Former Member Addresses Open Letter To CEO Craig Fuller
By ANN Contributor Bob Miller, CFII, ATP
Dear Mr. Fuller:
That's the way my letter of resignation to the president/CEO of
AOPA began. In this letter, I expressed my deep disappointment in
the direction that AOPA has been moving over the past several years
- and even more so since the departure of Phil Boyer.
As an example, the last three AOPA bulk mailings I received to
my home over the past couple of weeks aggressively tried to get me
to purchase: (1) medical and evacuation insurance for me and my
family for $109; (2) Lifeline health screenings for $135; and (3)
enrollment in a pre-approved AOPA credit card program.
Keep in mind this is all coming from an organization that claims
to be the "voice of general aviation."
As my U.S. postal mail box was becoming increasingly stuffed
with AOPA promotional junk mail, my e-mail box was becoming packed
with even more spam mail. Today, for example, AOPA aggressively
sought my purchase of expanded legal services insurance.
This continual outflow of junk mail and spam from AOPA makes
AARP and the NRA's member solicitation program look like kid stuff.
It has simply gotten out of control.
GA's big problems are ignored
Any modern day thinker realizes that organizations must explore
all possible revenue producing activities if they are to
successfully underwrite their primary mission. Unfortunately,
however, the pursuit of these questionable revenue producing
activities HAS become AOPA's primary mission. Anybody interested in
Florida real estate?
The fact that we GA pilots have a horrible and unrelenting
accident rate receives barely a mention from AOPA. That's troubling
in itself. The fact that others like SAFE (Society of Aviation and
Flight Educators) are trying to do something about this problem and
AOPA's CEO cannot find the time to participate is even more
Perhaps AOPA's greatest indignity is claiming that its Air
Safety Institute (ASI), under the questionable leadership of Bruce
Landsberg, fulfills AOPA's safety mission - then claims that the
ASI is a separate and distinct organization is nothing other than
spinning a message that only utter morons could accept as
I've been a dues paying member of AOPA for nearly 25 years. As
an active flight instructor and now operating one of the largest
flight schools in the eastern portion of the United States, I've
always kept AOPA membership forms readily available for my
students. To continue doing so in the face of what AOPA has become
is sheer folly.
Today's flight students (and most active pilots) have far too
many expenses to fritter away $40 or $50 a year on AOPA's
commercial bulk mailing machine.
My suggestion to our readers is that they follow my example and
yank the plug on AOPA. You'll not only save a few dollars a year,
the huge volume of junk mail coming into your postal box and email
account will drop precipitously.
On the other hand, if AOPA ever decides to change the utterly
senseless direction it is pursuing, I might once again lend them my
In summary, just when general aviation needs very strong
representation and leadership in areas that threaten its very
existance, it is a pity that AOPA has to wander around the pursuit
of wine clubs (which it has wisely abandoned) and the sale of
questionable junk mail schemes while ignoring the threats to our
'Tis a pity.
Bob Miller, CFII, ATP