AOPA Launches Aircraft Overhaul Effort

 - July 28, 2014, 5:00 PM

At EAA AirVenture this week, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) unveiled a new effort to make the entry into aviation more affordable to a wider range of prospective private pilots. At its exhibit at the show, the association has on display the first “152Reimagined,” part of a test concept in conjunction with Wyoming-based Aviat Aircraft to meticulously renovate and update approximately a dozen old Cessna 150s and 152s, which will then be made available to flight schools and flying clubs at a base price of $89,900 and $99,900, respectively.

According to AOPA, the types were chosen for their dependability, simple maintenance and widespread availability. Expected to be completed by the end of the year, they will provide these groups with aircraft that cost about $65 an hour to operate, including fuel. “Aviators know how much fun it is to fly, and we want more people to have that experience,” said AOPA president Mark Baker. “In testing this concept, we hope to show that it’s possible to have access to fun, easy-to-fly airplanes with updated technology and components at a price many more people can afford. Finding a way to make flying and even co-owning an airplane more accessible is a perfect fit with our other efforts.”

The organization, the world’s largest aviation member association, has through its AOPA Aviation Finance and AOPA Aviation Insurance Services divisions, been working with banks and insurance underwriters to confirm that the Reimagined Aircraft, as the association terms them, can be easily financed and insured.