AOPA Short Approach

May 2017 Short Approach

From the President

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First my apologies to John Harding for calling his "Supermarine Spitfire" a Mustang. The smoke from the coal fired paddle steamer must have been in my eyes.

April was a good month for AOPA NZ. We had confirmation that CAA has reduced the medical fee, as we expected, to $105.00 plus GST from 1st July. A long time coming but a good result.

The ACAG meeting I reported on last month has had excellent results with CAA to the point where they have agreed to engage with us better and they have removed from the small issues rule,(NPRM 17-02), the amendment to the definition of a Major Modification. This will allow us to engage on the issue fully with well-prepared responses. The removal of that part of the NPRM has not affected the Biennial Review of airworthiness review so we are confident this will get through this year.

We are continuing to engage with CAA certification department on the Directors stated goal of “red tape reduction” and to encourage the avionics certification team to embrace new technology. This is not easy, as over the years there have been additions to some of the AC’s that are making it difficult to just replace certain instruments and avionics with modern up to date equipment. I am not talking about an owner going down to Dick Smith’s or Jaycar and buying a radio then expecting to fit it in an aircraft. However, if there is a piece of equipment built to a TSO standard that is accepted elsewhere in the world we should be able to install it by using an AC instead of insisting that it is a major modification. My view is that a certified Avionics LAME should be able to install according to industry best practice plus the manufacturers installation manual then have it ticked off by the CAA certification team. If the LAME is not up to speed that is CAA’s job to educate them or pull their licence.

We had a great Autumn Fly-in with perfect weather in the Kaikoura region for a visit to some awesome strips. We signed up 2 new members on the day and as you will see from the photos we gave out some more Hi Viz vests which are sponsored by Arden Jennings of Avsure.  These are available and should be kept in the aircraft because you will need them when visiting controlled airfields and should wear them when Airside at any airfield. This is not a CAA requirement but a Workplace Safety one where we must be seen to be promoting safety with our members. Good advertising for AOPA membership also.

Our new VP Steve Brown has put together a very detailed AOPA NZ policy on PPL Medical reform. This is very timely as CAA have now put out a consultation paper on the subject. Steve has also prepared an AOPA NZ submission that has been approved by the executive and fits with our stated policy. Both these documents will be on the website and we are putting them in the public side so that anyone can view them. This is a major piece of work that we will be working on for the next couple of years and taking through to IAOPA and ICAO. It is an ambitious project but fortune favours the bold.

That brings me to another reminder about the IAOPA World Assembly in 2018. If you have not registered and booked your accommodation it is time to get it done. Visit to register.

May looks like being an easier month with New Southern Sky only having a couple of meetings. We are nearly there on the Ground Based Nav Aid review and making good progress on the PBN implementation.

The NZ Aviation Federation (NZAF) is in a healthy financial state and we have just appointed a Nelson based lawyer as Chairman to the Aspeq Board to fill the gap left when Nick Calavrias was unfortunately killed in a vehicle accident at Christmas. Paul is Chairman or Director of several companies and will bring a new level of expertise to the board. Aspeq Ltd is a vital cog in the Aviation industry and we are fortunate to be involved in its growth.  NZAF contributes by being a great forum to discuss any issues affecting anyone in the aviation arena from Drones to Parachutes.

One project that I still believe in is the challenge of getting Government to recognise the need for a basic level of aviation infrastructure looked upon as being in the National and Regional interest. We are a small, well spread out country and in times of natural disaster aviation has a big role to play. Not only that but for regional development a fully accessible aviation infrastructure is vital to the health of the regions.

The weather today over the whole country is ideal for flying so get out and enjoy it, but fly safely.

Ian Andrews 

FAA to ease aircraft certification

The Federal Aviation Administration is reportedly relaxing some certification requirements for general aviation aircraft. The agency is easing standards for equipment aboard light aircraft, including software, electromagnetic protection and lightning strike durability.

