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Hangar Talk: It Takes a Great StaffHangar Talk: It Takes a Great Staff

The story behind the storyThe story behind the story

Our preparation of this fiftieth anniversary edition of AOPA Pilot began last year at our annual editorial meeting when Editor in Chief Tom Haines pointed out the obvious—Pilot was turning 50 with its March 2008 issue. It’s not that the staff was not aware, but producing two monthly magazines plus special editions and several newsletters was keeping us busy.

Our preparation of this fiftieth anniversary edition of AOPA Pilot began last year at our annual editorial meeting when Editor in Chief Tom Haines pointed out the obvious— Pilot was turning 50 with its March 2008 issue. It’s not that the staff was not aware, but producing two monthly magazines plus special editions and several newsletters was keeping us busy. With the seed planted and 2008 speeding ever closer, we began the issue planning. We had a lot of lofty ideas and considered many alternatives, but settled on telling the story of how Pilot came to be and researching some “whatever happened to” questions. We left the telling of the magazine’s history to Editor at Large Tom Horne who, along with Senior Editor Machteld Smith, has the distinction of being with the staff the longest—more than 25 years. The rest of us pored over 50 years of bound copies of the magazine in our conference room, coming together to marvel, laugh, and share the stories we read in those 600 issues. And, of course, our talented art department—including two key people , photographers Mike Fizer and Chris Rose —illustrated our words in their usual, creative way. And we can’t forget our advertising staff whose hard work brings it all to a close. Enjoy our efforts.

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