AOPA Short Approach

June 2021

Presidents Report

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 Hi folks,

Well, our Canterbury drought has been broken in fine form, flooding all over last weekend. Our hangar was not immune and we have water blown under the door. Must be a common problem, if your hangar is watertight, you appreciate it.

We had a great ‘Exec’ committee meeting last week; lots of progress on our work streams. A few loose ends but we have a great team who are hard at work protecting our ‘freedom to fly’.

A report was tabled regarding one member, using an out-of-date VNC map book; who was caught breaking airspace due to the November 2020 airspace changes. The AOPA VNC book is updated annually and we have been encouraged by how many map books we have sold this year; most pilots are appreciating the convenience of having updated maps for a great price. No more searching through the stack of paper maps checking dates. Ian Sinclair laughs at me for using paper maps, yes, the electronic versions are great, and they can be convenient, I do use Avplan extensively. However, I really like having the map book sitting between the front seats and it is interesting how often I refer to it…

Our Haast fly in is getting closer, plenty of members have booked in. Even the waiting list looks quite long. Hopefully we can keep onside with the ‘weather gods’ and have some blue skies. The ODF’s (one day flyins) crop up rather suddenly, that is the magic of them. They are only activated once we have sound evidence of good weather. The system is working well and we are seeing new members coming to ODF’s as they are easy and fun. A great way to engage with other members without needing overnight planning etc. See you there…

I need to remind everyone that our calendar is only as good as the photos we submit… Please get the cameras out (including phone ones) and send the good ones to Murray Paterson.  We hardly had a nose wheel photo submitted last year, come on we can do better than that.

We have spent a lot of time discussing the risk of accidents at our flyins. In the past we have allowed a degree of freedom with the places pilots fly to while not in an AOPA group. After a couple of incidents which could have easily ended in tragedy, we have had to modify our approach. If we have permission to go to specific strips on our Flyins then these strips will only be available to pilots who are flying in groups arranged by AOPA NZ. If you just want to fly around the area where our Flyin is then please go on a weekend when we have not got an organised Flyin. As I have said before we are very lucky to be able to have Flyins as we do; these cannot be arranged in USA or Australia, so let’s appreciate them and tow the line. Pilots are good at systems and discipline; when we all get together there is a temptation for this approach to be loosened. We ask that all pilots at our Flyins practice more discipline not less.

Our Committee has chosen ‘Milford Asset Management Conservative fund’ as the home for our long-term reserves. We are confident that we can get a good return and the funds will be readily available should we need them.

Please remember we cannot accept cheques from now on.

Geoff has done a great job with our AOPA NZ wine sales. There is another offering about to happen so if you enjoyed the last offering then please get in and order some more. One of the best parts of this project has been the ability to give the owners of the strips we visit a bottle of wine and calendar as a thank you, they may not have been wine drinkers but the labelled bottle is a winner with everyone.

You can get instructions to order your wine at

Keep warm and exercise the aircraft regularly…

Best wishes

Steve Brown

Just another pilot

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