AOPA Short Approach

June 2016 Short Approach

President Blurb

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Some of you will remember Tom Dick who was President of AOPA NZ in the early 1990's. Tom was a personal friend of mine and one of the toughest Instrument instructors you could ever find. There have been many times that I have been grateful for his hard line that kept my aircraft the right way up in the clouds. Tom passed away suddenly last month and will be sadly missed by his family and friends. Russell Taylor represented AOPA NZ at Tom’s funeral.

CAA have moved down the track some more on the funding review which will result in a further reduction on their proposed medical charges. The actual details cannot be released yet as the Minister is still evaluating their current proposals. What I can tell you is that ACAG (Aviation Community Advisory Group) has had a meeting with CAA and the Chairman of the board to get our views across.

The recent New Southern Sky (NSS) Conference in Auckland was well attended by both Kiwis and international visitors. It was a good chance to network and meet other industry players. It is often the work done behind the scenes that is more important than the actual presentations. I was given the opportunity to again push the subject of Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) for NZ and Australia. Ian Mallett from CASA was there and we were also on a panel in Sydney the next week for the Australasian Satellite Conference. We were joined on that panel by John Macilree from MoT who is leading the project for MoT at the NSS. In my opinion Australia and New Zealand need to step up their game on this subject as it is a project of national importance, not just aviation. For instance, all cars made today in USA, Japan or Europe are fitted with GPS receivers that have the SBAS receiver chip in them. Potentially, all new cars coming into NZ or AUS will have to have many of their tech level safety features disabled because we do not have the accuracy or integrity of the GPS signal that these countries take for granted.

It appears that FAA will be offering a cash back scheme for fitting ADSB to GA aircraft. This has yet to be confirmed but was in today’s Avflash. Don’t hold your breath for that to happen here. The good news for us though is that the prices are coming down and we have until 2021 to comply. If you are VFR outside controlled airspace it will not affect you but we would recommend very strongly that you comply. Looking at it logically if the cost is now around $5k to comply and you have at least 5 years to before it is mandated, you should put $1k aside every year so that you can meet the deadline. If the price comes down further you can spend the saving on fuel. The message is that ADSB has advantages for surveillance in areas that are not now covered so just face the fact and get on with it.

Unfortunately, the weather Gods are not being kind to us this weekend so the winter fly-in has been postponed for a week. Guy Sanders puts a huge amount of effort into this event so just read his emails and do what he asks. It makes him a much nicer person at our exec meetings if you do what he asks.

On the subject of weather, we are moving along in the right direction for the one stop flight planning shop. I have seen the new graphical sigmets and they are going to be much easier to decipher. They should be available later in the year.

We have just engaged a new Administrator for AOPA NZ. Mary Bruce comes with a solid background in accounting and business management, is currently assisting the Otago Aeroclub and is keen to take AOPA to a new level. Angela was finding the full workload too much while managing a young family but is staying on to do special projects like the 2018 IAOPA conference and to help Mary slot in to the job. Mary is based in Dunedin, spends lots of time in Wanaka and has a partner who is a pilot. I look forward to working with Mary over the next few years. There will be a full profile in the next magazine.

My thanks to Angela for a great job well done in picking up the reigns when we needed her to and obviously if we get the conference she will still be involved. The bid documents for the conference have been completed by the Tourism Board and look great so I am keen to get to Chicago to make the presentation.

There were some great articles in the latest magazine which reinforces our view that this is a needed publication. However, we always need more interesting articles about what you are doing. This is a magazine about the members telling other members what is happening so that we can all raise our standards and goals to get the best from our flying. You have fun doing things so tell everyone about it.

It is winter now so check your battery and fly safely.

Ian Andrews


Can you still read a map?

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Former president of the Royal Institute of Navigation Roger McKinlay told Vox reporter Brad Plumer that our reliance on GPS might be causing our innate navigational capabilities to atrophy over time, which is a problem when our smartphones will only ever be as "smart" as the humans using them.
Read More... 

Electric Airplanes. A good read for nerds like your President

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Tom Neuman, then a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, writes about how he designed an airplane for a NASA design competition that aimed to push the boundaries of electric aviation technology. Neuman's four-seat Vapor airplane borrows fuel-cell technology from Toyota and could rival a Cirrus SR22.

IEEE Spectrum online

PS. it is a bit of a long read but very interesting. Ed.


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AOPA and eight other industry groups sent a letter urging the FAA to "work swiftly to implement" Part 23 reform and issue a final rule by the end of 2016. The letter comes on the eve of a two-day FAA public hearing on Part 23 changes in College Park, Georgia. Read more...

This will have a huge impact on the manufacturing of new aircraft and is long overdue for reform



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This link will give some interesting information on something AOPA NZ has been promoting for soem time. We now have the ear of Massey University and will be looking at developing a new standard for instrument rating tech exams that will focus on what to do when the red flag goes up rather than finding out how the instrument works. Lets face it you cannot fix it in the air so why spend hours learning how it works. ( that is probably an oversimplification but the idea is good)

There is some good reading on these links other than the article that it points to.

FAA works to streamline medical certification

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AOPA Director of Medical Certification Gary Crump shares what the FAA is working on to streamline the medical certification process. Read more.

As one who has an FAA medical I can vouch for their efficiency with the medical application form which is electronic and costs nothing. (FAA is mostly funded by a fuel Levy) However it does show that problems are the same around the world and it is AOPA that is up front in advocating for the pilot in pretty much all countries. It also shows the benefit of being part of the International AOPA family and getting all this information at our fingertips instantly. Can you remember what it was like before the internet?


IAOPA Europe eNews May 2016

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International AOPA Europe has some interesting articles on this link.

View it online here 



Technology at its best

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The European Space Agency is helping to develop Lillium, a German-designed all-electric two-seater vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. "Our goal is to develop an aircraft for use in everyday life. We are going for a plane that can take off and land vertically and does not need the complex and expensive infrastructure of an airport," said Lillium co-owner Daniel Wiegand.

The Daily Mail (London)

Why Electric? Why does it interest me?

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OK I confess to being interested in new technology. I must also be a bit green because I do believe that we will have electric cars before too long so why not aircraft. I found this book on Elon Musk very interesting and wether he succeeds or not he is changing the way we do things today. He is challenging the big guys by having no preconcieved ideas and looking at things from a new perspective. 

He is a pilot and enjoys flying so maybe he will use his radical approach in GA as well as cars, rockets and solar power.

I certainly enjoyed the read.


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