Spring has sprung, JPN flew through her annual, the weather vacillates from perfect to absolutely horrid and I am not going to mention that pesky virus in this note.
There has been a lot of work going on in the AOPA world, tower closures, Milford issues, medicals, social weekend, one day events, AOPA VNC book, AOPA calendar, AOPA wine and your exec committees first face to face meeting – at last. Zoom has a place but the novelty does wear off.
Couple of important issues to mention – CAA have programmed in 3 ADSB webinars’ which we are all invited to ‘attend’. The dates are at the bottom of this note. My experience of ADSB has been very positive, once I recovered from the avionics invoice. I find having a ‘target’ to look for is helping me to visually identify aircraft in my vicinity. I reckon the extra for ‘ADSB in’ was well worth it.
Last month I met with Shelley Turner and Dean Winter with Helen Robertson, Claude Preitner and David Harrison also in attendance at CAA. Our request to put in a last-ditch submission for the medical standards review was facilitated by John Lanham (who used to work for CAA) and Richard Small from Flying NZ was also in attendance. We put a good case forward to have the full PPL privileges extended to the revised medical, excepting a weight limit and 5 passengers. CAA’s response was spirited, but when we boiled it all down it is an ‘emotional’ position with the CAA medical department not comfortable to lose control of the final say in medical certification, plus a sentiment that the extension of privileges should be a progressive process rather than everything at once…. Not easy to argue with. We have given it our best shot and the NPRM was due to be delivered by Helen Roberson to the senior management on 10th October… now we need to wait and see.
On the maintenance front our questionnaire showed us that there was a wide range of awareness of what can be done by an owner to their own GA aircraft, and an even wider range of who wants to do what. We are going to start with a programme of education so that aircraft owners will know what they can do. Then we will look to streamline what we are able to do. I have attached a YouTube on how to change your own oil, filter and plugs, quite legal.
We are very concerned about the real possibility of Paraparaumu Airport closing. It is almost inconceivable for this to happen; yet it is on private land and the owner wants to put 2,700 houses on it. We need to stop this and are working with many others to preserve the airfield. I have been amazed at the number of people who are associated with Paraparaumu. It is a significant part of our National Infrastructure, needed as an alternate to Wellington for aero-medical work and a really important alternate or stopping off point for GA. What more can I say.
In one of the rushes of blood to my head I spoke about how good it would be to have a ‘AOPA NZ Education Trust’ to which members and others could bequeath money. The trust would fund educational videos, run a scholarship and the ideas are unlimited. I did set up a Medical Education Trust many years ago. A number of members have bemoaned the fact that we do not have a vehicle for them to bequeath or gift money to ( the AOPA Trust would traverse the complexities of the Charities Commission and would be tax deductible). I would like to hear from any members, preferably lawyer, who has experience in setting these trusts up and would be interested in assisting.
Nearly lastly would you please send some photos to Murray Paterson for consideration for the AOPA Calendar. I have had lots of feedback as to how this has wheedled its way into members offices and kitchens, I have been told by one member how it has usurped the CAA calendar….. excellent. The wine is racing out the door so if you want some of it might be good idea to get in soon.
Our 2021 AGM detail is now nearing completion, we have an excellent speaker, female and not just talking about planes, good dinners, fly around on Sunday…. Cromwell an excellent venue, Sue is looking forward to a lap or two in a Ferrari (being driven, 220kph on the straight – Huh JPN will do 300kph down hill) Rooms will fill soon so do get your booking in. I am looking forward to celebrating our 50th in style.
Trust you are keeping well and the wheels have left the ground recently.