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AOPA Action

What AOPA is doing to keep you flying

Responding to member concerns, AOPA and the Experimental Aircraft Association will request an exemption that would allow many pilots flying the most common single-engine aircraft recreationally to use a driver's license and self-certification medical standard.

AOPA Membership Services and Products


Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Send your new address and AOPA membership number to:
AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland 21701-4798
Fax 301/695-2375

Call 800/638-3101

Call 800/523-7666

Call 800/622-AOPA (622-2672)

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

Call 800/USA-AOPA (872-2672)

State and Local Action

Pennsylvania house passes tax exemption

The Pennsylvania House passed H.B.1100 by a vote of 179 to 19 to exempt aircraft purchases and maintenance from the state’s 6-percent sales tax in action supporters said would return jobs and competitiveness to the state’s
aviation industry. AOPA aggressively worked for passage of the bill, along with the Aviation Council of Pennsylvania.bill has been referred to the Senate.

Victory in Colorado

Access solution emerging in Grand Junction

General aviation tenants facing constrained access under security rules at Grand Junction Regional Airport in Colorado are finding common ground on modifications proposed by AOPA to the commercial-service airport’s security plan that would preserve GA tenant and customer access to businesses and premises on the airport. Once a consensus is reached, federal officials would have to sign off on the changes, said Dave Ulane, AOPA Northwest Mountain regional manager.

Access problems in Grand Junction exemplified complications created for GA by Security Directive 1542-04-08F/G, the directive issued by the TSA in 2008 requiring security threat assessments and airport-issued identification for all persons having access to commercial-service airport operations areas. AOPA had warned that “a complicated patchwork of access control restrictions would emerge throughout the nation” as airports with commercial service worked individually to comply with the security rules.

Members met with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R.-Colo.) and former Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon. The Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority Board established a security solutions committee, consisting of users and an airport administration representative. In April, the users and tenants group became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Once the users and administration agree on details, the solution will require the TSA’s agreement that the modifications would be adequate to control access to operational areas of the airport, Ulane said.

Learn more about supporting your airport.


Your AME can make the call

By Dr. Warren Silberman

Did you know that there are five medical conditions that your AME does not have to defer to the FAA prior to granting medical certification? That’s a fact that can make your path as an aviator easier to navigate if you develop one of these conditions. The short list of not uncommon medical problems includes:

So many airmen have one or more of these five conditions that if the FAA had to review each of these cases, it would slow down the FAA certification process even more. As a result, the Federal Air Surgeon allows your AME to review the documentation for each of these conditions and grant medical certification if the evaluations and testing are within policy guidelines. Use the resources above to learn more about these conditions.

If you have more specific questions about them or any other airman medical certification issues, tap into the knowledge of AOPA’s Pilot Protection Services team of medical certification professionals with a call or an email. More than 75,000 AOPA members already are using this valuable service annually, so if you aren’t familiar with it or haven’t enrolled yet, learn more.

Dr. Warren Silberman is the former manager of FAA Aerospace Medical Certification and a doctor of osteopathic medicine. A pilot since 1986, he is recognized nationally as an expert in aerospace/preventative medicine.

Shopping for an aircraft?

Find out what the approximate list price would be on the aircraft that pique your interest. Vref is free exclusively for AOPA members, allowing you to search its database for general valuations. When you have narrowed your selection to one or two, get a more detailed valuation for those specific aircraft. Of course, there are many variables involved, so a physical inspection by a qualified appraiser is best before you make an offer. Read more about the capabilities of Vref in this month’s Answers for Pilots. Questions? Call AOPA’s Pilot Information Center Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time at 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

AOPA Flight Training Scholarships

AOPA will award three $5,000 flight training scholarships at AOPA Aviation Summit in Palm Springs, California, October 11 through 13. Application deadline is Friday, August 24, 2012.
For eligibility requirements and application information visit the website .

Notice of annual meeting of members

The annual meeting of the Members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will be held at 12 noon on Friday, September 7, 2012, at the headquarters of AOPA, 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, Maryland, 21701, located on the Frederick Municipal airport (FDK), for the purpose of receiving reports and transacting such other business as may properly come before the meeting, specifically including the election of trustees, and specifically including the adoption of an amendment to the bylaws of the
association to expand eligibility for voting membership in the association beyond pilots and owners to individuals who have an interest in advancing the cause of general aviation. — John S. Yodice, Secretary

Sharing our wings with those who serve

AOPA is offering active-duty military personnel a complimentary one-year membership. This membership is designed to allow the brave men and women of our armed forces to take their love of aviation beyond their uniform. We want to equip our military members with the tools to safely achieve their aviation goals. If you know someone in the military who would enjoy an AOPA membership, see the website.


Fowled-up insurance

By Janet Bressler

Beautiful day for flying. Renter pilot on final. Bird strike! The renter pilot maintained control of the aircraft and landed safely, suffering only damage to the leading edge of the right wing. This should have been a routine insurance claim under the FBO’s hull coverage for the aircraft since the renter pilot was not at fault—it turned out to be anything but.

There is a disturbing new approach being taken by some FBOs and aircraft owners on insuring their rental aircraft. They are requiring student and renter pilots who rent their aircraft to carry nonowned aircraft insurance—a very good practice. However, we are beginning to see some operators cancelling hull insurance on their airplanes, instead relying solely on the nonowned aircraft insurance being obtained by the renter pilot to cover any physical damage sustained during a rental flight.

