot magazine, vice president of e-Publishing, senior director of Communications, and vice president of Aviation Program Operations. Prior to her tenure with AOPA, Tennyson was a television, radio, and wire service reporter, working for the Associated Press in Los Angeles, Miami, and Raleigh, North Carolina. She also served as editor in chief for a collection of legal and golf magazines.

Tennyson serves on the boards of the Aerospace Center for Excellence and is a member of the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

Erica Saccoia

Senior Vice President of Finance and Accounting

Erica Saccoia joined AOPA in 2009 and currently serves as AOPA’s senior vice president of Finance and Accounting. Saccoia is responsible for the day to day management of a team of accountants and operational technicians as well as overseeing all fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities for the organization(s), including financial reporting, planning and budgeting, accounting, risk management, contract management, tax and regulatory compliance, auditing, and all other areas of financial analysis and activity. In addition, her department is responsible for monitoring and
overseeing the organization’s internal financial and fiscal policies regarding all financial transactions.

A native of Woodbridge, Virginia, Saccoia graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting, and she obtained her certified public accountant license in May 1994.

Prior to joining AOPA, Saccoia was the accounting manager, Financial and Tax Reporting, for National Public Radio for eight years. She started her career with Price Waterhouse as an auditor of the federal government and nonprofit organizations.

Saccoia’s prior experience at AOPA includes senior vice president-Finance and Accounting, vice president-controller, director of Accounting, and accounting manager, where she was responsible primarily for financial reporting for the Air Safety Foundation and AOPA Foundation.

AOPA in the News

ABC News Radio Specials

AOPA featured in ABC News Radio presents “On The Move" Special Report

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Business Observer

Pilot training academy combats industry shortage with $15M investment

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Forbes Advisor

Guide To Aviation Insurance For Aircraft Renters

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Frederick County, MD - Office of Economic Development

You Can Fly: Elizabeth Tennyson Changes Altitude and Attitudes

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High school students reach new heights with unique aviation curriculum

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yahoo! news

Pilot Passport connects visitors to the region's aviation history

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abc13 KTNV Las Vegas

Henderson's All In Aviation helping those who want career in aviation industry

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South Florida High Schoolers Learn About Aviation Amidst Pilot Shortage

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STEM Education Takes Flight

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American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights through mid-July amid labor shortages

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Magruder student using special pilot program to reach the skies

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Oklahoma students soar in STEM aviation program as air travel picks back up

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THS aviation education classes take flight

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United Commits to Pilot Diversity by Launching Its Own Flight School, Scholarships

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Goodbye to the original celebrity private jet

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Safety Board Report Shows Pilot Lost Control In Kobe Bryant Helicopter Crash

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Lost in fog: Kobe copter crash highlights danger for pilots

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Tamarack Aerospace Arranged A Flyoff To Promote Its Winglets With AOPA Looking On

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Airline pilots say COVID-19 to blame for feeling 'rusty,' in-flight errors

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Airline pilots making in-flight errors say they’re ‘rusty’ because of pandemic

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Bay Area pilot wins airplane from largest pilot organization in U.S.

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Dillingham Airfield Still Set to Close in June

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Taking Learning to New Heights

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The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2020

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Volunteer pilots take to skies for Operation Good Cheer with gifts for kids in need across Michigan

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Why Small Plane Aviation Boomed In The Covid Economy — And Why The Future Is Electric. Q&A With AOPA’s Chief, Mark Baker

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Diversifying the flight deck: Less than 1% of US pilots are Black women

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How one group is inspiring more Black women to take flight

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The pilots changing the face of aviation

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Elliot In The Morning Interviews Tom Haines

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Dierks Bentley is a You Can Fly Champion

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First armless pilot celebrates 30th year of ADA with flight at Frederick airport

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The first US airline pilot with diabetes captains commercial flight

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Local expert views historic SpaceX launch

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Will General Aviation Climb, Descend Or Hold Altitude In The Months Ahead?

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Aviation’s new normal

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Frederick women find their place in male-dominated fields

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Answer Man: Private pilots overcharged at Asheville Regional?

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Use of drones for deliveries is becoming more common in Virginia town

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Huge military exercise could jam GPS for small planes flying in the Southeast, FAA says

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100-year-old Tuskegee airman from Bethesda returns to the sky for his birthday

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81-year-old student pilot gets the surprise of a lifetime

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Veterans take part in fly-over to commemorate 75th anniversary of D-Day

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Fly-In event brings a bit of history to Frederick

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EITM: AOPA Fly-In 5/13/19

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WWII planes involved in D-Day to fly over D.C. metro area Friday and Saturday

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Heber Valley Airport, which has most complaints in the country, could lose millions in FAA grants

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Pilots Association Argues Against Heber's Decision To Scrap Airport Minimum Standards

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Pilots Have Their Own Secret Language. Here's What They're Really Saying

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This high school aviation program aims to stave off the pilot shortage

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Nall Report and Economic Impact Study

Nall Report

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Economic Impact Study

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