AOPA members praise ad
AOPA's newspaper ad is receiving strong support from AOPA members. In fact, members are printing it out and placing it on their walls.
One member says it all: "The ad in USA Today is an excellent idea. It was well written and it will, no doubt, educate the public. I am proud to be a private pilot belonging to such a great organization representing us!"
You can easily circulate the ad to your friends. Paste the link ( http://www.aopa.org/usatodayad.pdf ) in an e-mail message or download the document, save it to your hard drive, and e-mail it as an attachment.
Click to view ad
Don't let one pilot tarnish the image of general aviation. Thousands of pilots fly every day without violating the complex airspace restrictions established after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
That's the message AOPA is sending the general public through a national ad that appeared Wednesday in USA Today and Roll Call, the primary newspaper on Capitol Hill. The ad is part of the association's ongoing effort to correct the many misconceptions and sometimes-outrageous statements about GA that have appeared in the media since a Pennsylvania pilot and his student-pilot passenger penetrated restricted airspace around the nation's capital in their Cessna 150.
"Seven days ago, one very small airplane created a very large incident that disrupted lives in Washington, D.C., and made millions of people, already on edge, very nervous. It also created unnecessary concern and skepticism about 'those little planes,'" the ad says.
It also points out what went right during the incident, while explaining that small general aviation airplanes are not a security threat and that pilots are - with very few exceptions - very well informed.
Many of AOPA's efforts to inform and educate pilots about temporary airspace restrictions (TFRs) are highlighted in the ad.
For example, AOPA has sent almost 5 million e-mail messages alerting pilots to TFRs that could affect their flight plans. The association also provides its members with free access to AOPA's Real-Time Flight Planner that graphically depicts TFRs.
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation's educational outreach is also noted. The foundation "connected with 327,222 pilots and flight instructors last year through its online and live seminars and other materials, many of which are devoted to airspace restrictions."
AOPA's other educational efforts mentioned include Pilot Town Meetings with AOPA President Phil Boyer and AOPA's Airport Watch program, which is recognized by government and security officials as the industry standard.
"AOPA will continue our work to educate and inform general aviation pilots and advocate on their behalf," the ad concludes. "Because keeping general aviation pilots, airplanes, and airports safe are important efforts in maintaining our freedom to fly. And keeping the nation secure protects the freedom of all."
Update: May 20, 2005