For its sixtieth anniversary celebration this past year, AOPA reviewed its history to affirm that its original goals of 1939 remain true today: “To make flying more useful, less expensive, safer, and more fun.”
When pilots couldn’t get life insurance or good aircraft coverage, AOPA stepped in to develop new insurance products specifically for aviators. An early success is illustrated in this AOPA cartoon from 1948.
Through the years, AOPA worked with insurers to provide pilots and owners with reasonably priced personal and aircraft insurance. Eventually, the association created its own AOPA Insurance Agency, offering a wide array of insurance policies designed from the ground up for the general aviation community. They include policies for aircraft owners and for those who rent; group and individual term life insurance; aviation AD&D; a hospital income plan, and an excess major medical plan.
In this and in many other ways, AOPA has devised creative solutions for the particular needs of pilots and owners. It has been equally resourceful in fighting political and economic battles for general aviation’s rights.
AOPA has stood up to the hard battles and the tough issues—demonstrated anew during 1999’s gripping national scrutiny of GA and its safety, and its special place in the world of today.
Early records, images, and examples of our labors, researched from the AOPA archives for the association’s sixtieth anniversary, reaffirm one conclusion: AOPA’s purpose today remains relevant and compelling, because GA’s rights and privileges have to be worked for and won. And they always will be.