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AOPA ActionAOPA Action

What AOPA is doing to keep you flyingWhat 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)


You will drive away happy

AOPA partners with Enterprise

AOPA has entered into a strategic partnership with Enterprise Holdings, operator of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car. What does this mean for members? A car at every airport when you need it (almost, anyway). This comprehensive service provider can ensure you have a car waiting at nearly any airport in North America, even if the company does not have an office on site.

“We’re excited to partner with Enterprise Holdings and its outstanding brands,” said Ed Thompson, AOPA vice president of corporate partnerships and products. “They cover the wide spectrum of travel support that GA pilots need in both their personal and professional lives, including dropping off cars or picking up customers at destinations where there is no car rental counter in sight.”

The partnership between AOPA and Enterprise is a natural fit, since founder Jack Taylor served as a decorated Navy fighter pilot during World War II. As a result of that experience, he named his family owned business after the USS Enterprise, one of the aircraft carriers upon which he had served.

“In the same way that AOPA members are passionate about flying, we are passionate about providing them with the highest level of customer service and value in our industry,” said Steve Short, vice president of leisure business development for Enterprise Holdings. “We look forward to utilizing our three brands to serve members, whether they fly at general aviation or commercial airports.”

Enterprise’s worldwide network includes more than 7,800 neighborhood and airport locations, with 6,000 offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population—and more than twice as many locations as Enterprise Holdings’ nearest U.S. competitor.

“National’s Emerald Club is ideal for the frequent traveler, with its counter bypass process, Drop & Go service, and convenient e-receipts,” Thompson said. “And all three brands deliver the type of award-winning service that our members deserve.”

As a result of this new partnership, Avis and Hertz are no longer affiliated with the AOPA Car Rental Discount Program. Questions about the program? Call 866-315-9155.

For information on special offers and discounts available visit the website.

AOPA Lifestyles Collection

Save money with exclusive members-only discounts from more than 50 top aviation and nonaviation companies through the AOPA Lifestyles Collection. Companies such as Aircraft Spruce, American Flyers, Ball Watch,, Sporty’s Pilot Shop, and WingX offer real-savings discounts to AOPA members. Through this free benefit, AOPA membership could more than pay for itself. New companies and offers are added often.

AOPA Membership Drive: Member get a member

Top 3 reasons to recruit new aviation enthusiasts

AOPA’s “Strength in Numbers” membership drive is under way, with AOPA members working to help recruit new pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts.

As an AOPA member, you are the association’s best advocate: You know about AOPA’s informative and relevant publications, valuable educational resources, and pilot tools.

A growing AOPA means a greater awareness of the GA industry; more resources and support for members; and a louder voice when meeting with regional, state, and national policy makers. Have you recruited any new members yet? If not, check out these top three reasons why you should.

No. 3: Build camaraderie. Attend any airshow or stop by any airport, and you’ll find an AOPA member—most likely identifiable by the association’s popular signature AOPA pilot’s cap. Just as you bond with fellow pilots who fly or own the same model of aircraft as you, you can form an instant bond with fellow AOPA members. By bringing your aviation enthusiast friends into the fold, you will help make them feel part of the general aviation community. Through AOPA’s many communications channels and advocacy efforts, they will become more engaged in aviation and feel a part of the larger cause to support and protect general aviation.

No. 2: Enjoy membership perks. The number one GA magazine, AOPA Pilot; largest weekly aviation email newsletter; a free AOPA pilot’s cap; access to free weather and flight-planning tools; and a robust website with news and aviation resources are just a few of the benefits AOPA members receive. Access to our toll-free Pilot Information Center hotline to ask aviation experts for advice, medical information, and other questions also is available. Plus, when you refer three new pilots who join AOPA, you’ll receive a free one-year membership.

No. 1: Strength in numbers. AOPA is recognized as a powerful voice on Capitol Hill, representing nearly 400,000 vocal, active pilots, aircraft owners, and aviation enthusiasts. The association carries weight when calling the full force of the membership to action and when talking with individual senators and representatives. This has helped the association stave off threats like user fees year after year.

