News From HQ

You Can Fly "Early Bird" Les Smith Retires

Many of our AOPA Flying Club Network family have worked with Les Smith over the years, so we’d like to let you know about his well-earnt retirement.

Les joined AOPA in 2015 as Senior Director, Pilot Community Development, and he has been an essential part of developing and leading key AOPA initiatives, including Flying Clubs and Ambassadors. During his tenure, the Flying Clubs team has helped launch more than 140 flying clubs nationwide, whilst the five Ambassadors have supported every aspect of the You Can Fly program, including delivering hundreds of Rusty Pilots and Flying Club seminars, walking potential clubs through the formation process, representing AOPA at countless aviation events, and providing inspiration and flying experiences for students and teachers using AOPA’s Aviation STEM Curriculum. Les’ contributions have helped make flying more fun and more affordable for pilots across the country.

The above tells what Les has achieved at AOPA, but we’d also like to recognize the way he did it.  Through his leadership, wisdom and friendship, Les created and led a tremendous team of aviation professionals—and we are all the better for working for, and with, Les Smith. 

Going forward, Les plans to remain active in aviation, serving as a volunteer docent at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and, of course, flying from and around KFDK, Maryland.

Les’ last day at AOPA is Friday February 14, 2020, and we wish our friend a long and happy retirement.


Insurance Company Discusses Club Coverage

AOPA strategic partner in aircraft insurance AssuredPartners Aerospace sat down with the You Can Fly Flying Clubs Team to discuss ways flying clubs can keep their insurance premiums to a minimum. These tips are especially useful considering the increasing premiums many clubs and individual pilot/owners are seeing. Click here to learn more.


AOPA Club Connector Staff
AOPA Club Connector Staff writers and editors are active flying club members, pilots, flight instructors and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and topical articles from the world of flying clubs. Club Connector is the official newsletter of the AOPA Flying Clubs Initiative.

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