Taking the reins at AOPA

Mark Baker with his Piper Super Cub.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has a new president: Mark Baker. Rumors of the appointment were rampant at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, but the official announcement wasn’t made until Aug. 20.

Baker is only the fifth person to be president of AOPA. Actually, he is the sixth. The first was T. Townsend Ludgington, a member of the board who founded AOPA but who quickly resigned the post when the first employee was hired.

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Proposed AD could have devastating effect on GA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — From the 1940s to the 1970s, Max Karant was a senior vice president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) who tirelessly and fearlessly fought for the interests of GA. Even though he frequently was blunt and sometimes vicious in his discussions with — and about — the FAA, most people respected him. In fact, on one occasion, an FAA official told me, “we weren’t always right, but he made us be right.”

On one of the lighter occasions, Max asked an FAA official how he got ideas for proposing and writing regulations. “Well,” replied the official, “I’m sitting in my office and I hear a booming voice say ‘write a rule.’ I say ‘yes sir, good or bad? And the voice replies ‘BAD.’”

That friendly exchange was good for a few moments of laughter, but the latest proposal from the FAA might have more serious consequences. That booming voice undoubtedly said BAD.

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