By now many of you have heard that I have submitted my resignation as president of AOPA in the United States. When I was hired I agreed to a five-year commitment, and that time is now drawing to a close.
I have been privileged to lead AOPA and IAOPA through a time of great transition and many challenges on both the domestic and international fronts. And I am proud of what we have accomplished, as I hope you are.
The number of IAOPA affiliates has continued to grow and now stands at 71 worldwide. We have successfully gained the attention of leading international regulatory bodies dealing with issues affecting general aviation. And we have worked together to help general aviation, and the community of aviators, grow stronger in each of our countries.
The important work of IAOPA will continue. We are already planning for the 27th IAOPA World Assembly, to be hosted by AOPA-China. And we continue to address ICAO and other regulatory bodies on issues as diverse as unmanned aerial vehicles and global navigation plans. I believe that the international arena will become increasingly important to the future of general aviation, and IAOPA will be a key player in shaping that future.
My decision to move on from my role at AOPA and IAOPA will in no way compromise our ability to move forward. I will continue in my current role until new leadership can be found. And I will be happy to work with my successor to ensure a smooth transition.
In the meantime, we all need to stay focused on advancing the cause of general aviation around the world. And that’s just what I intend to do.
IAOPA Europe Regional
Delegates from 18 countries gathered in Malta on Saturday, March 23rd for the 128th IAOPA European Regional Meeting. The event hosted by AOPA-Malta was the 128th gathering of European AOPA’s in which the organizations gather to discuss pressing issues within the EU as well as their own States. Items discussed included updates on IAOPA activities worldwide as well as a report from our ICAO representative on initiatives underway in Montreal that will impact general aviation. Delegates to the conference received updates on a number of EU specific issues including IAOPA Europe’s input and comments on the EASA General Aviation Safety Strategy, flight training issues surrounding the introduction of Air Training Organization regulations, EASA Flight Crew Licensing and FCL 008, as well as an update on the new operational rules that go into effect and will impact general aviation.
At the end of the Regional Meeting delegates were treated to a reception at Malta’s Aviation Museum on the outskirts of Valletta, where guests included representatives of Malta’s aviation authority and air traffic control service, together with Mr. Nigel Dunkerley, who is responsible for general aviation at Transport Malta, and Malta’s new Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella and general aviation flight schools on the island.
Our thanks go out to all the wonderful people at AOPA-Malta for making everyone feel at home and especially to AOPA-Malta President Pierre Travers Tauss who went out of his way to make the event a success. The next European Regional Meeting is scheduled for September 28th, in Heidelberg, Germany.
New Executive Director at EASA
The Management Board of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the appointment of Mr. Patrick Ky as Executive Director of EASA with effect from 1 September 2013. Mr. Patrick Ky is currently Executive Director of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking and has driven the set-up and execution of Europe’s ambitious air traffic management modernization program since October 2007.
Mr. Ky will succeed Mr. Patrick Goudou, who has been Executive Director of EASA since its creation in September 2003 and whose term ends on 31 August 2013. Prior to leading SESAR, Mr. Ky held different managerial positions in the French Civil Aviation Authority, a consulting company, and EuroControl. In 2004, he joined the European Commission to work on SESAR. In total, Mr. Ky has more than 23 years of work experience in Civil Aviation. A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique and the Civil Aviation Engineering School in France, Mr. Ky also holds degrees in economics from the University of Toulouse and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
European AOPA’s visit AOPA-UAE
IAOPA Secretary General Craig Spence and the officers of AOPA-UK, Germany, and France attended the recent Middle East General Aviation Air Show in Abu Dhabi, UAE as the guests of the show organizers and AOPA-UAE. Since inauguration of the 70th branch of the IAOPA just one year ago at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Air Expo, AOPA-UAE has grown to include more than 100 members and has taken steps towards achieving its goal of uniting pilots, owners and operators based in the Emirates, through providing information and organizing regular meetings. AOPA-UAE continues to encourage young enthusiasts to become pilots, and this year's meeting aims to continue to encourage the development of solutions to ease access to airspace, airports and international travel. A series of meetings were held to develop a strategy that will allow AOPA to continue to grow and develop with the guidance and assistance of other AOPA’s in the area.
