AOPA Short Approach

May 2020 Short Approach

Presidents Report

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Presidents report.

Good afternoon all, I trust you are well. I have certainly had enough of being stuck in my ‘bubble’ and am looking forward to some freedom, especially some ‘freedom to fly’.

As a community we do appear to have ‘dodged the bullets’ of Covid, we have done well. The strategy our country adopted was appropriate at the time when we were looking at an unknown level of pandemic illness and death. The threat of our hospitals being overrun required firm action; thankfully they remained quiet and intact. We now have a wealth of information plus we can compare other nations journeys; so, we have the capacity to manage our way out of this near calamity.

It is time for us to anticipate reclaiming the freedoms which we have been denied. The ‘war time’ like situation we found ourselves in was unprecedented in modern times, mistakes were made and rules were applied; in hind sight not all were assisting the common good. We now need to deal with these illogical determinations and apply good governance and common sense.

I like to remind people that 26 New Zealanders die of cancer every day and 16 New Zealanders die of heart disease every day. This assists our perspective of the situation at present.

AOPA exec and others have been very busy advocating our case in Wellington. The ‘Level 2’ rules which are still on the Covid web sites were developed, with a high degree of urgency. This was when we were ramping up the ‘lockdown’ plan, they are presently under review as we move to freeing up our community. We have had sympathetic input at very high levels in the government and with senior officials. We are quietly confident that our ‘freedom to fly’ will return in the near future.

I have had a lot of communication with members, some would like us to make strong political comments. This is not appropriate, we need to remain apolitical, we must not become partisan. There are many more issues for AOPA NZ to address in the future so we need to ensure our ability to ‘lobby’ all political parties remains intact. If you wish to make your political views heard then I suggest you speak to your local MP or the relevant minister.

Our stance on Airways planned closure of numerous regional airport towers has been sought by Airways and CAA. We are comfortable landing at airports with or without towers. The likes of Timaru and Whakatane work fine for us sharing airspace with commercial passenger aircraft. However, we are very concerned that the ‘national infrastructure’ pertaining to air space must not be compromised. We have always had national disasters and these will continue to occur; air transport is a critical part of our community’s preparation for dealing with these. We have noted that this infrastructure should be community (centrally) funded and cannot be sustained if it relies solely on a ‘user pays’.

I don’t want to dwell on death but would like to share my personal experience of a rest home secure unit, dementia and the death of my much-loved mother. All death is unpleasant, but not all deaths are 'tragedies'. My mother’s death, ostensibly from a minor infection, while she was in a secure unit of a very well-run rest home was a relief for her family. Relief full of grief and tinged with guilt. We believe it was also an escape for her. As a calm capable mother and wife, dementia changed her significantly. She became angry and had violent outbursts, plus ongoing anxiety; eventually she did not know my name. The largest group of New Zealand’s deaths from Covid-19 have been patients in secure rest home units; patients who most likely have ‘Not for Resuscitation’ declarations signed by their family and loved ones. Patients who ICU and respirators would be most inappropriate. Emotional language about every death being a 'tragedy' is not correct.

We need to recognise that we do not need to have zero reported daily infections of this one particular bug before we can start to rebuild our country’s economy and restore the individual rights which were taken from us.

Looking forward to the hum of aero engines overhead.

Best wishes

Steve Brown



FAA to scale back ATC service as traffic declines

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The Federal Aviation Administration will reduce operating hours at more than 100 air traffic facilities in late April to limit employees' exposure to the coronavirus as the pandemic slows flight activity. AOPA Online.

You may wonder what that has to do with good Ole NZ.

Well, Airways want to completely close 7 of out towers. That is 7 out of 17 and what comes next. AOPA NZ consider that the problem is how they are funded. Strictly user pays without defining the user.  That requires a change to the way the shareholders look at them. Is it critical infrastructure, just like our roads. Of course it is and we are working on the shareholders to understand that. Oh, by the way, the shareholder is the Government on behalf of the taxpayer.


Catch up on state of GA with Mark Baker

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President of AOPA USA.

If you missed the livestream with Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association President Mark Baker, you can hear him talk about the state of general aviation and AOPA's advocacy efforts during the coronavirus pandemic in this YouTube recording.

Pilots on board with BasicMed

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These figures are exciting and we should be able to report soon on our very own NZ PPL medical review. ED


More than 55,000 aviators are flying in the USA under BasicMed as the program nears its three-year anniversary on May 1. AOPA Online.



The results from the poll questions in Aviation eBrief do not necessarily represent the views of pilots, aircraft owners or AOPA members and therefore should not be used for research purposes.








Air New Zealand turns 80

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 Kia ora,

Today we proudly celebrate our 80th birthday, in some of the most extraordinary circumstances in our history. Our inaugural flight with nine passengers left Mechanic’s Bay in Auckland and landed in Rose Bay Sydney nine hours later. However, our story is about so much more than just flying, it’s a wider Kiwi story about connecting families and friends, tourism, trade, national identity and innovation over eight decades.

There have been many challenges along the way and countless moments to celebrate.

80 years looking back over the decades.

Watch our birthday video here.

From the early glamour days of air travel on the Flying Boat across the Tasman and the Coral Route, through to the Jet Age and the expansion of International routes, we have proudly represented our nation around the world. With a little bit of Kiwi ingenuity we have delivered a few firsts, such as being the first airline to boil water in-flight through to our award winning Sky Couch and prototype Sky Nest, which was unveiled a couple of months ago.

The cornerstone of our business has always been our people and the great Kiwi service and manaakitanga our Air New Zealanders bring to their jobs each and every day. And whilst our 80th anniversary is an important milestone, it is also a difficult time as we reduce the size of our workforce and say farewell to a number of people who have contributed to our success in recent years.

As we celebrate today, we do so from a place where trust in our airline has never been higher, something reflected in Air New Zealand being named this week as having the best corporate reputation in New Zealand and Australia. Who would have thought a tiny Kiwi airline would have achieved this when it started 80 years ago?

We look forward to the next chapter in our airline’s history. To spreading our wings again and connecting New Zealanders to each other and across the world as borders slowly re-open, whether it’s visiting friends and family, the long-awaited holiday or getting business moving again. We are committed to being on that journey with you and looking forward to what the next 80 years will bring.

Our April edition of Kia Ora magazine was completed ahead of COVID-19 and was a commemorative issue featuring some great stories and articles that we thought you may enjoy 
reading online.

We thank you, our loyal customers and valued partners who have been on the journey with us, for your continued support, patience and understanding through these difficult times, and we can’t wait to welcome you onboard again soon.

Ngā mihi,

Dame Therese Walsh
Air New Zealand Chairman

From Facebook - maybe not the same as your daily ride !!

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 There are many projects being developed for personal transport. This man sized drone shown in a facebook video may not be everyones idea of an ideal solution.


ASI Safety Tip: Aiming Point

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From the Air Safety Institute.

Having trouble gauging your touchdown point on the runway? Check out this handy trick for helping you stay on target during short final. ASI Safety Tip: Aiming Point teaches a simple technique for touching down at the right place at the right time.

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