Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today
Menu

AOPA legal counsel John Yodice honoredAOPA legal counsel John Yodice honored

Represented aviators for more than half a centuryRepresented aviators for more than half a century

Helping fellow pilots was the most satisfying part of John Yodice’s job, the longtime AOPA legal counsel said during a celebration at the National Aviation Community Center in Frederick, Maryland, to honor his 60-year legal career. “I have no regrets,” the Cessna 310 pilot told friends, family, colleagues, and past and present AOPA board of trustees members. “General aviation in the United States is the envy of the world.”

  • Longtime AOPA legal counsel John Yodice is honored by AOPA President Mark Baker for his more than 50 years of service to the general aviation community during a gathering in the National Aviation Community Center at the Frederick Municipal Airport, in Frederick, Maryland, Sept. 5, 2018. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Cessna 310 pilot and longtime AOPA legal counsel John Yodice receives a trophy for his more than 50 years of service to the general aviation community. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA puts the spotlight on longtime AOPA legal counsel John Yodice for his dedication to the general aviation community. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA Board of Trustees members congratulate AOPA legal counsel John Yodice on his career. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Left to right: Former AOPA Board of Trustees Chairman Paul. C. Heintz, AOPA legal counsel John Yodice, AOPA President Mark Baker, and AOPA Board of Trustees Chairman William "Bill" Trimble III gather in honor of Yodice's amazing career. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Longtime AOPA legal counsel John Yodice is honored by his peers including Ken Mead and Ray Speciale. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA Vice President of Advertising Carol Dodds and her mother, Joan, congratulate John Yodice on the honor. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA President Mark Baker gives John Yodice a hearty congratulations for his aviation law career that spans decades. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA employees celebrate John Yodice. Photo by David Tulis.
  • AOPA Senior Features Editor Julie Walker celebrates with John Yodice. Photo by David Tulis.
  • Longtime AOPA legal counsel John Yodice is also honored by a sweet treat for his more than 50 years of service to the general aviation community. Photo by David Tulis.

AOPA President Mark Baker complimented Yodice for establishing a network of aviation law specialists that grew into the AOPA Pilot Protection Services’ legal services plan, which is available to members and remains one of the best deals in GA. Baker said Yodice was “recognized by many in the industry for making aviation safer and fairer” and thanked him for “wearing a lot of hats at AOPA.”

Yodice was a longstanding member of AOPA’s board of trustees and held positions as AOPA board secretary and outside general counsel. His monthly Pilot Counsel column in AOPA Pilot magazine ran for decades. The helicopter pilot and flight instructor graduated from the George Washington School of Law in 1959 and practiced a broad range of aviation law matters. He founded his private practice to represent aircraft owners, pilots, flight schools, corporate and commercial operators, and other aviation interests. He has provided legal counsel to countless AOPA members.

One of his career highlights came in the mid-1990s when Yodice won back airshow performer and test pilot Robert A. “Bob” Hoover’s right to fly in the United States after the FAA stripped the medical certificate from the aviation great. Yodice’s legal partner on the case was defense attorney-to-the-stars F. Lee Bailey, who is also an accomplished pilot.

Former AOPA Board Chairman Paul Heintz recalled the counselor’s tough lease negotiations at various U.S. airports and saluted Yodice for giving a voice to GA.

Yodice recalled a personal high point that was when he stood up to the Massachusetts port authority after Boston-Logan International Airport attempted to impose a landing fee scheme that would severely affect the facility’s GA pilots. Heintz and others at the celebration remembered the case and saluted Yodice for his tenacity.

He was honored by his peers with lifetime achievement awards from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the International Aviation and Transportation Safety Bar Association. He is a founding member of that safety association, which noted Yodice “made a truly remarkable contribution to aviation law and aviation safety.” He is also a director and a past president of the Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association.

AOPA Board of Trustees Chairman William “Bill” Trimble III complimented Yodice on his support for his personal family and for representing the larger family of aviators for which he fought. “Nobody has done more for aviation than you, John,” said Trimble.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Pilot Protection Services, Pilots

Related Articles