A lot can happen in 80 years. Indeed, a lot has happened since the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) was founded in 1939.
Events large and not-so-large dot the calendar. Putting those events into the larger context of the development of general aviation can be a challenge for anyone who has a busy life.
AOPA recently honored its 80th anniversary by producing Freedom to Fly: AOPA and the History of General Aviation in America. At nearly 300 pages, Freedom to Fly contains beautiful photography and a rich text of the history of both General Aviation and AOPA. In many ways, the two are connected at the hip.
“I’ve been a member of AOPA since I learned to fly in the 1970s,” writes Mark Baker, current AOPA President, in the book’s introduction. “Like many others, I had a vague awareness of how the organization was started.”
I bet a good many of today’s — and yesterday’s — pilots could the say the same. After all, life is filled with many things that compete for our time and attention. This book will help fill the gaps in the history of General Aviation and AOPA.
I haven’t finished reading Freedom to Fly, but I like what I’ve read so far for two main reasons. First, it is easy to flip through the book and land on a page that looks interesting and just start reading. Reading the preceding 100 pages isn’t a requirement. Second, those many entry points make for a quick read. It isn’t hard to find 5-10 minutes.
Freedom to Fly is available from AOPA for $39.95.