General aviation at its best

July 29, 2009 by Craig Fuller

I am at Oshkosh this week for EAA AirVenture, and it’s a whirlwind as always. It just isn’t possible to fit in all the many things I want to do and people I want to see. But it’s a fun place to try.

Tom Poberezny and I shake hands after signing a historic cooperation agreement.

Tom Poberezny and I shake hands after signing a historic cooperation agreement.

AOPA has a much-expanded presence this year, and I am using the opportunity of being on site all week to accomplish a great deal of work, and have some fun, too.

I got to take a walk around the show at the beginning of the week and, as always, I was tremendously impressed by the sheer variety of aircraft, and businesses, taking part. If you ever want to see aviation in its full, diverse glory, spend a few days at AirVenture.

I also had the chance to be part of a panel of general aviation leaders invited to speak about the issues that concern our future. The panel was headed by EAA President Tom Poberezny and my fellow participants included Pete Bunce of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Matt Zuccaro of Helicopter Association International, and Ed Bolen of the National Business Aviation Association.

One thing was abundantly clear—although we each represent a slightly different segment of the general aviation community, we all agree that working together is pivotal to ensuring our future.

To help formalize that spirit of cooperation, AOPA and EAA today signed a memo of understanding saying that we will collaborate on a whole range of things from growing the pilot population through EAA’s wonderful Young Eagles program to using AOPA’s expert advocacy team to defend our freedom to fly on Capitol Hill and in states nationwide.

This agreement marks a major milestone for both associations, but I believe it’s just the start. I am really excited to see a new spirit of cooperation taking wing in GA. When we work together, the sky’s the limit!