Forty-one members of the National Association of Priest Pilots (NAPP), also known as the Flying Padres, visited AOPA headquarters Wednesday. In town for the group's annual convention, the AOPA members represented NAPP's 150 members nationwide, most of whom are Catholic priests with pilot certificates.
"Our two organizations have historically worked together for a common goal - to keep general aviation pilots flying," said Elizabeth Tennyson, AOPA vice president of ePublishing, who welcomed the group.
The priest pilots were given a tour of AOPA's headquarters building and participated in question-and-answer sessions led by AOPA staff members.
Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs, spoke to the group about topics that are at the forefront of every pilot's mind - airspace and temporary flight restrictions. These hot topics always raise plenty of questions and discussion among pilots, and the NAPP members were no exception. Rudinger also answered questions about FAA funding, flight service station privatization, and Transportation Security Administration security guidelines.
The priests also had questions regarding medical certification. Gary Crump, director of AOPA's medical certification department, was on hand to answer their questions and provide guidance on how to successfully deal with the FAA medical certification process. The AOPA medical staff responds annually to more than 20,000 phone calls and e-mails, answering questions that cover the spectrum of medical conditions from color vision and high blood pressure to kidney stones and heart disease.
Paul Deres, AOPA aviation technical specialist, spoke to the NAPP members about the information and resources available to AOPA members on AOPA.org and through the Pilot Information Center (800/USA-AOPA).
Each year, NAPP holds its annual convention in a new location in the United States. This year, they chose Frederick because of its convenience and proximity to Washington, D.C.
July 15, 2005