By Eric Blinderman
The AOPA Foundation Legacy Challenge kicked off with a generous gift from an anonymous donor. The AOPA Foundation Legacy Society attracts donors who will include a gift to general aviation in their current and future giving plans.
Fueled by a $1 million dollar pledge from the anonymous donor, the AOPA Foundation Legacy Challenge allows participants to have a greater impact on the programs funded by the AOPA Foundation. These initiatives, You Can Fly and the AOPA Air Safety Institute, build a stronger, safer pilot community, and ensure a healthy future for general aviation for generations to come (see “President’s Position: The Giving Season,” p. 8).
“Joining the Legacy Society allows our members to give back to a passion that has given us all so much,” said Melissa Rudinger, executive director of the AOPA Foundation. “This amazing gift from a special person allows our new Legacy Society members to make an immediate impact by documenting their future legacy gift.”
Donors can now see their gifts take greater flight through the generosity of this AOPA Foundation benefactor. For each supporter who joins the Legacy Society after September 1, 2021, Legacy Challenge funds in an amount equal to 10 percent of the supporter’s disclosed planned gift will be activated from the $1 million pool, up to $20,000 per commitment, and made available for the essential programs funded by the AOPA Foundation. For example, if a supporter documents a planned gift of $50,000, a $5,000 Legacy Challenge gift will be activated. If the value of a planned gift is left undisclosed, $1,000 in Legacy Challenge funds will be activated.
This Legacy Challenge will be active until the full $1 million is released.
The AOPA Foundation Legacy Society recognizes those that have included a legacy gift to the AOPA Foundation in their estate plans. Qualifying planned gifts include bequests through a will or trust, beneficiary designations from a retirement account or bank account, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, beneficiary designations of a life insurance policy (the Legacy Challenge value would be based on the existing cash amount in the policy), or the creation of a fully endowed fund.
For more information on legacy giving, visit the AOPA Foundation Legacy Giving website, or contact the AOPA Foundation at 301-695-2320 or [email protected].
By Alicia Herron
While aviation technology gets more sophisticated every year, easing pilot workload with proper training, some things about aviation always stay the same—like the challenge of performing perfectly smooth takeoffs and landings. You know, the ones that would’ve earned you praise or at least a “not bad” from your favorite instructor. This quest for consistent and safe departures and returns has been around since Orville and Wilbur’s era (they did crash a few Wright flyers, after all). Takeoff and landing continue to be leading phases of flight during which accidents occur, and they deserve extra attention.
As with many facets of aviation, the best way to improve is to practice. Ask yourself:
More than other maneuvers, takeoff and landing skills can quickly decay if not used. And with the proximity to the ground naturally required for takeoffs and landings, there is inherently a smaller margin of error for mistakes. In between those pancake breakfasts, GA travel adventures, and flight reviews, make time for some pattern work. Even an hour a month will put you better in tune with the airplane, increase your proficiency, and make you a safer pilot. Include the book work, too, and calculate your takeoff and landing performance. If you’re already feeling confident with normal landings, up the challenge with crosswinds, new airports, or shorter fields, and take a CFI along if necessary or just to help refine your skills.
Keep practicing and stay proficient. Remember: the takeoff is optional, but the landing is mandatory. Strive to make it a good one every time.
Watch the AOPA Air Safety Institute classic tutorial From the Archives: The Ups and Downs of the GA Pilot and learn more about takeoffs and landings.
By Gary Crump
Each year I marvel at the superb training and endurance of professional road cyclists in the Tour de France. I believe that professional cyclists are among the very best of the elite athletes. They train and compete year-round all over the world, in extreme conditions. The 2021 event saw some of the most extreme mountain stages in the Pyrenees with descents of up to 60 mph.
Then there are the accidents that are often dramatic. These athletes crash hard, sustain severe road rash—sometimes bone fractures, facial injuries, and a demolished bike—yet they regroup, fight through the pain, and get back on a fresh bike and continue. They do that for 21 days, most stages of the race more than 100 miles in length.
The science involved in training these athletes is amazing. Their nutritional intake with proper balance of proteins, electrolytes, and carbohydrates is customized for each individual rider. The sport foods now available make it easy to eat on the run, with the variety of nutritional bars helping deliver the fuel they are burning during the race day, in the ballpark of 4,000 to 6,000 calories.
They must have a good combination of strength, endurance, and intensity training to perform at the competitive level. I’m most impressed by the intensity part of the equation. Intensity level is described and measured in several ways, including percent of maximum heart rate and percent of VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize during a specified period of usually intense exercise). I can relate to VO2 max by how short of breath I get running up several flights of stairs. Not nearly as efficient. For me, a three-mile walk with some intervals of running gets me to a level where I can feel comfortable that I’m getting some aerobic exercise, as the experts tell us is a good thing.
Fortunately, we don’t need to train to the intensity that even comes close to that of professional cyclists. From a medical certification standpoint, staying aerobically fit doesn’t require high-intensity, fat-burning, exhausting activity. Consider the simple act of taking a walk. If you’re at the airport and the airplane doesn’t feel like flying, take a brisk stroll on the grounds. And if you attended EAA AirVenture a few months ago, rest assured that most days you probably logged your 10,000 steps.
Gary Crump is the senior director of medical certification for the AOPA Pilot Information Center.