Minnesota pilot wins AOPA Debonair

AOPA Debonair

FREDERICK, Md. – The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) awarded its 2014 Sweepstakes Airplane, a fully-restored 1963 Beechcraft 35-B33 Debonair, on Sunday, Oct. 5, to Steve Lagergren, an AOPA member from Litchfield, Minn.

Lagergren, who built and flies his own RV-7 kitplane, was flying with another pilot Sunday when AOPA President Mark Baker and AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne flew up alongside him in the Debonair and – on a common radio frequency – informed Lagergren that he had won the airplane.

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AOPA reveals Flight Training Excellence award winners

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has awarded its third annual Flight Training Excellence Awards to top flight schools and flight instructors ranked by more than 3,600 flight students who voluntarily reviewed their flight training experience through an AOPA online poll.

AOPA has recognized Paragon Flight of Fort Meyers, Florida, as the 2014 Best Flight School and Spencer Watson of Manassas, Virginia, as the 2014 Best Flight Instructor. Ten additional flight schools and 10 instructors were named “Outstanding” by AOPA as a result of the poll results.

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AOPA lobbies for more flexibility when it comes to hangars

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is pressing the FAA to offer pilots and aircraft owners more flexibility when it comes to the use of hangars at airports that have received federal funding.

In formal comments filed Sept. 18, AOPA urges the FAA to expand its definition of “aeronautical use” and to give the owners of private hangars more freedom to use hangars as they wish.

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AOPA’s Bruce Landsberg to retire

landsberg-bonanza-vert

One of general aviation’s most prominent safety advocates has announced his retirement after 22 years in leadership roles at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). As president of the AOPA Foundation and executive director of the AOPA Air Safety Institute, Bruce Landsberg has led the association’s fundraising, charitable, and safety efforts for more than two decades. He will continue to serve in an advisory capacity.

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AOPA gets out of EFB market

Over the past several years, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) developed its digital flight planning tools into a suite of products that put flight planning capability, airport directory information and aviation weather in pilots’ hands.  AOPA partnered with Seattle Avionics to create FlyQ EFB, an electronic flight bag (EFB) iPad application, and FlyQ Pocket, a smartphone application.

Shortly after joining AOPA last fall, President Mark Baker began a review of AOPA’s member benefits and products, which included an assessment of where members believe AOPA should spend resources in regards to flight planning benefits.

As a result, AOPA has decided to exit the EFB market, and will develop a distinct smartphone application focusing on content and functions driven by member needs.  The new smartphone application will remain a free member benefit, AOPA officials said.

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