Nearly 200,000 individual users took at least one of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s innovative online safety courses during 2008, including more than 46,000 users who had never taken a course. In total, the foundation recorded nearly 390,000 course completions during the year, more than doubling the previous year’s total.
“More than one third of all U.S. pilots took at least one of our courses in 2008, and we’re extremely pleased to see the course completion numbers improve by more than 100 percent,” said Bruce Landsberg, executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. “But our mission is to make all of the half-million or so general aviation pilots better, safer flyers, so we’re not resting on our laurels. We will continue to explore new ways to reach those pilots who have not yet tried our courses.”
The AOPA Air Safety Foundation offers more than two dozen free online courses and minicourses. The three most popular in 2008 were Know Before You Go, a course on the various types of airspace in the United States, Essential Aerodynamics, a refresher on why airplanes fly and, just as importantly, why they stop flying, and Runway Safety. The newest online offering, IFR Insights: Regulations, introduced barely a month ago, has already reached more than 1,800 pilots.
The Foundation will continue to expand its offerings in 2009 with, among other things, a new installment of its popular Weather Wise series to help pilots better understand the atmosphere in which they fly.
Attendance at the foundation’s in-person seminars also increased in 2008, with nearly 43,000 people attending seminars at some 200 locations around the country throughout the year.
With the exception of the FAA-mandated Flight Instructor Refresher Course, all of the foundation’s courses, whether online or in person, are free and available to all pilots—not just AOPA members.