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January 11, 2012
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President's Message 
  • Top stories 2011: Decision time 2012
    Craig Fuller
    With a presidential election on the horizon, this is a big year for every American, but perhaps even more so for members of the general aviation community.

    I have spent much of my career around politics, so it's no surprise that I find elections and the entire political process compelling. I know that may not be true for everyone. Indeed, the months of campaigning, debates, advertisements and electronic phone calls can be wearying.

    But whether you have historically been a political junkie or a disinterested observer, I'm asking you to get involved in 2012.

    The public servants we elect this year will make decisions that affect our freedom to fly for decades to come. Will we have user fees? Will NextGen receive funding to move forward? Will the GPS spectrum be protected? Will GA have access to airspace and airports? Will avgas continue to be available while we await a replacement? Will new taxes drive up the cost of flying? The answers depend a great deal on who occupies the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Governors, too, play an important role in determining the fate of general aviation. And you play an important role in who gets elected.

    So I strongly encourage you to get involved in the political process and let your voice be heard by the state and federal candidates in your region. Attend political events. Contact the candidates. Let them know that general aviation matters to you and that you vote. You may be surprised by just how responsive political candidates can be. They know that every vote counts, and they really do care about what matters to voters.

    The past year was a good one in many ways. We fended off user fees, helped defeat numerous state tax proposals, and saw general aviation pilots rally around the issues that affect our flying.

    This year we can have an even greater impact. AOPA will take part in both parties' national conventions. And our Political Action Committee will help support candidates who support GA. But we can't do it alone. Our voice is strong because of our 400,000 members. I hope you'll stand up for what you believe and do your part to make the voice of GA heard in 2012. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Your Predictions 
  • Poll: In 2012, do you plan to do any of the following?
    Continue to rent aircraft
    Sell your aircraft  31.08%
    Buy an aircraft yourself  20.16%
    Buy an aircraft in partnership or join a flying club  12.64%
  • Poll result: When performing a crosswind landing, which maneuver do you prefer?
    Combination of the two  55.07%
    Slip  23.72%
    Crab  21.21%
  • Poll: Do you expect your flight time in 2012 to:
    Increase  48.36%
    Stay the same  32.53%
    Decrease  19.11%
Most Popular Stories 

These are the most clicked and shared stories in Aviation eBrief in the past year.

Terrafugia flying car clears hurdles for road use
MSNBC/Cosmic Log (7/7)
Aircraft possibly flown by Earhart found in Papua New Guinea
AVweb (3/3)
"Jetman" completes flight over Grand Canyon
AOPA Online (5/10) , The Sun (London) (5/11)
Air France black boxes suggest crash was caused by pilot error
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/24)
B-17 bomber is destroyed in emergency landing
Chicago Sun-Times (free registration) (6/13)
Career for pilots differs from previous decades, writer says
General Aviation News (8/21)
Tsunami waves flood Sendai Airport in Japan
AVweb (3/11)
ICON is offering "sexy plane" to bring flying to the masses
CrunchGear (5/8)
Seawind announces 50 orders for amphibious aircraft
AVweb (4/6)
"Flying Circus" has whole new meaning for 100-year-old former pilot
The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) (5/4)
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Your Favorite SmartQuotes 

These are the most clicked and shared SmartQuotes in Aviation eBrief in the past year.

A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road.
-- Henry Ward Beecher,
American clergyman and lecturer
If you tell the truth, you have infinite power supporting you; but if not, you have infinite power against you.
-- Charles Gordon,
British army officer
Failure: A man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience.
-- Elbert Hubbard,
American writer, publisher, artist and philosopher
Profit is the result of risks wisely selected.
-- Frederick Barnard Hawley,
American economist
Action is the antidote to despair.
-- Joan Baez,
American musician

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About AOPA
AOPA, the world’s largest, most influential aviation membership association, has achieved its prominent position through effective advocacy, enlightened leadership, technical competence, and hard work. Providing member services that range from representation at the federal, state, and local levels to legal services, advice, and other assistance, AOPA has built a service organization that far exceeds any other in the aviation community. To learn more about general aviation and AOPA, go to

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