AOPA Online (3/30),  AVweb

FAA releases BasicMed checklist and approves AOPA US course

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The FAA on April 24 released the official BasicMed Comprehensive Medical Examination Checklist that pilots who wish to fly under BasicMed need to fill out and have completed by the state-licensed physician performing the medical examination. The agency also published a link to AOPA's Medical Self-Assessment: A Pilot's Guide to Flying Healthy online aeromedical course that satisfies the requirement for pilots to complete a medical education course prior to operating under BasicMed. Although qualified pilots cannot fly under BasicMed until May 1, they can go ahead and make a doctor's appointment, have the checklist filled out by the physician, and complete the online medical course. Read more >

Latest IAOPA Europe Newsletter with NZ highlighted

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There are some very interesting articles in this newsletter but most of all it shows how we are connected to the rest of the world of aviation. It is no good just having this on my desk so here it is for you all.

New Auto pilots getting cheaper

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The ability to install equipment designed for experimental aircraft into certified airplanes continued to make progress at the Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In and Expo in Lakeland, Florida, as The STC Group announced that it had received a supplemental type certificate for the kit to install a Trio autopilot into Cessna 172s and 182s. (Photo courtesy of Trio Avionics.) Read more >

Cirrus new panel, upgrades

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Cirrus Aircraft ended 2016 on a high note, with the first customer delivery of its SF50 Vision Jet. Never a company to rest on its laurels, the team from Duluth, Minnesota, kicks off the new year with a host of new features for its 2017 piston products. Most notable is the change from a six-cylinder Continental engine to a four-cylinder Lycoming powerplant on the entry-level SR20. Read more...  

Rumour has it that Gerald Grocott has been having a fly with Bruce Brownlie in the latest Cirrus so that he can see the benefits of the new panel. Only a rumour.

Five tips to become a safer pilot.

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One question pilots regularly ask is, "What can I do to be a safer pilot?" Every pilot's situation is different, but there are five things that apply universally across the general aviation community. Read more...

More on Autopilots

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TruTrak Flight Systems announced April 3 FAA installation kit approvals that will eventually facilitate TruTrak autopilot installations in many Cessna 172 models. Read more >

Calendar of events

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No:  4   2017

22 April. AOPA Fly-in. Kaikoura.

14 May. Central Hawkes bay Aero Club. Dawn Fly-in. Waipukurau.  Phone: 06 858 8226/ 021 262 9550

2-5 June. NZ Association of Women in Aviation. Rally. Info:

9-11 June. ANZSAIA . Regional Air Safety Seminar. Wellington. Contact.

4 June. Manawatu Aviation Club Dawn Fly-in. Feilding Aerodrome. Contacts: 021 0423666. E:

18 June. Dannevirke Flying Club. Dawn Fly-in. Contact: 06 374 6269

31 July. Hawkes Bay and East Coast Aero Club. Fly-in. Hastings/Bridge Pa. Contact: 06 879 8466. E:

13-15 October. Tiger Moth Spring Fly-in. Taumaranui. Contact: Graeme Wood 027 293 2318. E:

4-5 November. Black Sands Fly-in. Raglan. SAANZ . Contact : Bruce Cooke 021 11 22


2-4 March. Tiger Moth Club. AGM Fly-in. Whitianga. Contact: Graeme Wood: 027 293 2318. E:

25th - 29th March 2018 IAOPA World Assembly Queenstown followed by WoW. 

30 March – 1 April. Warbirds over Wanaka. Wanaka Airport. E:

Win an ACR ResQLink Personal Locator Beacon with Aon Aviation

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Aircraft Insurance

AOPA has a preferred brokerage arrangement with AON NZ, who offer a discount of 5% off the Insurers premium for Aircraft insurance and 10% off the Insurers premium for Fire & General policies.


Exclusive to AOPA members, Aon if offering you a chance to win an ACR ResQLink Personal Locator BeaconRead more on the offer here

To Enter

please email  with your Name, Address; and contact details along with the attached Insurance proposal form.

Aon Aviation is dedicated to providing comprehensive risk and insurance solutions to the aviation industry.

Brian Gilmour  |  Account Manager

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AVKIWI Safety Semiars coming to your town.

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The runway behind you

The air above you

The fuel you left behind.....

Have a look at the events page on our website for the times and dates but these seminars are well worth attending. 

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