By referring just one new member, you will make a difference. Rally your fellow AOPA members and raise awareness of the campaign by sharing AOPA’s Facebook page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Answers for pilots

Sightseeing flights

Giving sightseeing flights as a fund-raiser for a charitable flying event is a great way to build camaraderie while raising support for a worthwhile cause. Do you know the minimum qualifications a pilot must have in order to participate? The governing regulation is FAR 91.146, which was revised in 2007. If you haven’t reviewed it in the past five years, it may be time to brush up on the requirements—not only for the pilot, but also for the aircraft, airport, sponsor, and the event itself.

Read more in this month’s Answers for Pilots.

Help AOPA take AV8Rs under its wings

Support the future. As an AOPA Foundation supporter, you can help AOPA’s AV8Rs youth membership and introduce teens to the world of general aviation and the adventures of flight. Your tax-deductible gift will go directly to support AOPA’s new youth program.

H4 class=section>Pilot Protection Services

Seeing colors, but not by knockout?

by Warren Silberman, D.O., MPH

This isn’t an article about boxing and what happens when you get knocked out, but about a hereditary or acquired condition known as color vision deficiency. Color vision deficiency is the inability to be able to tell the difference between certain shades of color or, in more severe cases, to be able to see colors at all. This is also known as “color blindness.” Most individuals with color deficiency can see colors but they have difficulty telling the difference between shades of reds and greens or, less commonly, blues and yellows.

Depending on its cause, color vision deficiency can vary from mild to severe. One’s color vision depends on receptors in the retina of the eye known as cones. The cones have light-sensitive pigments that allow individuals to recognize color. These photoreceptors are located in the macula, or center portion of the retina. Each particular cone is sensitive to either red, green, blue, or yellow light. If the cones lack one or more of these light-sensitive pigments, one may be unable to see one or more of the primary colors.

The Federal Aviation Regulations state that an airman must be able to see aviation colors (red, green, and white). There are a variety of color vision tests that your aviation medical examiner can use to test your color vision for your FAA examination. The most common one is called the isochromatic plates, a book that has different-color circles with numbers embedded in them.

After an accident in July 2002 in which a Boeing 727 landed short of the runway, the NTSB investigation concluded it was caused by the color deficiency of the pilot and required the FAA to change the test for color vision (“Safety Pilot Landmark Accident: Into the Abyss,” September 2007 AOPA Pilot).

As a result of this accident the FAA came up with new policies on color vision testing, attempting to “catch” more of the color vision deficient airmen. Some of you know that should you lose your radios you are supposed to plug 7600 into your transponder and the tower will use what is known as a signal light gun to give you permission to land. The gun has the capability to show three different colored lights: red, green, and white. Prior to this accident, a test with that device was one of the alternatives tests that an airman could take to have the color vision restriction removed from their medical certificate. If you passed the signal light gun test (SLT), then the FAA inspector testing you would issue you a waiver, which is now known as a Letter of Authorization (LOA). The test was the same for all classes.

As a result of this accident, the test has been expanded and is different for third class versus first or second class. The test is now known as the operational color vision test (OCVT). For third class, the test includes the signal light gun, and the airman must be able to distinguish objects on a sectional chart. The map interpretation portion means that you can tell the differences between mountains and lowlands, rivers from grasslands, and so forth. For first and second class, one must not only be able to pass the SLT and map reading but also take a flight and tell many things, including the different objects on the multifunction display in your aircraft, the different topography on land, be able to perform an emergency landing, and identify lights on buildings and other airplanes and taxiway lighting, among many other things.

If one elects to find an eye doctor who has the capability to perform some of the other FAA-approved alternative tests, the pilot will be required to get the same test done for each flight examination they take and no longer can obtain a waiver on the basis of the alternative testing. The only way the airman can be free from doing this each time they obtain an examination is to take the OCVT, map reading tests, and receive the LOA.

To find out more about these FAA requirements, visit the website.

AOPA Pilot Protection Services combines the Legal Services Plan with the best of our medical certification services. Visit the website for more information.

