News from HQ: Outside the Box

As we all know, aviation is a big tent.  As a result, the types of flying clubs that are possible are nearly limitless.  While we typically focus on the most common definition of a flying club--that where a group of pilots maintain ownership (or ownership-like privileges) of an airplane--this month's edition of the Club Connector takes a broader view.  Join us as we explore less traditional types of flying clubs, which operate aircraft as diverse as RC planes and balloons.    

In the Club Spotlight, we will look at two different flying clubs where members can fly without even leaving the ground.  Stan Berger, a former club president of the the Jersey Coast Sport Fliers RC Model Club, shows us a glimpse into the world of RC clubs.  The Jersey Coast club--based in Colts Neck, New Jersey--has been in operation for over 30 years building and flying model aircraft.  Lately, it has been making a concerted effort to attract youth, and to excite them about the possibilities within aviation.  Also in the Club Spotlight, Manhattan Flight Club founder Taylor Jobe talks about a club he formed in downtown Manhattan around a flight simulator, which puts aviation in reach of those in the city.  The two clubs, while located in different environments and formed around different types of technology, are similar in that they have vibrant social cultures and make flying more accessible to their communities.  

This month's Aircraft Spotlight provides an overview of some of the diverse ways that one can get involved in aviation, including RC models, gliders, and hot air balloons.  Also, if you've ever had an interest in ballooning, be sure to read the Question of the Month, where we take a more detailed look at just what it takes to launch and fly a balloon, as well as how you can get involved in this exciting form of flight.  

One of the fastest growing segments of aviation is that of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).  This trend is likely to continue, making it more and more important for both unmanned and manned pilots to be vigilant when it comes to safety.  Whether you are a drone pilot or a member of a manned flying club, you will want to read this month's Safety article, which highlights a variety of resources offered by AOPA that can help educate groups on sharing the skies safely.  

AOPA Celebrates 80 Years at Frederick Fly-In

AOPA celebrated its birthday at a homecoming fly-in on May 10 and 11 at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland.  Even though the weather was less than ideal, with rain making several appearances on Friday, the spirits of the crowds--which numbered over 11,000 over the course of two days--could not be dampened.  

The fly-in featured an assemblage of Douglas DC-3 and C-47 aircraft, which dropped paratroopers from the Liberty Jump Team wearing authentic Allied uniforms to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  Other highlights included a STOL competition and a Pilot Town Hall with AOPA president Mark Baker and two past presidents: Phil Boyer and Craig Fuller.  

For video of AOPA's birthday festivities, see AOPA Live This Week.  

Next Stop: Livermore

The next of AOPA's regional fly-ins will take place at Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK) on June 21 and 22, and we hope to see you there.  Livermore, located in the San Francisco Bay area, is known for its strong aviation community.  The airport, a city-owned property on 643 acres, boasts a beautiful terminal, more than 500 based aircraft, and 392 hangars.  There are also six flight schools, which likely paints a picture of just how busy the airport is.  

Like all AOPA fly-ins, the event at Livermore will be chock-full of flying, camaraderie, education, and enjoyment.  Steve Bateman--director of AOPA's flying clubs initiative--will be delivering a Maximum Fun, Minimum Cost flying club seminar on Friday, June 21.  For a full schedule of AOPA workshops, seminars, and special events--including a Pilot Town Hall with AOPA president Mark Baker--visit the Livermore Fly-In page on AOPA's website.

Final Countdown to AOPA Super Cub Sweepstakes

The deadline for AOPA's Super Cub Sweepstakes is 5/31/2019, which means now is the time to increase your chances of winning a completely restored 1954 Piper PA-18.  AOPA members with a valid membership as of May 31, 2019 are automatically entered into the sweepstakes.  If your membership is set to expire prior to this date, be sure to renew it to secure your automatic entry! 

There are also two ways that you can score additional entries into the sweepstakes.  Members who are enrolled in AOPA's Automatic Annual Renewal program as of May 31, 2019 will receive five additional entries.  To sign up for Automatic Annual Renewal, log in to your account on and click "Start Automatic Annual Renewal," or contact AOPA Member Services at 800-872-2672.  You can also increase your chances of winning by making a special contribution in support of the AOPA Aviation Advocacy Fund.  Each donation to the AOPA Aviation Advocacy Fund provides an additional entry.  

By doing the above, you can maximize your entries for winning the Sweepstakes Super Cub, complete with amphibious floats, tundra tires, and hydraulic skis!

To enter and view the complete official rules, including alternate method(s) of entry, visit  




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