News from HQ: Change is Good, Change is Healthy, Change Creates Opportunities!

As spring morphs into summer, it is a good time to take a look at some of the changes that are taking place in the ever-changing word of general aviation, and how these changes affect or apply to flying clubs.


Firstly, we are pleased to announce that the Flying Clubs Initiative has a new Director based at AOPA HQ in Frederick, Maryland.  Stephen Bateman (Steve) joins AOPA from Nebraska, where he was owner/CFI of Chocks Away Aviation, a small flight training operation based at Hebron Municipal Airport (KHJH).


Steve has a background in high-tech product development, including GPS system design and application, and is an avid aviator and instructor.  Steve’s focus will be exclusively on Flying Clubs – helping them form, grow, sustain, and renew.  You’ll hear more about this idea of club “life-cycles” in upcoming Club Connectors, but for now, please feel free to contact Steve with any questions – or just to say hello!  You can contact Steve on: 301-695-2356 and/or [email protected]


In this and upcoming editions of the Club Connector, we’ll look at a number of changes taking place in general aviation that are likely to impact flying clubs.  In this edition’s Question of the Month, we’ll explore what BasicMed can do for your club and its members, and especially the hope that it will remove some real or perceived barriers for the creation of new clubs.  We’ll not go through the details of BasicMed – this is well covered in the aviation press and on the AOPA website, but we will explore opportunities that BasicMed can provide to clubs.


In a future edition, we’ll take a club-centric view of ADS-B.  We (generally!) know what it is, we know it is coming, but what does it mean to flying clubs and the club fleet?  We also know it is not cheap to equip – so, what are the options, pros and cons for flying clubs and their members?    Without going into details, we’ll feature a story about a club who has equipped, and Steve will provide a first-hand perspective, as he recently installed ADS-B OUT and IN in his Aerobat.  We’ll also consider the discussions and perhaps conflicts that may arise as ADS-B equipage is put on the club meeting agenda.


As always, we hope you enjoy this edition.  We’d love to hear your suggestions on topics for this newsletter, as well as your thoughts on how we can improve the services offered by the AOPA Flying Clubs Initiative.  Feel free to send in questions on all topics related to flying clubs – you can be pretty sure that other clubs have the same question and would benefit from the answer.

Fly lots and fly safe!


Related Articles