AOPA is celebrating its 75th anniversary today. Concerned that the growing influence of military air power would eclipse general aviation, five founders gathered on May 15, 1939, to establish AOPA, electing C. Townsend Ludington as the association’s first president. Then, as now, AOPA’s primary mission was to protect the freedom to fly for the growing population of general aviation pilots and aircraft owners. Today, AOPA is the world’s largest aviation member association, with representatives in Frederick, Md.; Washington, D.C.; Wichita; and seven regions across the U.S.
News and issues concerning general aviation, specifically airplanes and helicopters powered by piston and alternative engines (i.e., non-turbine powered aircraft). Subjects include aircraft, engines, personnel, acquisitions, accidents, safety, security and training.
AOPA and Jeppesen announced a new partnership that will support many of the programs that “educate and engage” AOPA pilot members across the U.S. Under the agreement, Jeppesen will support and participate in AOPA Foundation Air Safety Institute seminars, the 2014 regional AOPA fly-ins and the association’s 75th anniversary “Homecoming” Fly-In at its Frederick, Md. headquarters.
AOPA members will benefit from Jeppesen’s support through AOPA Air Safety Institute seminars, which qualify as the ground portion of the FAA Wings program.
It is over.
The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the FAA have signed a nine-year deal for the agency to provide ATC services at the EAA’s annual AirVenture airshow in Oshkosh, Wis. Under the agreement, the EAA will reimburse the FAA for all related expenses and overtime and drop its federal lawsuit challenging the FAA’s authority to impose those charges.
Between 2010 and 2012 the number of active GA aircraft declined by 6.4 percent, to 209,034 from 223,370, according to the 2012 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey). But the FAA said that the 2012 GA Survey recorded the partial effect of the 2010 Rule for Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration. According to the agency, the complete effect of this rule, which requires all aircraft registered in the U.S. to re-register within the three-year period from 2011 to 2013, will be noted after the 2013 survey.
The piston-engine Baron twin and Bonanza single on display at the Beechcraft area of the static display did not arrive by magic or by freighter. The long trip from the factory in Wichita, Kansas, started a few weeks ago, and left the California coast on April 3.
Ferry pilots Chelsea “Abingdon” Welch and Jerry Clark took off from Tracy, California (KTCY) where oversize fuel tanks were installed. The Bonanza held a total of 268 gallons, the Baron about 400. That meant that Welch and Clark were taking off at approximately 30 percent above maximum gross weight.
The U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association announced the opening of a representative office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region this week at the Global Aerospace Summit in Dubai. Its new office will be co-located with the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) in Dubai. According to GAMA, its new office there highlights the importance of the MENA region for general and business aviation, as well as the strong partnership between GAMA and MEBA.
Business aviation services group Jet Aviation (Booth P328) is set to significantly boost its maintenance capability in Asia when it completes construction of 79-foot (24-meters) high second hangar at Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park by the end of this month. The new $25 million facility will triple the size of its present facility adding almost 54,000 sq ft of hangar space.
Mooney International Corp. of Kerrville, Texas, which bought the assets of moribund Mooney Aircraft in October 2013, announced on Friday at the Sun ’n’ Fun in Lakeland, Fla., resumption of production of the piston single Acclaim Type S and Ovation 3. An Acclaim, Mooney’s 240 knot-plus flagship model, is scheduled for completion in July–the first new Mooney built since 2009–and will be auctioned online, the proceeds seeding a Mooney Museum, company CEO Dr. Jerry Chen told guests at the company’s relaunch ceremony.
The cloud over general aviation may not yet have a silver lining, but there are rays of sunshine from the increasing business use of all types of GA aircraft, which the FAA expects to expand at a faster pace than for purely personal and recreational transportation.
After growing rapidly for most of the past decade, and then slowing over the past few years, the overall general aviation aircraft market has recorded modest growth, according to the most recent shipment activity.
King Schools, the flight instruction empire founded by John and Martha King, announced a pair of initiatives aimed at increasing the pilot population and enhancing the sense of community among those within it this week at the Sun ’n’ Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. A free eBook, So You Want to Learn to Fly, introduced at the show, covers all aspects of attaining a pilot’s license, written in a fun and easy-to-read style. The book is available through the King Schools website and iTunes book store.