Top stories of 2013 | What will be the biggest issue facing general aviation in 2014? | In 2014, do you plan to do any of the following?
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January 14, 2014
Aviation eBrief

Year in Review
Top stories of 2013
General aviation kept on innovating during 2013, with the performance of the world's smallest jet at EAA AirVenture and the takeoff of the Terrafugia flying car. Vickers Aircraft debuted a light-sport aircraft amphibian, and a 1929 biplane was updated with a modern engine. Waco also started production on its Great Lakes 2T-1A-2.

The search for alternative fuels for general aviation also continued in 2013. Piper flew an aircraft with unleaded gas for automobiles, while Shell Aviation debuted its own unleaded aviation gas candidate.

The year did contain some challenges for general aviation pilots, as Customs and Border Protection agents searched GA aircraft. Some pilots said the intrusive searches amounted to harassment and also raised concerns that the searches violated the Fourth Amendment.

However, 2013 ended with a positive push from Congress with the introduction of the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act that would expand the driver's license medical.

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What will be the biggest issue facing general aviation in 2014?
Medical certification regulations  40.74%
Progress toward an unleaded fuel  22.75%
Threat of airport closures  19.58%
TSA/DHS/CBP stops and searches  16.93%
In 2014, do you plan to do any of the following?
Other  30.79%
Continue to rent  21.13%
Sell your aircraft  19.30%
Buy an aircraft yourself  13.99%
Buy an aircraft in partnership or join a flying club  7.62%
Learn to fly  7.17%
In 2014, do you expect your flying to:
Increase  53.13%
Stay the same  33.93%
Decrease  12.94%
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Expert Insights
A Message from AOPA's President Mark Baker
Mark Baker
I begin my first full calendar year at AOPA with a packed agenda. Some of the things we'll be doing are entirely by choice; others will be dictated by political and regulatory events. But whether we're dealing with a situation of our choosing or one selected by circumstance, we'll bring the energy and expertise needed to get the job done.

In 2014, I'm asking you to get involved and lend some of your energy to protecting -- and enjoying -- our freedom to fly. In the past few weeks, we've asked you to put your support behind ending the FAA's misguided sleep apnea testing requirements. You did, and the FAA stepped back from new mandates and prepared to open discussions with the GA community.

This year, we'll also be working on expanding the number of pilots who can fly using the driver's license medical standard. This is an important initiative to our members -- and all pilots -- and will benefit the general aviation community.

In the meantime, our concerns over the unwarranted stops and searches of domestic general aviation flights by Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are coming to a head. Protecting your Fourth Amendment rights as pilots is critically important, and we will be seeking support from Congress, and our members, to ensure that law abiding GA pilots aren't targeted.

While it's critically important to stand up and be heard on issues like these, there's another way your actions can speak louder than words. When you get out and fly, you demonstrate just how important GA is to you. With that in mind, I hope you'll spend time and energy in 2014 enjoying the freedom to fly that all of us work so hard to defend. Whether you're just enjoying the view from above it all or you're on a personal or business mission, flying is the very best way to show your commitment to GA.

We've got lots of great ideas for how and where you can fly, and I'd love it if you'd start by taking part in one of the seven regional events we’ve got planned nationwide. We'll be in Texas in April, Indiana in May, Massachusetts in July, Washington in August, California in September, at our Frederick, Md., headquarters in October, and Georgia in November. You can find more details and a complete schedule online. We'll also be visiting Alaska, Florida, Wisconsin and many other locations throughout the year as we take part in events hosted by other aviation organizations. Join us and spend some time meeting your fellow pilots, connecting with your association, and enjoying the special freedom and opportunity that come from flying.

2014 promises to be a year of challenges and opportunities for GA, and you can count on AOPA to be at the forefront of the issues that matter to you most.
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Product announcements appearing in SmartBrief are paid advertisements and do not reflect actual AOPA endorsements. The news reported in SmartBrief does not necessarily reflect the official position of AOPA.

AOPA Resources
AOPA Fly-Ins

San Marcos, Texas

April 26

Indianapolis, Ind.
May 31

Plymouth, Mass
July 12

Spokane, Wash.
Aug. 16

Chino, Calif.
Sept. 20

AOPA Homecoming
Frederick, Md.
Oct. 4

Brunswick, Ga.
Nov. 8

For more details, visit
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Smartest Quotes
These are the quotes Aviation eBrief readers shared most in 2013
Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.
-- Richard Jefferies,
British writer
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Always try to be a little kinder than is necessary.
-- J.M. Barrie,
Scottish writer and dramatist
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The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
-- Carl Rogers,
American psychologist
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Success and failure. We think of them as opposites, but they're really not. They're companions -- the hero and the sidekick.
-- Laurence Shames,
American writer
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Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do.
-- Benjamin Franklin,
American statesman and Founding Father
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You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.
-- Martha Graham,
American dancer and choreographer
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It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.
-- Adlai Stevenson II,
American politician
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I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach,
German composer
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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right.
-- Henry Ford,
American industrialist
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There are those, I know, who will reply that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind, is nothing but a dream. They are right. It is. It is the American dream.
-- Archibald MacLeish,
American poet
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