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.

State and Local Action

Beyond the pavement

AOPA works to protect backcountry and seaplane landing areas

What pilot hasn’t dreamed of landing on a backcountry turf runway near a mountain stream, and then spending a day or weekend enjoying America’s natural beauty? Who hasn’t longed to add that seaplane rating, splash down in an equally secluded lake, and enjoy the magnificent vista?

AOPA knows our members don’t restrict their flying to airports, so we don’t restrict our advocacy to airports either. Along with the Recreational Aviation Foundation and many other pilot associations—especially in western states such as Utah, Idaho, and Montana—we’ve been fighting to help keep these lesser-known and lesser-used airstrips open and accessible. Nationally, a key victory came early in 2012 when the U.S. Forest Service acknowledged recreational aviation as a recognized use of the public lands it stewards; now it must consider recreational aviation during the individual forest planning process. AOPA also weighed in on airstrip-specific actions to protect airstrips on federal lands in the Colorado River Valley, Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, and the Saline Valley in California.

Access to the nation’s waterways also is a critical mission, as AOPA works alongside the Seaplane Pilot Association and other local seaplane advocates. From preserving access to Ross Lake in Washington’s North Cascades National Park and Maine’s West Harbor Pond, reopening Oregon’s Waldo Lake to seaplanes, and supporting new urban seaplane facilities in Tacoma’s Foss Waterway, AOPA is in the fight to open up waterways and maintain existing access to the nation’s waters.

Collaborating with regional and state organizations allows AOPA to focus on the critical issues and helps provide the early warning we need to provide effective support—in the nation’s capital or your community—when an issue is brewing because those directly affected by it let us know.

Visit the website for more information.


Airport managers come to summit

At the 2012 AOPA Aviation Summit, the Airport Support Network team launched its first Airports Day. In a program designed for airport managers, leaders, and advocates—especially ASN volunteers—AOPA staff hosted informative sessions where industry experts offered guidance, expertise, and access to resources to help everyone at the airport work together to promote healthy, well-managed facilities.

Participants heard from industry experts, gained a better understanding of best practices for the airport manager/pilot relationship, and took away tools to better engage the airport community to minimize conflict, maximize communication, and foster support for their airport.

Catherine Lang, the FAA’s deputy associate administrator for airports, shared views on critical policies and regulations that affect airports. Other sessions included state aviation directors and aviation attorneys who helped AOPA provide guidance on managing airport relationships during critical processes such as updating master plans, developing minimum standards, or revising tenant leases. Participants also learned about the reports and studies available from the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP). Managed by the Transportation Research Board and sponsored by the FAA, the ACRP develops and publishes practical solutions to problems faced by airport operators.

AOPA Foundation

Will you participate in the $60,000 challenge?

Did you know that AOPA Foundation initiatives—such as supporting Air Safety Institute programs, preserving community airports, and encouraging learning to fly—are funded by dedicated philanthropists’ individual donations? And now the Foundation is encouraging you to join those individuals by making a tax-deductible contribution today.

What if you could double the impact of your donation to the AOPA Foundation this year? Sounds unrealistic? Not really. Have you heard of matching grants that offer a challenge to the community? That’s exactly what AOPA member Bennett Dorrance has in mind.

Dorrance, a longtime AOPA Foundation supporter, shares your passion for aircraft and your personal commitment to preserve our freedom to fly. Like you, he recognizes our responsibility to keep GA strong in the years to come. And he’s found a special way of doing that—he’s challenged the AOPA Foundation to raise $60,000, which he’s prepared to match dollar for dollar by the end of this year.


Experience the joy of volunteer flying

You’re passionate about flying. And maybe you’ve toyed with the idea of using your flying skills to help others. Or, perhaps you’ve already joined one of the more than 60 public benefit flight organizations to suit your passion. But what does it take and how do you hone flying skills as a volunteer pilot? See the Air Safety Institute’s Public Benefit Flying: Balancing Safety and Compassion online course to help answer these questions and elevate your flying to a new, highly rewarding experience.

