News from Headquarters: Resume Own Navigation – Steve Bateman to retire from AOPA

Steve Bateman Retires:

Hello AOPA flying clubs! 

You may recognize that cheery refrain, in a British accent, from all of the editions of Flying Clubs Radio, as well as from countless phone calls with many flying clubs over the years.  Well, after much reflection, it is time for me—Steve Bateman—to hang up the microphone and pass the helm of the Flying Clubs Initiative to a new captain. 

Yes—after a wonderful seven years of running the Flying Clubs Initiative and working at AOPA, I have decided it is time to retire…not a sit-at-home type of retirement, but the next active, aviation-filled adventure.   

I would like to thank my many friends and colleagues at AOPA for a truly fantastic experience and I salute you all for your tireless pursuit of AOPA’s core mission “Protecting Your Freedom to Fly”.  Special thanks to my colleagues in the You Can Fly program—we set out to “move the needle” by attracting new people to aviation, providing pathways for people to enjoy experience-centered flight training, sharing the cost and joy of aircraft co-ownership, and to help the lost get back into the fellowship of aviation.  The high school, flight training, flying clubs and rusty pilot initiatives have done—and continue to do— just that. 

It has also been my distinct pleasure to work with many founders and officers of flying clubs over the years, and through that work, I can truly say that I have many friends across the nation.  I look forward to meeting more of you during my travels.

What’s next?  Well, I have (re)established my small flight school (Chocks Away Aviation, LLC), this time in Central Oregon, and my Aerobat and I will do our bit to grow and sustain GA in the area.  I’ll continue to do training and safety outreach…so if you need a guest speaker, please give me a call!  I’m also looking forward to doing more teaching on the Professional Pilot Program, at the Central Oregon Community College, in Bend, Oregon.  That, some travel and keeping up with our four children, will keep Louise and me busy for quite a while.

As one door closes, another opens.  Cade Halle ([email protected]) now leads the Flying Clubs Initiative and is already working on new ideas that will keep the initiative humming and relevant in the coming years—years that will see wonderful opportunities for flying clubs due to MOSAIC, electrical propulsion and many other innovations that continue to fuel the growth of general aviation in this country.   Flying Clubs are, after all, the very best way to share the costs and joy of aviation!

I’d love to stay in touch with my many friends in the flying clubs world:  My personal email is [email protected], and you can contact me on 402-200-8930.

Best regards to all—Steve Bateman.

This is Cade talking now…I only had the pleasure of working with Steve for a short number of years but in that time Steve has helped me grow as aviator and member of the Flying Clubs team.  I was first introduced to Steve early in my AOPA career as he was assigned to perform my checkout flight in one of AOPA’s RV-12’s.  I was a relatively new pilot at the time and I’m sure my nervousness showed.  As we slipped the surely bounds in the nimble and to me, foreign, RV-12 Steve quickly noticed that I was awfully heavy handed on the controls.  He said to me “just let the airplane fly” which has stuck with me to this day, and little does he know, helped me in becoming a formation qualified pilot. 

I’m confident that Steve’s contribution to AOPA and the You Can Fly Initiatives will flourish as a result of the hard work and dedication that he showed during his tenure.  As we bid farewell to our friend we will “Keep Calm and Carry On” continuing the excellent work that AOPA members, and non-members alike, have come to expect. 

Blue skies and tailwinds, my friend.

AOPA Medical Certificate Specialist Cade Halle poses for a photo at Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Maryland, May 4, 2022. Photo by David Tulis.

Cade Halle

Manager, Flying Clubs Initiative, AOPA
Cade is the manager of the AOPA Flying Clubs Initiative, which helps start and grow flying clubs, nationwide. Cade is a formation qualified, AOPA staff pilot as well as a FAASTeam representative.

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