UAE LSA Rules Released
General aviation has been given a boost by the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) which announced at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo that it has given approval for plans to develop regulations for Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) activities in the United Arab Emirates. The rule which was released by the GCAA has a 12-month consultation period, known as a notice of proposed amendment, and when fully implemented should pave the way for Light Sport Aircraft which meet specific requirements, to be authorized to operate in approved flying club environment. Globally, the GCAA joins only a few authorities providing regulation for the LSA sector. The GCAA plans future release of additional airspace that will enable cross country routing for the LSA’s. Formerly unregulated, the GCAA vision was to increase safety, security and standardization for the growing aviation community. During the Air Show, IAOPA was presented with the first copy (framed) of the newly developed regulations governing light sport aircraft, the first such regulation in the Middle East. By establishing regulations for LSA’s the UAE is hoping to promote the development of General Aviation.
Finnish CAA approves SE-IMC Operations
AOPA-Finland has advised that the Finnish Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has taken a bold step and approved Helsinki based Hendell Aviation single-engine commercial flights under instrument meteorological conditions (SE-IMC) using its fleet of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops singles. They are the first EU-OPS AOC holder in Europe to do so commercially. SE-IMC is a commercial transport mode recognized by the ICAO but not by all EU states. In addition to this change AOPA-Finland advises that the CAA is exploring making changes to the Light Aircraft Pilot License (LAPL) that would add a sea rating. Currently, the LAPL license is valid for land-planes only. For more information contact AOPA Finland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AOPA-China announces Event Schedule for 2013
AOPA-China has announced several events for the upcoming year that are designed to highlight general aviation activities in China. The 2013 events calendar for AOPA-China:
• “Nadamu Flight Fair” in Inner Mongolia- July 1-October 15 (a month of flight, nature, culture and entertainment).http://www.aopa.org.cn/a/news/aopa/9588.html
• AOPA International Training Exhibition- Shenzhen- October 7-10 (first international training exhibition in China) http://www.aopa.org.cn/a/news/aopa/9580.html
For more information on the events contact AOPA-China at http://afte.aopa.org.cn/en/.
Air Safety Institute Accident Case Study - In Too Deep
No matter where they live, general aviation pilots flying by visual reference continue to wander into instrument meteorological conditions, despite overwhelming evidence that such a flight—even if the pilot is instrument rated—can turn disastrous, even deadly.
At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of November 26, 2011, a pilot, his two college-age daughters, and the younger daughter’s boyfriend climbed into a Cirrus SR-20 and took off from Marion, Indiana. The mission: return the older daughter to her college near Chicago, Illinois. Two hours later and 200 miles northwest, the aircraft exited a low overcast in a near-vertical dive and disintegrated on impact with the ground.
In most years, nearly half of all weather-related accidents in the United States happen as a result of continued visual flight rules (VFR) flights into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Sadly, the vast majority of those accidents are fatal. Most surprising of all is one-third of all pilots caught in VFR-into-IMC accidents actually hold instrument ratings. The subsequent National Transportation Board (NTSB) accident investigations usually conclude that the majority of these accident pilots made the decision to launch, or continue, into weather that was clearly inappropriate for their skills or the flight rules under which they chose to operate—but why?
In the Air Safety Institute’s latest Accident Case Study: In Too Deep (www.airsafetyinstitute.org/ACStoDeep) ASI hopes to provide more insight into the thought process that succumbs pilots to wander into this dangerous territory. The video brings to light events leading up to the tragedy as it pieces together the ill-fated flight with actual audio of the pilot’s discussions with air traffic control and factual information from the NTSB report. In Too Deep exposes some of the troubling reasons why VFR into IMC accidents are all too common in general aviation.
Pass on This Newsletter to Your Members
Nothing can keep existing members, and attract new members like reminding them of the great work that IAOPA affiliates, and IAOPA, are doing on national, regional, and international levels to keep them flying. Great work is being done in all parts of the globe to advance the interests of general aviation and the best way to share the message is to make sure that this newsletter gets to as many members and non-members alike. So I encourage you to publish this on your website, send on via email to your members, do what you can to help spread the word.