AOPA Short Approach

November 2021

Presidents Report

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 Short Approach and AGM Cancellation Notice – November 2021.

The Christmas season is racing towards us and flying time seems to have been relegated to low priority here, not the way it should be when we have great long days and periods of perfect flying weather. However, this is my/our lives and we make the choices. I was looking forward to flying into Wanaka last weekend for the AOPA NZ ‘Meet and Greet’.  The weather forecasting was difficult and the eventual howling westerlies did not work for Sue or I. The drive was long.

The ‘Meet and Greet’ was well-attended, we talked to a wide group of members, covered a lot of topics and listened to very varied opinions. All part of running AOPA NZ.

The most important news from our Committee meeting is the cancellation of our planned AGM weekend in Tauranga. We will still have the AGM meeting on Saturday afternoon 26th February. However, it will be an online meeting. We have had to make a decision 90 days out because of the cost of a later cancellation of our venue. Our plans are to reassess the situation in the new year and if possible, have a ‘hangar’ meeting with members also able to attend remotely. Our social side will be separated from the AGM business. We are quite keen to run an ‘online’ AGM and wonder if we may get a better attendance from this format.

The Northern NI Safari should still be able to go ahead. If there are unforeseen circumstances causing late cancellation most members can cancel their bookings within a few days of the event.

I wish to spend a paragraph explaining how our Committee works. There is a perception that leading our AOPA NZ Committee is an all-encompassing time-consuming role. Well the truth, under our present model, is that it isn’t.. Plus, we are on the look out for a new President as I am standing down next year and Steve Horne who is our present VP will be overseas for much of the year. Under my leadership over the last three years, we have developed and fine tuned four ‘work groups’, all have Committee representation but are not limited to Committee members. The groups are:

1.      Advocacy including medical and mechanical.

2.      Social.

3.      Safety.

4.      Membership which includes communications.

At this stage all ‘work groups’ are functioning well; as facilitator/president I am welcome to sit in on all the groups meetings but it is not my job to lead them. I am proud of the teams we have working for our organisation. The reason for this explanation is that we are always looking for new faces and new energy to be funneled into the work of AOPA NZ. Work which maintains our ‘Freedom to Fly’. As we have three or four seats on the Committee becoming vacant at this AGM, we would love to hear from you if you feel it is ‘your turn’.

On a more exciting note, at our last meeting, Sue Kronfeld presented the programme for three series of short videos which AOPA NZ is going to produce and promote. They are aimed at a local audience but also will also go onto our new web site and ‘YouTube’, so will be seen by flyers all over the world.

You will hear more about the medical situation in future articles and in the magazine so just to say there have been two very significant legal results recently. Firstly Graham Lindsay, one of our pilots, has successfully taken CAA to court regarding the inappropriate medical limitations put on his licence – he has won and CAA are not appealing the judges conclusion. CAA have accepted the medical department were wrong.

Secondly the same judge, Judge Tomkins, has concluded that pilots can request an independent ‘Review Panel’,  to look at any CAA conclusions pilots disagree with. This is in place of going to the ‘Convener’ who has almost always concurred with the CAA opinion. These two cases have turned our ability to disagree with CAA medical conclusions totally on their head. I guess for many of us who now use the DL9(P) it is too late, but still great news for the commercial members and those still wanting a Class 2 licence.

Can I remind you all that the new VNC book is available and about to become ‘active’. We are pleased to see the uptake of the book is continuing and pilots are enjoying the security of having an up-to-date paper reference in their cockpit. Plus I remember the issues I had folding the big maps and trying to get the appropriate part of the folded map to the fore so it could be read..

Our Christmas gatherings are in full swing at present and we have had a couple of well attended one day flyins. We have some more one days events arranged, they are just waiting for a weather window to have their 'activate' buttons pressed.

I trust your run up to Christmas will go smoothly and safely.

Best wishes

Steve Brown


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