AOPA Short Approach

February 2019

Presidents Report

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Good morning folks,

I trust you have been able to take advantage of the summer weather and get some flying in.  At the last Committee meeting I read out an excerpt from an article Tom Haines wrote in AOPA Pilot about the future of GA. It was a very positive article and it appears that GA is undergoing resurgence in the USA. Our meeting worked on how we can ensure that GA in New Zealand enjoys the same success… anyway the article covered all the ‘new stuff’ and threats to our flying, including self-flying aircraft. He ended with: ‘But for those of us whom the journey is the best part of the trip, hands on flying will endure for decades to come. From our perspective, there is no human pursuit more satisfying than the challenge of flying a personal aircraft - doing it well. The turning of a calendar page is not going to change that.’ I cannot describe the wonderful feeling of the wheels leaving the grass better than Tom did.

We are back on the job and Ian A is pushing hard in Wellington for the ADS-B subsidy we will need to ensure a significant portion of our planes are fitted with this technology. We are monitoring the progress of the PPL medical issue and it all looks good except for the speed of progression. IFR is syllabus review is happening. Airways are reviewing charges and we are there. Plus lots more.

Our recent questionnaire was well supported, though it did bring up an issue with xtra email addresses where it seems our emails are being blocked, not even getting through as spam or being returned to us. If you know someone who is not getting emails from us can you let Mary know please. The questionnaire results will be discussed at length later but in a nutshell members are pretty happy; your highest priority for us to work on is advocacy. We have heard the message.

Statistics are a pain. They lie and they can be misinterpreted. But we need then and we suffer when decisions are made using poor stats. The aircraft utilisation form has been a bugbear of members for a long time; many have not filled it in accurately. Consequently CAA and other administrators think we don’t fly anywhere near as much as we do. This works against us when we are advocating for pilots and planes. We have a new way of submitting our flying stats. This is the online form link;

And this is the link for the PDF to print out and send off, some aircraft owners prefer this as they can keep a record.

Please make sure you do report your annual usage. Our accident rate is one of the main issues are concerned about; accidents are well counted and reported but when we compare our rates to other countries we do not look good. We believe the poor stats are partly to blame.

Just a few housekeeping matters:

  1. We would love some more articles for our magazine… we want a breadth of flying and planes, anything which interests you about flying will interest others.
  2. We also need some more advertisers for our mag. Any contacts will be gladly followed up by Don Ryder.
  3. Subs went out last month and most have been paid…. Are you one of the ones who Mary is about to spend valuable time chasing. Please get on an sort this.
  4. Nomination forms for the Committee are about to be sent out so start thinking about suitable candidates….. are you interested. How passionate are you about  ‘Our Freedom to Fly’.
  5. Please can you think about next year’s calendar…. We need some interesting photos and now is the time to get them. Please send them to Murray Patterson.

Apologies for that seeming a bit dry, but this is the mechanics of how we get our organisation to deliver results.

Look forward to catching many of you at the AGM.

Safe flying



North Pole on the move

My memory of magnetic variation as a tramper was that it was fixed, Then as a pilot you moved further and needed to vary it from the map. Well now I learn that the magnetic centre of our earth is on the move.... not the first time mind you. You may be interested in this Canadian AOPA artice.


Piper wings

AOPA submission to FAA regarding Piper wings.... Piper owners may be interested in this links.

Piper wings

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