Where this approach is flawed is that nonowned aircraft insurance is a negligence-based coverage and only triggers when the policyholder is at fault—a bird strike is an act of nature and renter’s liability insurance does not apply. This renter went even further with his insurance protection and purchased “deductible coverage” as an add-on endorsement, since many rental agreements require the renter to be responsible for paying the deductible if the aircraft is damaged while in their possession.

Deductible coverage is a no-fault coverage and would have applied to this loss. However, the FBO did not have hull coverage under its primary policy and, therefore, there was no deductible to be paid by the renter’s policy.

My advice for aircraft owners, FBOs, and renter pilots is to understand how your individual insurance coverage works, between primary aircraft policies and nonowned aircraft policies, to avoid an uninsured loss such as this bird strike. For renters, add an insurance item to your preflight checklist and verify that the aircraft you are renting is insured for both liability and hull prior to takeoff.

Janet Bressler, a private pilot, is an aviation insurance professional with more than 17 years experience.

Resources for CFIs

Free advertising of your services. Reach prospective students by posting your name and contact information on AOPA’s Online Flight Instructor Directory.

Resources to make your job easier. A library of online educational and marketing resources to support you and your students and safety publications, videos, quizzes, and more.

Free subscription to Flight Training magazine. Continue to enroll your students in AOPA’s free six-month student trial membership and we’ll continue your free subscription.

MyFlightTraining is a free online training support system designed to encourage and motivate students through each phase of their initial training. For each completed milestone, students are eligible to win $1,000 for flight training and more.

For more information, call 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672).

CFI liability: A quick coverage checklist

If you are a CFI conducting training in the aircraft of others, have you secured non-owned aircraft insurance to protect yourself and your livelihood? Here are some major coverages and policy-wording pitfalls to avoid:

  • Professional liability for dual flight instruction, flight reviews, or a checkride conducted by you in a nonowned aircraft: Avoid policies that only provide coverage during the actual training flights.
  • Aircraft liability with a “per passenger” sublimit: Avoid policies that limit your coverage to “per person,” which further limits coverage for people outside the aircraft you are flying. Also, avoid policies that limit your spouse, parent, or child to $5,000 in bodily injury coverage.
  • Aircraft physical damage, including no-fault deductible and loss of use coverage provisions: Avoid policies that do not extend coverage for loss of use or no-fault deductible protection.
  • Legal defense coverage in addition to your coverage limit: Avoid policies that include defense within the coverage limit purchased.
  • Accident Forgiveness Program eligibility. The AOPA Insurance Company would be happy to provide a complimentary review of your CFI insurance policy, whether you are a current client or insured elsewhere, to answer any questions you may have and to ensure you have the coverage you need. Call 800-622-AOPA (2672).


Recognizing airport supporters

The city-owned airport in Las Cruces, New Mexico, has weathered the economic downturn and is poised for resurgence, thanks in large part to municipal leaders with their eye on the future—and the benefits the airport provides to the community.

Las Cruces International Airport has taken its lumps during the economic downturn, losing an FBO and a restaurant, but the city’s commitment has not been shaken. Federal grants, which the city sought from the FAA Airport Improvement Program, are funding a $5.5 million taxiway reconstruction now under way. The city is planning construction of a firefighter training facility—along with a new fire station—on the field. The airport is used by general aviation operators and the U.S. Navy.

The boom in activity caught the attention of AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Jim Rosell, who personally delivered a letter of thanks from AOPA during a city council meeting; it recognized the city’s efforts to support and grow the airport. Rosell reports the compliments were well received, and the mayor still remembers fondly his first flight in a GA aircraft, which Rosell provided.

Interested in recognizing public officials supporting your airport? Check out AOPA’s newest initiative to thank them online.


Are you ready to create a legacy for generations to come?

If you are considering giving to a good cause, now is a great time to tap into the philanthropist in you. The AOPA Foundation provides a variety of unique opportunities for individuals to support GA’s future in a way that benefits everyone: A gift equivalent to just one hour of flight time can help make the difference in keeping flying affordable. Visit the AOPA Foundation website to select a suitable program—from donating your airworthy airplane to participating in the “Friend of GA” monthly giving program to multiyear pledges. You can even consider an honorary gift in celebration of a special occasion or milestone, like a new pilot certificate or rating.

How would you react to a bird strike?

Find out in the Air Safety Institute’s ‘Bird Strike’ Real Pilot Story

Ride along in the cockpit as the twin Beechcraft climbs out of Casa Grande, Arizona, just 50 miles south of Phoenix. At 130 knots and 1,000 feet per minute, the airplane quickly reaches 3,500 feet when the pilot notices the birds. A splitsecond later, a four-pound red-tailed hawk collides with the Baron. Come eye to eye with the hawk and learn how the pilot dealt with the ensuing mayhem his uninvited passenger caused. Watch the video and take away tips about how to prepare and protect against bird encounters—and what to do should an unexpected feathered guest enter your cabin.

Bird Strikes Safety Brief

Since it’s impractical to practice a bird strike, how do you prepare for it? The Air Safety Institute’s Bird Strikes Safety Brief complements lessons learned in ASI’s Real Pilot Story on this subject. Practical tips, a bird-migration route map, and links to reference materials provide a strategy in the event birds cross your altitude. Download the brief before your next flight.

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