The course’s flight profiles and interactive decision-making scenarios quickly help you understand how volunteer flying demands professionalism and responsibility—far beyond that of a leisurely personal flight. Learn how to mitigate pressures and recognize treacherous mindsets that could cause harm. Become an expert at managing risk. You’ll be rewarded with the knowledge that your passengers’ safety and comfort are well cared for. The course was produced with the generous support of the Air Care Alliance and affiliated volunteer pilot groups, the AOPA Foundation, and Welles Murphey Jr.

ASI Seminar: Flying for a Lifetime

People change as time passes. These changes can be subtle—but do we give them the attention they really deserve? Join ASI in a fun, fast-paced look at that question, and explore different ways you can maintain the same high level of safety over a lifetime of flying. Visit the website for dates and locations near you.

‘No Greater Burden’: Surviving an Aircraft Accident

For most of us it’s the stuff of nightmares, but for Russ Jeter, the reality of life after an aircraft accident is something to be grappled with every day. The January 2011 mishap that took his son’s life also set Russ on a quest to understand the mistake he made as a pilot—and help others avoid similar errors.

No Greater Burden: Surviving an Aircraft Accident is one result. Produced by the Air Safety Institute with a donation from Jeter to the AOPA Foundation, the special half-hour presentation is a sobering look at one pilot’s tragedy, the devastation it wrought, and the lessons all of us can learn from it.


The name game

by Janet C. Bressler

Being added to a friend’s policy as a “named pilot” is a great thing. What does it mean to be a named pilot? You have been specifically approved by the underwriter insuring your friend’s aircraft to fly their airplane without voiding their coverage.

There may be some additional requirements you need to follow, such as a checkout with a CFI or a few hours of dual logged in the make and model, before you are fully cleared. Those types of conditions should be directly communicated to your friend, as the policyholder, by his insurance broker before he allows you to fire up the engine. Your friend also should make sure you are aware of and abide by any additional requirements put in place by the insurance carrier. If such added terms exist, it is always a good idea for you and your friend to make a quick joint call to the insurance broker to run through the requirements and ask any questions before you take off.

Being a named pilot does not automatically also name you as an “additional insured” on the policy. Being a named pilot certainly provides protection to your friend as the policyholder so his coverage is not invalidated if there is a covered loss when you are flying. But it does not provide any extension of liability protection to you individually. In order to cover your bases when flying a friend’s aircraft, you should be both a named pilot and be named on the policy as an additional insured. The additional insured provision is the part that extends the same liability protection to you from lawsuits brought by others as the policyholder is afforded.

Most aviation insurance carriers do not charge for adding named pilots or additional insureds to a personal aircraft insurance policy. It takes just a little time with your friend and his insurance broker to line up the information that would be needed to work through the process of becoming both a named pilot and an additional insured. I promise it will be time well spent in protecting you, your friend, and your friendship.

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

New extended Pilot Information Center hours

Now you can enjoy a whole new level of access to the team of aviation experts in our Pilot Information Center with our convenient extended weekday hours. The Pilot Information Center is now available until 9 p.m. Eastern time every weekday. Call 800-USA-AOPA (872-2672) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Eastern time with your questions and our staff will be happy to assist you.

Outbreak warning!

Planning your first international trip? Your itinerary probably doesn’t include the unexpected complications caused by a sudden outbreak of illness. Here are a few things you might expect:

  • Delays—Travel into, out of, or within certain regions may be affected.
  • Inconsistent information—Informationmay change rapidly or be confusing asgovernments, health officials, and thetravel industry work to find what’s really going on.
  • Cancellations—Travel cancellations can occur suddenly, especially for air travel.
  • Increase in travel—People traveling in affected countries in an emerging outbreak may try to return home to avoid infection or seek health care in their home countries.
  • Grounding of flights—In extreme circumstances, flights may be unavailable in a region for a period of time.

AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus is ready to help: In the event of an outbreak of illness, EA+ will provide you with the latest authoritative information and guidance, and assist you in making evacuation arrangements—including flight arrangements, securing visas, and even ground transportation and housing.

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